Identifying Independent Clause and How to Use It

30 April 2023 / Team Fun English Course

Clauses in English seem to never find their ends, considering clauses and sentences are inseparable. One of those clauses is called the independent clause. But do you know how to use it?

What is Independent Clause Definition?

What is Independent Clause Definition

Clause is generally a group of words that consist of subject and predicate. While the subject is about the one being talked, predicate is used for explaining the subject.

Until today, we know two types of clauses – independent and dependent clauses. Both have different characters and functions. Thus, it is crucial to understand the difference between them.

Independent clause itself is a clause with a complete idea – you can call it a full sentence, though. When the clause stands on its own, you can understand the meaning. Usually, it consists of subject, verb, and other components, such as:

  • Modifier – it can be an adverb or adjective.
  • Complement
  • And subject complement – in a form of noun and adjective.

So, what is the difference between independent clause and dependent clause? Let’s take a look at the example below.

I drove a car that Kris bought last year.

The sentence above comes with “I drove a car” as the main clause – a sentence that can stand on its own even without the rest of the sentence. Meanwhile, the rest of the sentence (“that Kris bought last year”) is a dependent clause. 

Without the ‘that’ as the subordinating conjunction, the clause cannot stand on its own.

On the other hand, independent clauses can stand alone without relying on other clauses or words in a sentence. For example “She cried” – it needs no other elements outside the sentence.

How to Use Independent Clause

How to Use Independent Clause

As explained above, independent clauses are those who can stand on their own as a sentence. 

Even though they can stand on their own, independent clauses can be linked to each other and create a compound sentence. But how do you combine two clauses?

  • By using conjunction
  • Utilizing semicolon
  • Or implementing adverbial conjunction.

Take a look at the independent clause examples below.

  • The road trip began at 09.00 am.
  • My mother prefers strawberries to blueberries.
  • He laundries his trousers once a week.
  • I went to my grandmother’s house last week and she made chicken broth.

Tips to Easily Understand Independent Clause

Tips to Easily Understand Independent Clause

Generally, it is not that difficult to identify independent words or clauses. However, you may need to practice or take exercises to use an independent clause in a sentence. These tips may also help you to practice.

1. Independent Clauses Consist of at Least One Subject and One Predicate

To make a clause stands on its own, the sentence should consist of at least one subject and a predicate. Check out the example below.

  • Cindy prefers to have onions and corn on her salad instead of edamame and onions.

2. An Independent Clause Should Not Start with Subordinating Conjunction or Transition Word

  • Even though Cindy has uncommon taste in salad.

The clause above feels like missing something, right? Well, when a clause starts with a transition word, it is surely not an independent clause. Check out the rewritten sentence below.

  • Even though Cindy has uncommon taste in salad, she is still a good friend of mine.

Well, the sentence is complete and no one gets confused. But keep in mind that the example above is a dependent clause, not otherwise.

3. Comma is Not Enough to Connect Independent Clause Words

Check out the sentence below:

  • Bats sleep in the daylight; chickens sleep at night.

Can you imagine how weird the sentence above is if you use a comma instead of a semicolon?

So, do you think that this article is too short to suffice your curiosity about English? If so then you should join our programs. There are several classes you can choose from that fit your needs – from basic and intermediate to business and preparation classes.

And that’s a wrap – this is everything you need to know about the independent clause and how to use it. Learn more about English in Fun English Course!

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