CUNY WriteSite CUNY WriteSite

Grammar and Style » General Reference » Clauses » Dependent vs. Independent

All clauses are not created equal. Independent clauses sound complete:
the train will arrive at three
Dependent clauses seem to leave you waiting for more information:
when the train arrives  . . .
If you punctuate a dependent clause as a sentence (with a capital letter at the beginning and a period at the end), you have got a fragment. Independent clauses, on the other hand, can be punctuated as sentences.

Pass your mouse over the following clauses to see whether they are dependent or independent, and why:

my uncle lives by the river who retired last year
although his apartment is very small he watches the boats all day long



The CUNY WriteSite
Search | Site Index | Introduction | Writing Projects | Writing for Exams
Grammar and Style | Net Library | Conversations | Campus Resources | Teachers and Tutors

© 2000 The City University of New York
All rights reserved.