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Subordinate Clause - Glossary of Terms


Subordinate Clause

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

Examples:

  The crew could see the whale, which had surfaced only 50m behind them.
       
              independent clause                               subordinate 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.)

Interactive example:
 
The mechanic replaced it with the one that was in the Ford. [show me the subordinate clause]
Associated pages:
 
Complex sentence
Simple sentence
Independent clause
Glossary of grammatical terms
 
 

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