Grammar Topics

Clauses and Phrases

A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb. A phrase is a group of words that lacks a subject-verb unit but otherwise functions together.

Clauses Phrases
before it rained on a rainy day
the umbrella suddenly broke all of a sudden
whoever is late today wet commuters
because the rain is heavy walking to the bus stop

Independent and Dependent Clauses

When a clause makes a complete sentence, such as The umbrella suddenly broke, it’s called an independent clause. A clause that doesn’t make a complete sentence is called a dependent clause (or subordinate clause). All sentences have at least one independent clause, which is sometimes called the main clause. Dependent clauses can be combined with independent clauses to form sentences.

An independent clause can be followed by a dependent clause.

She walked the dog before it rained.

A dependent clause can precede an independent clause.

Because the rain is heavy, she decided to take the bus.