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Dependent and Independent Clauses

Understanding the distinction between dependent and independent clauses is crucial for mastering sentence structure, particularly for the GRE English test.
  • Dependent clauses cannot stand alone as sentences because they do not express a complete thought and often begin with words like 'who' or 'when'.
  • Independent clauses express a complete thought, contain a subject and a verb, and can stand alone as a sentence.
  • The presence of dependent marker words (e.g., because, when, if) transforms an independent clause into a dependent one.
  • Identifying and correctly combining dependent and independent clauses is a key skill tested in the GRE, often through sentence correction questions.
  • Proper punctuation and understanding the role of conjunctions are essential in connecting clauses correctly to avoid run-ons or fragments.
Introduction to Clauses
Identifying Independent and Dependent Clauses
The Role of Dependent Marker Words
Applying Clause Knowledge to Test Questions