Complex Sentences Part 1

Dependent Clauses

A dependent clause is an idea that is not complete. It has a subject and verb, but it also has a word that requires more detail.

Because is a clear example of a word that makes an idea a dependent clause. A clause that begins with because cannot be used alone. You need to connect it to an independent clause for the idea to be complete.

When a sentence has a dependent clause and an independent clause, it is called a complex sentence. There are many different types of dependent clauses. We use the different clauses to show different connections between ideas.

Time Clauses

A specific type of dependent clause is a time clause. These clauses have a time word that requires more information to show the sequence of actions. Common time words are after, before, when, while, whenever, since, and until.

When you start a sentence with the dependent clause, you need a comma to connect the clauses.

When you start the sentence with the independent clause, you do not need a comma to connect the sentences.

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