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main clause

noun, Grammar.
a clause that can stand alone as a sentence, containing a subject and a predicate with a finite verb, as I was there in the sentence I was there when he arrived.
Also called independent clause. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for independent clause
Historical Examples
  • Sentence form—putting into an independent clause what is most important—has already been discussed under clearness.

    News Writing M. Lyle Spencer
  • And last, if it deserves such a distinction, the thought may demand an independent clause or a sentence for itself.

    English: Composition and Literature

    W. F. (William Franklin) Webster
  • A complex sentence is one containing an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

    Plain English

    Marian Wharton
  • There is no independent clause or sentence which prohibits the States from exercising it.

    The Federalist Papers Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison
  • Subordinate, joining a subordinate or dependent clause to a principal or independent clause.

    An English Grammar W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
  • A principal, main, or independent clause is one making a statement without the help of any other clause.

    An English Grammar W. M. Baskervill and J. W. Sewell
  • The complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one subordinate clause.

    Public Speaking Clarence Stratton
British Dictionary definitions for independent clause

independent clause

(grammar) a main or coordinate clause Compare dependent clause

main clause

(grammar) a clause that can stand alone as a sentence Compare subordinate clause
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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independent clause in Culture

independent clause definition

A clause that can stand alone as a sentence. The following sentence consists of two independent clauses joined by but: “The farmers complained of the low price of food, but the office workers did not complain.” (Compare dependent clause.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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