The types of dependent clauses are:
Before we look at each of these, it's important to understand what dependent clauses, also known as subordinate clauses, are.
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A clause is a group of sentences that has a subject and verb combination. The two types are independent and dependent. This sentence has both an independent and dependent clause:
Both clauses have a subject and verb:
But only the first one expresses a complete thought and can stand alone:
The second clause does not make sense if it is used without the first one, and so it is dependent on the first clause. It is therefore a dependent clause, also known as a subordinate clause.
This type of dependent clause is used in two main ways. The first way is using question word conjunctions (e.g. where, what, when) or if and whether to create implicit questions.
The noun clause usually follows the main independent clause:
The other way that noun clauses are used is in that clauses, usually to express some kind of mental state, necessity, possibility, or truth.
'That' is often left out:
These types of dependent clauses act as adverbs and tell us something about the information that is in the main (independent) clause.
These are some of the common purposes of adverbial causes and common subordinating conjunctions:
With adverbial clauses, the dependent clause can go before or after the independent clause. Here are some examples of adverbial clauses:
The third type of dependent clause is the adjective or relative clause. It is acting as an adjective because it modifies a noun or pronoun.
The clause will start with a relative pronoun e.g. which, who, that, whom, where, or whose.
it usually comes directly after the noun it's modifying so unlike adverbial clauses, the position where it appears in the independent clause will vary.
In these examples of adjective clauses, the noun being modified is underlined:
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