Dependent Words

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Dependent Words

Post  Vincent Law on Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:41 am

A clause is a group of words that contains a subject + verb. An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence. A clause beginning with a dependent word cannot stand alone but must be embedded in another sentence.

These are the most common dependent words:
"after, than, where, although, that, whether, as though, which, because, unless, whichever, before, until, while, how, what, who(m), if, whatever, whoever, since, when, whose, why"

Here is an independent clause that can stand alone as a complete sentence:
"Marriage is old-fashioned."

Watch what happens when a dependent word introduces this clause:
"although marriage is old-fashioned"

The clause still has a subject and verb, but the addition of the dependent word although makes the clause unable to stand alone. The word although does something elseā€”it prepares the newly dependent clause for embedding in some other sentence:
"{Although* marriage is old-fashioned}, I'm getting married in the morning."

The word although shows the relationship between the two clauses as it embeds one into the other. Other dependent words show different relationships between clauses:
"{Because* marriage is old-fashioned}, I'm going to live without it."
"Cindy is always arguing {that* marriage is old-fashioned}".

Notice the comma in the first sentence, where a dependent clause comes at the beginning of a sentence.
Vincent Law
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