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 might know, we have two types of clauses in English. Independent clauses are ones that do not need anything to be complete and can stand on their own. In this lesson, we are going to learn all about them.

Types of Independent Clauses

Independent clauses can make different kinds of sentences together. However, we are going to learn about two of them. Look at the list below:

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 in order to do so. Note that each sentence has its own 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 Formation

An independent clause consists of a subject and a verb and some words or phrases that give further explanation of the subject. The subject of the clause can be a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun. 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 above, 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.


Please note that coordinating conjunctions can sometimes function as subordinating conjunctions. Look at the following examples:

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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