Wildly Entertaining

(And Life Altering)

Information about Clauses


Definition #1

A clause is a group of related words that contains a subject and a verb




First, the good news. . .

There are only two kinds of clauses


Independent and Dependent



Independent people can get along by themselves--balance their checkbooks, handle their love lives, get their homework done on time. Independent clauses are like that. They can stand alone as complete sentences.



Dependent people overdraw their bank accounts, stay out all night drinking and steal their roommate's math assignments. They can't stand alone. They need help. So do dependent clauses. Dependent clauses cannot stand by themselves as complete sentences.





Clauses are cool.

(That is a complete sentence and also an independent clause.)


Reading about clauses is cool.

(This is also a complete sentence and independent clause. Don't be fooled by the gerund phrase "reading about clauses." Phrases and clauses are different things.)



Helpful Hint

Phrases can occur in--and be part of--clauses

Click here if you are getting heart palpitations and need to review phrases





To understand clauses is my life's ambition.

(The sentence itself is one independent clause. What's the verb? "Is." The subject is an infinitive phrase--"to understand clauses." The phrase is inside of--and part of--the clause.)



I love reading books.

(This sentence is one independent clause. It also contains a gerund phrase, "reading books." The subject is "I." The verb is "love." "Reading books" is the direct object.)



I love reading books about clauses.

(The plot thickens slightly. We still have one independent clause. The subject and verb are the same. The gerund phrase has been expanded slightly to include a prepositional phrase, "about clauses.")



Helpful Hint

Phrases can occur in--and be part of--other phrases.



OK, enough splashing around in the shallow water, let's take a plunge into the deeper stuff.

Click here to start learning about dependent clauses

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