Dependent Clauses for intermediate learners
Dependent clauses are clauses that cannot form sentences on their own. In this lesson, we will learn all about dependent clauses.
What Are Dependent Clauses?
In English, we have two types of clauses. A dependent clause (also called a subordinate clause) is one that needs an independent one to be meaningful and complete. In this lesson, we are going to learn all about it.
Types of Dependent Clauses
We have two types of dependent clauses in the English language. Below is a list of them. Look:
Now, let us analyze each:
Finite clauses are those that have a tense and person. They have a subject and can stand on their own, independently. Look at the following examples:
The boys are walking to school.
As you can see, the sentence is complete.
I am baking a cake.
We have different types of finite clauses. However, we are going to learn about one of them which is:
- Subordinating Clauses
As their name suggests, subordinating clauses rely on an independent clause to be meaningful and complete and without it, they are meaningless. Subordinate clauses begin with subordinating conjunctions. Below is a list of them:
Now, let us examine some examples:
As you can see, the first clause is dependent and without the second one is incomplete.
This is going to be ours,
Non-finite clauses are the exact opposite of finite clauses. They do not have a tense and they need an independent clause to be complete. We have two types of non-finite clauses. Look at the list below:
Now, let us analyze each:
As you know, we can form infinitives by adding 'to' to the base form of the main verb. These infinitives do not have a meaning on their own and need an independent clause in order to be complete. Look at the following examples for more clarification:
They didn't know how
As you can see, the infinitive is incomplete on its own.
As you know, we have different types of participles that are past and present. These participles are non-finite clauses and they need to be followed by an independent clause to be complete. Look at the following examples:
I saw a duck
Position in a Sentence
So long as they are followed by an independent clause, dependent clauses can come at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of the sentences. Look below:
As you can see, the sentence has begun with an infinitive.
Whenever we have the dependent clause at the beginning of the clause, we must put a comma after it. Also, when the dependent clause is in the middle, it must be between two commas. Look:
The dark girl,
As you can see, the dependent clause is between two commas.
Here, we have a comma after the dependent clause.