Types of Clauses: Definition, Uses, Examples & More

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Types of Clauses

Types of Clauses: Clauses are a group of words that can be grouped as adverbs, verbs, nouns, adjectives etc. They are important for students at the time of answering English comprehension questions for any competitive exam. Thus, students must understand the basics behind clauses to be able to form a proper sentence. If you are also confused as to what are clauses, worry not as you have come to the right place. Keep reading this blog to know all about the types of clauses and how they can be used in the formation of sentences. 

Types of Clauses in English Grammar

There are two types of clauses which are used in English grammar. These clauses include independent clauses and dependent clauses. Take a look at both these types of clauses to get a full understanding. 

Independent clauses

An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. It can stand alone as a sentence.

Dependent Clauses

A dependent clause, also known as a subordinate clause, is a group of words that has both a subject and a verb but cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. It relies on an independent clause to form a complete thought. They begin with subordinating conjunctions such as “although,” “because,” “since,” “when,” “while,” etc.

Also Read: Main Clause vs Subordinate Clause: Know Differences with Suitable Examples

Difference Between Independent and Dependent Clauses

Take a look at the difference between independent and dependent clauses to get a better understanding of both. 

Independent ClauseDependent Clause
It is a group of words that contain a subject and a predicate and expresses a common idea. Dependent clauses are also a group of words that contain a subject as well as a predicate but do not express an idea. 
Independent clauses can be combined together with coordinating conjunctions.Dependent clauses contain subordinating conjunctions. 
Independent clause conveys a complete thought. The dependent clause does not convey a thought.
Independent clauses can be found in almost every sentence.Dependent clauses cannot be found in every sentence. 
Source: Khan Academy

How to Identify Different Types of Clauses in Sentences?

Identifying clauses in sentences involves recognizing groups of words that contain a subject and a verb and express a complete thought. Here are some steps to help you identify clauses:

  1. Look for Subjects and Verbs: Scan the sentence for words that function as subjects (who or what the sentence is about) and verbs (actions or states of being). A clause must contain at least one subject and one verb.
  2. Check for Independence: Determine whether the group of words can stand alone as a complete sentence. If it can, it’s an independent clause. If it can’t, it’s likely a dependent clause.
  3. Identify Subordinating Conjunctions: If you find a group of words that cannot stand alone and begins with a subordinating conjunction (e.g., “because,” “although,” “when,” “since”), it’s likely a dependent clause.
  4. Consider Punctuation: Sometimes, clauses are separated by punctuation marks like commas, semicolons, or dashes. Pay attention to these marks as they can indicate the presence of clauses.
  5. Understand Sentence Structure: Clauses can be joined together to form complex sentences. Understanding how clauses are combined can help you identify them more accurately.
  6. Practice: The more you read and analyze sentences, the better you’ll become at identifying clauses. Practice with various types of sentences to improve your skills.

Sentence Examples of Independent and Dependent Clauses

Now that you have a better understanding of both types of clauses, it’s time to look at the following examples of both which will help you in the formation of the sentences. 

Independent Clauses

Here are some examples of independent clauses:

She walked to the store.
They studied for their exams.
The sun shines brightly.
He laughed at the joke.
I enjoy reading books.
They went for a hike in the mountains.
She cooked dinner for her family.
The cat chased the mouse.
He played soccer after school.
We visited the museum on Saturday.

Dependent Clauses

Here are some examples of dependent clauses:

Because she was tired, Sarah decided to go to bed early.
Although it was raining, they went for a walk in the park.
Since I have to work late tonight, I won’t be able to join you for dinner.
After the movie ended, we went out for ice cream.
While he was studying for his exam, his friends were playing video games.
Whenever she hears that song, it reminds her of her childhood.
If you need any help, just let me know.
Until he apologizes, I won’t forgive him.
As long as you promise to be careful, you can borrow my car.
Unless you finish your homework, you can’t go out to play.
What are Relative Clauses?Coordinating Clause
Subordinating Clause Example7+ Coordinating Clause Examples
Adverbial ClauseClause and Phrase Examples
Adjective ClauseMain Clause vs Subordinate Clause


Q1. What are the different types of clauses?

Ans: Clauses can be categorised into the following categories:
Independent clauses
Dependent clause
Adverbial Clause
Noun Clause
Adjectival Clause

Q2. What are clauses?

Ans: Clauses are a combination of words that make up a sentence. 

Q3. How to identify a clause?

Ans: A clause can contain a phrase (or several phrases), but has a subject and verb working together. Clauses are differentiated from phrases by the simple fact that their subjects and verbs are linked and agree.

We hope this blog has provided you with all the necessary information on types of clauses. To advance your grammar knowledge and read more informative blogs, check out our Learn English page and don’t forget to follow Leverage Edu.

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