Connecting Dep and Ind Clauses

By Michael Wong

Now, before you start reading, I know I got into "Identifying Ind./Dep. Clauses a lot, but for a good reason. Knowing some of that information can help you a lot, and I just wanted to include the information on here so you can refresh and remember what it is about. Also, knowing some of that information will help you connect independent and dependent clauses.
If you want to skip all of that stuff that you just read above, skip down to "Rules & Guidelines".

Types of Clauses

What's a Clause?

A clause is a group of words that contain a verb and a subject.

What's a Dependent Clause?

A dependent clause is a clause that IS NOT a complete thought.

EX: "While Bobby was ordering his soup"

What happened while Bobby was ordering his soup? Did someone come in and start doing the Nae Nae? Did a crying child come in? It isn't a complete thought, therefore, it is a dependent clause.

What's an Independent Clause?

An independent clause is basically the opposite of a dependent clause. While a dependent clause is a clause that IS NOT a complete thought, an independent clause IS a complete thought.

EX: "Bobby was ordering his soup."

That thought is complete, there really is no "cliff hanger" there. Even though, yes, you could add more to this thought, it is complete, therefore, it is an independent clause.

Any other things I need to know?

YES!

Dependent Marker Words:

Let's go back to the dependent clause example:

EX: "While Bobby was ordering his soup"

Now let's go look at the independent clause example:
EX: "Bobby was ordering his soup"

Now, what's the one main difference in these two examples?

Yes, you found it. "While".

EX: "While Bobby was ordering his soup"

EX: "Bobby was ordering his soup"

A dependent marker word can help you easily tell the difference between an independent clause and a dependent clause, and you should look out for them.

Examples & Uses of Dependent Marker Words:

Some of the most common ones are ones we use every day!
Some examples are (Not in alphabetical order):

-Because

-While

-When

-After

-As

-Until

-Before

-Whenever


Let's check these words out in action!


"Joe walked across the street"

"As Joe walked across the street"

Big difference, right!?

The one on the top is an independent clause, as it is a complete thought. However, the one on the bottom is very obviously the dependent clause, as there is a dependent marker word.


"Jill turned on the TV"

"After Jill turned on the TV"

Same thing again! Just add one word and it changed into a dependent clause! Look for the dependent marker words, as it will make a big difference. All of this will help you connect the two.

Independent Marker Words:

Independent marker words will be covered down in the "Rules & Guidelines" section!

Rules & Guidelines

Now, down to the meat of this topic. How to you exactly connect dependent and independent clauses when they seem so different? You found the right place, my friend.

Ways to Connect Dependent & Independent Clauses:

The two types of words that can be used to connect dependent and independent clauses at the beginning of an independent clause are coordinating conjunctions and independent marker words (as seen in the section above).

Rules & Guidelines for "Proper Usage" (How to Properly Connect Dependent and Independent Clauses):

Coordinating Conjunction:
There are seven coordinating conjunctions that are used for connecting words at the beginning of an independent clause. They are:


-and

-but

-for

-or

-nor

-so

-yet


When the second independent clause in the sentence begins with one of these words, a comma is needed before it.


"Jacob worked on his homework at the restaurant it was hard to concentrate because of the noise." does not make sense.

Because we are connecting two independent clauses, "Jacob worked on his homework at the restaurant" and "It was hard to concentrate because of the noise" we would use the coordinating conjunction. In this case "but" seems like the best word to use in the scenario. Now it would be "Jacob worked on his homework at the restaurant, but it was hard to concentrate because of the noise." Add the coma and the coordinating conjunction and voila! You connected two independent clauses!

Independent Marker Word:
So continuing from where I was, independent marker word is a connecting word used at the beginning of an independent clause. Independent marker words can always begin a sentence that can stand alone. If the second independent clause in a sentence has an independent marker word, you need to put a semicolon is needed before the word. Some common ones are:


-also

-however

-therefore

-nevertheless

-furthermore



"Jacob worked on his homework at the restaurant it was hard to concentrate because of the noise." does not make sense. This time, we will use an independent marker word. So now it would be "Jacob worked on his homework at the restaurant; however, it was hard to concentrate because of the noise."

Examples

Correct Usage of Connecting Dependent and Independent Clauses:

"Jackson studied in the library for his English test, but it was hard to study because of the librarian and a student having an argument."


"Kathrin thought doing Membean was a waste of time; therefore, she never got a good grade on her vocabulary quizzes."


"Mindy hated being in loud places; however, she attended the rock n' roll concert her friends invited her to."


For the one above, you could also do:

"Mindy hated being in loud places; therefore, she didn't attend the rock n' roll concert her friends invited her to."

You use different words for different scenarios in this case. Choose the one you think fits best and then say it a few times to see if it sounds right.


"Oliver never spent time on his phone, so he wasn't involved in social media."

Just a Little (Big) Thought:

When I was reading through the examples (above), I figured out that you could change the first independent clause into a dependent clause by putting a dependent marker word before it and it should still work (examples below if this confused you)! You just need to delete the coordinating conjunction and/or the independent marker word and any punctuation you put.


"Kathrin thought doing Membean was a waste of time; therefore, she never got a good grade on her vocabulary quizzes."


"Because Kathrin thought doing Membean was a waste of time she never got good grades on her vocabulary quizzes."


"Mindy hated being in loud places; however, she attended the rock n' roll concert her friends invited her to."


"Even though Mindy hated being in loud places she attended the rock n' roll concert her friends invited her to."


So what I'm trying to say here from my observations is that if you're connecting two independent clauses, you need to use either the coordinating conjunction or the independent marker word. But if you're connecting a dependent clause with an independent clause, you don't need to do that! You just need to put in a dependent marker word before the dependent clause.


(The information above may not necessarily be correct, as I observed a pattern that I noticed and I have no proof that it is correct)

Incorrect Usage of Connecting Dependent and Independent Clauses:

Before you start, try correcting these on your own first BEFORE you read the explanation for practice. (Additional practice is available via Google Form (Link below in "PRACTICE" section))


"Jackson studied in the library for his English test; therefore, it was hard to study because of the librarian and a student having an argument." In this one, the use of the independent marker word doesn't make sense. "therefore" doesn't seem to fit. "But" would make more sense here.


"Kathrin thought doing Membean was a waste of time, yet she never got a good grade on her vocabulary quizzes." This doesn't make sense. "So" or "therefore" would make more sense than "yet".


"Mindy hated being in loud places, so she attended the rock n' roll concert her friends invited her to." This doesn't make sense either. Using "so" in this context makes the sentence make no sense. Using "yet" or "but" or even "however" would make more sense here than "so".


"Mindy hated being in loud places; however, she didn't attend the rock n' roll concert her friends invited her to." This is still incorrect. Due to the second independent clause having the effect of the first independent clause, it shouldn't be "however". "so" or "therefore" would make this sentence not be confusing.


"Oliver never spent time on his phone; however, he wasn't involved in social media." This still makes no sense! Since the second independent clause is the direct effect of the first independent clause, you shouldn't use "however", as that says that the second independent clause has the opposite effect of the first independent clause. "so" or "therefore" would fit this sentence perfectly.

Practice

Google Form:

You may only do this once, be careful!

sources

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