Independent Clause

Independent Clause

An independent clause is a clause that can stand alone as a sentence (i.e., it expresses a complete thought).

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1. I like carrot cake. 

2. The cake burned because I forgot to take it out of the oven. 

Dependent Clause

A dependent clause (or subordinate clause) is one that cannot stand alone as a complete sentence because it does not express a complete thought.

Identify/BOLD the dependent clauses in the following sentences:

3. The crew could see the whale, which had surfaced only 50 meters behind them.

4. Do you know the butcher who went to court on Saturday?

Noun Clause

A noun clause is a clause that plays the role of a noun. Noun clauses begin with words such as how, that, what, whatever, when, where, whether, which, whichever, who, whoever, whom, whomever, and why.

Identify/BOLD the noun clauses in the following sentences: 

5. Choose a gift for whomever you want.

6. Whichever restaurant you pick is fine with me.

Relative Clause

A relative clause is another kind of dependent clause. It has a subject and verb, but can’t stand alone as a sentence. It is sometimes called an “adjective clause” because it functions like an adjective—it gives more information about a noun.

Identify/BOLD the relative clauses in the following sentences:

7. The carpets which you bought last year have gone moldy. 

8. Charlie has a friend whose daughter lives in China. 

Adverbial Clause

An adverbial clause is a group of words which plays the role of an adverb. (Like all clauses, an adverbial clause will contain a subject and a verb.)

Identify/BOLD the adverbial clauses in the following sentences:

9. Keep hitting the drum until I tell you to stop.

10. In order to have six-pack abs, he works out at the gym.

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