An independent clause is simply a sentence. It can be as short as “Jill ran.” Which contains only a subject and a verb or be much more complex.
A dependent clause contains a subject and a verb but not a complete thought. Because it is not a complete thought, a dependent clause on its own is commonly known as a sentence fragment.
This is a fragment because the sentence does not inform the reader about what happened to Jill.
Dependent clauses are usually set off by what is known as a dependent clause marker, a word that sets off the clause as being dependent. Some common dependent clause markers are: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while.
Creating a Connection Between an Independent and Dependent Clause
The most basic method for joining an independent and dependent clause is to use a comma and a coordinating conjunction. Coordinating conjunctions are: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet.
Subordinate clauses are used to add information that gives further meaning to an existing independent clause. The list of subordinating conjunctions below are all familiar words that you have used before.
as soon as
in order that
A relative clause is a type of dependent clause that serves to modify what is said in the independent clause. In a sentence with a relative clause, the subject of the independent clause that is modified is called an antecedent.