Noun clauses function as subjects, objects, or complements. In both adjective and noun clauses, words may appear out of their normal order. Adjective clauses modify nouns or pronouns and begin with a relative pronoun or relative adverb. Adverb clauses modify verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. An independent clause can stand on its own as a sentence. A dependent clause has a subject and a predicate, but it also has a subordinating conjunction, a relative pronoun, or some other connecting word or phrase that makes it unable to stand alone without an accompanying independent clause. For example, “I knew she was not at home” is an independent clause that can be a sentence on its own. But “because I saw her leave” is a dependent clause due to the subordinating conjunction “because,” which makes it depend on the independent clause. The two clauses, joined together, form the complex sentence, “I knew she was not at home because I saw her leave.”


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Last updated: 12/18/2017
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