Independent Clauses for intermediate learners

Independent clauses can stay alone and they are used as a whole meaningful sentence. In this lesson, we will learn about them.

Independent Clauses in English Grammar

What Are Independent Clauses?

As you may know, there are two types of clauses in English: independent clauses and dependent clauses. Independent clauses are complete sentences that can stand on their own and do not require anything else to be grammatically correct.

Independent Clauses: Types

Independent clauses can form different kinds of sentences together. Look at the list below:

In this lesson, we are going to discuss simple and compound sentences.

Simple Sentences

Simple sentences consist of one independent clause and are complete on their own. Look at the following examples:

Hannah and her friend are going to the party.

I don't want to talk to people.

He is writing an article on this book.

Compound Sentences

When we connect two independent clauses together, we form a compound sentence. We mainly use coordinating conjunctions for this purpose. Note that each sentence has its own complete meaning. Look at the following examples:

They are going to the party but I really don't feel like leaving the house.

Sally is washing the dishes and I am going to clean the house.

Hannah will be doing her homework and mom will be talking to her professor.

Independent Clauses: Structure

An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. The subject of the independent clause can be a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun, and the clause may also contain additional words or phrases that provide further explanation or detail about the subject. Look at the following examples:

Dolly is talking about the issue.

Here, we have a subject, the main verb, an auxiliary verb and a prepositional phrase.

He cooks dinner every night.

Connecting Two Independent Clauses

As it was mentioned earlier, we can use coordinating conjunctions to connect two independent clauses together. Look at the following list to have a quick review of them:

Now, let us examine some examples below:

She can solve her problems or she can make everything worse.

The students have finally made their decision and they are ready to announce it now.

I changed my mind ,so I think we can move on now.


Keep in mind that coordinating conjunctions can sometimes function as subordinating conjunctions. For example:

I really like riding a bike and seeing the beautiful town.

Independent Clauses Vs. Sentences

All independent clauses are sentences but not all sentences are independent clauses. Some sentences may have one or more dependent clauses. Look below:

I am watching Netflix.

This is an independent clause and it is a complete sentence.

Talking to a stranger, my mom suddenly fell to the floor.

Here, we have a dependent clause followed by an independent one in the sentence.


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Dependent Clauses

Dependent clauses are clauses that cannot form sentences on their own. In this lesson, we will learn all about dependent clauses.

Restrictive and Non-restrictive Clauses

Restrictive clauses and phrases are necessary while non-restrictive clauses are not necessary for the sentence to have a meaningful thought.

Participle Clauses

To get to know participle clauses, first of all, you have to be familiar with the concept of participles and clauses separately.


If-clauses are used to express that the action of the main clause. There are three types of if-clauses. In this lesson, we will discuss them.

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