What Is an Independent Clause?

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An independent clause is a clause that can stand on its own and usually has a subject, a verb and an object. Find out the differences between independent and dependent clauses with help from a certified tutor in this free video on grammar and the English language.

Part of the Video Series: English Punctuation & Grammar
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Video Transcript

You know in the English language there are many different clauses, independent clauses, dependent clauses. Hi, I'm Paige Carrera and today we're going to talk about independent clauses. Pretty easy if you think about it. Independent clause is basically a clause that can stand on its own. A subject, a verb, doesn't even have to have an object really, but that's pretty much what it is. We're taking a look at this example here. Anthony ate the whole pizza. As you can see, we've got a subject, Anthony, ate, a verb, and the whole pizza is the object of our subject which is what Anthony ate. Now that's an independent clause because it can stand on its own. An example of a dependent clause is one that cannot stand on its own. And in this case you'll find extra words in the sentence or things that just don't look right or make sense on their own. Sitting by itself, when Anthony ate the pizza..., it's an unfinished thought so that in itself gives you a clue that it's not right, it cannot stand on it's own. There's no complete subject, a verb and the object that gives this sentence the ability to stand on it's own. That's a good way to remember it. Independent, strong independent can stand on it's own, even something as simple as do it is a complete independent clause. I'm Paige Carrera, happy writing.


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