Independent and Dependent Clauses By: The Santa "Clauses"- Esha sharma, Madison Steele, Samantha Clarke, and Sophia Phung

What is a clause, anyway?

Every sentence is made up of one or more clauses. Therefore, a clause is any description of someone or something performing an action.

Independent Clauses V. Dependent Clauses

Independent Clause:

  • An independent clause is a group of words that can stand alone as a sentence (i.e., it expresses a complete thought). An independent clause, like all clauses, has a subject and verb. When there are no dependent clauses in the same sentence an independent clause, the independent clause is a simple sentence (a sentence lacking multiple clauses). An independent clause can also stand on its own as a sentence.

Ex: "Santa makes his Christmas deliveries in a single night."

Dependent Clause

  • A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought. A dependent clause cannot be a sentence, and it cannot stand on its own. Often, a dependent clause is marked by a dependent marker word (mentioned further).

Ex: "Although Santa climbed down the chimney [...]"

Marker Words and Coordinating Conjuctions

Dependent Marker Words

  • A dependent marker word is defined as a word added to the beginning of an independent clause; making it a dependent clause.
  • Common dependent marker words: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether.

Ex: "Because Santa ate too many cookies, he could not fit down the chimney."

Pertaining to the example above, the first part of the sentence is a dependent clause ("Because Santa ate too many cookies[...]"), as it begins with a dependent marker word (because).

Independent Marker Words

  • An independent marker word can be defined as a connecting word used at the beginning of an independent clause. These words may always begin a sentence that can stand alone.
  • Common independent marker words: also, consequently, furthermore, however, moreover, nevertheless, therefore.

Ex: "Santa could not fit through the chimney, however, he could enter through a window."

In the example above, the second part of the sentence ("[...] however, he could enter through a window.") is an independent clause, as it begins with an independent marker word (however).

Coordinating Conjunction Words

  • Coordination conjunction words are most often utilized to connect an independent and dependent clause together. However, an independent marker word, as well as a semi-colon, can be used additionally.
  • There are seven coordinating conjunction words: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (FANBOYS).

Ex: "Santa Claus collected his presents, and took off in his sleigh."

The sentence above contains two clauses: an independent clause ("Santa Claus collected his presents [...]"), and a dependent clause ("[...] took off in his sleigh."). The word connecting these two clauses is a coordinating conjunction (and).

Six Ways to Promote


Here are the Go Grammar Shirts for Independent and Dependent Clauses!


This poster will raise awareness on the improvement of the usage of independent and dependent clauses

Music Video/Song

We plan to create a music video/song in which the lyrics of the music will convey the rules and general information on independent and dependent clauses.

Social Media

Our name on social media accounts, such as Instagram, will be "Santa Clauses", and we will post pictures and small snippets/facts/rules about the two different types of clauses as the content on the account.


We will offer prizes and merchandise to people who coincide with our previous promoting methods, such as pins (above). These will be incentives, and will spread awareness of independent and dependent clauses.


These surveys can be put around the hallways, and students can answer quickly as they pass by. An answer could be put on the flip side, so that people can check if they are accurate, therefore spreading the awareness of clauses.
Created By
Esha Sharma

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