a clause that modifies the principal clause or some part of it or that serves a noun function in the principal clause, as when she arrived in the sentence I was there when she arrived or that she has arrived in the sentence I doubt that she has arrived.
Coordinating Between Independent and Dependent ClausesYou might have seen these terms floating around. Clauses are the building blocks of sentences. They’re groups of related words (phrases) that contain both a subject and a verb. When a clause can stand alone as a complete sentence with a clear meaning, it’s considered independent. If it only makes sense when you join it with another clause, it’s dependent (or subordinate). For example, “in …
Supremacy ClauseRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
- subordinated debt,
- subordinating conjunction,
Compare main clause.
Also called de·pend·ent clause.
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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
A clause that does not stand alone as a sentence but depends on another clause to complete its meaning: “When I get my braces off, I will be very happy.” Dependent clauses are also known as subordinate clauses. (Compare independent clause.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.