English grammar

Module 9, Clauses, Lesson 1:

What is a Clause?

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English grammar
Definition:
A clause is a group of words that has both a subject and a predicate. Every complete sentence is made up of at least one clause.
Michael bought a new computer. (One sentence, one clause)
Michael bought a new computer, but he still has the old one. (One sentence, two clauses)
Although he still has his old one, Michael now has a new computer. (One sentence, two clauses)
Definition:
An independent clause (or main clause) makes sense by itself. It expresses a complete thought.
Michael bought a new computer. (One independent clause)
Michael bought a new computer, but he still has the old one. [Two independent clauses (Coordinating conjunctions don't count as part of the clause.)]
Although he still has his old one, Michael now has a new computer. (Only the second clause is independent.)
Definition:
A dependent clause (or subordinate clause) does not make sense by itself. It does not express a complete thought.
Although he still has his old one. (Without the independent clause, a dependent clause is a sentence fragment.)

A dependent clause usually begins with a subordinating conjunction, a relative pronoun, or some other word that causes it to become dependent. A dependent clause will make sense only when attached to an independent clause.

Although he still has his old one. (Although is a subordinating conjunction.)
He still has his old one. (Without the conjunction, the clause becomes independent.)

Michael now has a new computer although he still has his old one. (Combined with an independent clause, the dependent clause makes sense.)

Dependent clauses can come after, before, or in the middle of the independent clause.

Michael now has a new computer although he still has his old one. (Dependent clause after an independent clause)
Although he still has his old one, Michael now has a new computer. (Dependent clause before the independent clause)
Michael, although he still has his old one, now has a new computer. (Dependent clause inside the independent clause)

Practice What You've Learned

English grammar

Part 1

Directions:
Decide whether each group of words is a clause or not a clause.
1.
Because we left early
clause / not a clause
2.
Under the bed or in the closet
clause / not a clause
3.
Michael wasn't listening in class today
clause / not a clause
4.
The castle looking over the valley
clause / not a clause
5.
Four bald eagles soared over the river
clause / not a clause
6.
After it had finished raining
clause / not a clause
7.
With Anthony and Jesse and all their friends
clause / not a clause
8.
When my new sneakers get dirty
clause / not a clause
9.
Because of the weeds in the backyard
clause / not a clause
10.
Listening to my new album on my phone
clause / not a clause

Part 2

Directions:
Decide if each clause is independent or dependent.
11.
Every year, the elephants cross the desert in search of water
independent / dependent
12.
While we were listening to the concert
independent / dependent
13.
One car seemed to go much faster than the other
independent / dependent
14.
Which proves that theory wrong
independent / dependent
15.
When my dog finally stopped barking
independent / dependent
16.
The red panda hid among the leaves and took a nap
independent / dependent
17.
After I finish cleaning the kitchen
independent / dependent
18.
The stoplight barely lit the intersection
independent / dependent
19.
That pizza looks delicious
independent / dependent
20.
That I found for a great price at a thrift shop
independent / dependent
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