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Dependent Clause - Glossary of Terms

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.


  The crew could see the whale, which had surfaced only 50m behind them.
              independent clause                           dependent clause
           (i.e., could stand alone)                  (i.e., could not stand alone)

  Which had surfaced only 50m behind them. (This is wrong. It is not a complete thought or a sentence.  It should be a dependent clause.)

Interactive example:

Do you know the butcher that went to court on Saturday? [show me the dependent clause]
You cannot start a sentence with who or which unless it is a question.

I enjoy weeding. Which is helpful, because I have a large garden.
Associated pages:
Interrogative adjectives
Glossary of grammatical terms

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