Clauses other than Santa


An independent clause is a group of words with a noun or pronoun as a subject and a verb as a predicate. We have been calling it a sentence. When two clauses are put together and linked, they become a compound sentence (basically, two sentences in one).


The bell rang to end the last session.

We left the school.

The bell rang to end the last session, and we left the school.

Each clause could stand independently.

We also have subordinate clauses. They do not stand independently. They still have a subject and a predicate, but because they start with words such as when,  which, that, and as, they are dependent (or subordinate) to another clause.

Here are examples of subordinate clauses and independent clauses. You’ll see that the blue ones could stand alone.

As we climbed higher up the mountain, the weather became worse.

When my dog sees a cat, she wants to chase it.

She called for help which was the sensible thing to do.

We also have clauses which act as other parts of speech. Some groups of words act as nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

Here are some examples where noun clauses act as:

a subject: That I am old is easy to see.

a direct object: Emma knows which bowl is hers.

a predicate noun: The answer is whatever you want it to be.

Adjectival clauses:

That is the dish that ran off with the spoon.

Adverbial clauses:

The show ended when the rain began to pour onto the stage.

I suppose you could call these other little clauses Santa’s Helpers. He’s the big Claus and these are all the little clauses.


12 thoughts on “Clauses other than Santa

  1. I know it’s a bit hard to absorb all at once if it’s new to a person, but it’s a start. And for those who already know it, it might be a good refresher. My grade eight teacher taught us the parts of speech and I have often thanked her in my mind. I wish I could have thanked her in person.


  2. Happy Monday.

    I was told by an editor that when you connect two independent sentences with a conjunction, there needs to be a comma. Example: The doorbell rang, and I answered the door. That’s what I’ve been doing since, so I hope I wasn’t misinformed. 😛

    These grammar posts are keepers. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are exactly right, Lori. I was so focused on the clauses that I overlooked that. Good point. I’ve gone right in and fixed it. It definitely needs the comma because sometimes it can look like trying to join two nouns instead of two clauses. Here’s an example: She smirked as she bit into her bread and butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. We’re not talking about bread and butter, so the comma is very necessary. She smirked as she bit into her bread, and butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth.
      Very observant of you, Lori. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I knew you were testing me. Hehe. I was unaware of this comma thing until that editor caught me. The biggest problems I have are with certain words like “lay” and “lie.” No matter how many times I’m taught, I never get it right. “Passed” and “past” or “into” and “in to.” I know “passed” is a verb, but sometimes there are exceptions. It just throws me all off. 😛

        Liked by 1 person

      • A lot of people have trouble with those. I suggest a little chart to stick on your desk. Maybe I’ll do a little post about those troublesome verbs. I did one about lay and lie. I’ll put the link in when I do the second post about it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t worry, my friend. Maybe it is my phone I blog from. . . Just thought I would mention, just in case you haven’t approved me lately. On my blog, some people “fall off the recognition list” after they don’t visit for a few months. I cannot say their names but they are friends and one is an author. It isn’t something I set up or did. . . 🤔

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, that’s a possibility, but I know of a couple of cases where people who write in are never approved (and they used to be for a long time in the past) and WordPress doesn’t recognize her even after I keep approving her comments.


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