(1) Just as a child is dependent on his/her parents, so is
a dependent (subordinate) clause "dependent" on an independent
(2) The dependent clauses are in bold:
I want to eat because I am hungry.
I know that you did it.
The woman whom I marry must know how to cook.
(a) As you can see, those subordinate clauses depend on the
independent clauses to make sense. If you walked up to someone
on the street and said, "Because I am hungry," that stranger would
think that you were "crazy." But if you said, "I want to eat because I
am hungry," the stranger would understand you completely.
(b) You also notice that dependent clauses are often introduced by
conjunctions such as because and that. Whom is called a relative
(3) You can also drop a dependent clause, and the sentence is still
"good" English. For example, if I drop the three subordinate clauses
above, I get:
I am hungry.
The woman must know how to cook.
Grammatically speaking, those three sentences (without a subordinate
clause) are "good" English.
- For Teachers