Students understanding the complexity of language

Chapter 06-03: Clauses II – Dependent Clauses


chapter 6: dependent clauses

A dependent clause is a clause that is unable to stand independently because of its DEPENDENT MARKER which requires that it function either nominally, adjectivally, or adverbially. This means that a dependent clause can fit into any of those FUNCTION SLOTS as an entire clause.

The most common dependent clause forms include subordinate clauses, relative clauses, interrogative clauses, and that-clauses. This means that the subject of a dependent clause will be preceded by a subordinator or an interrogative or a nominal-that. In most cases the subject will be replaced by a relative. Moreover, as we will discuss shortly, each of these dependent clauses function in a very specific and prescribed way.

Remember, the dependent marker will either precede the subject or replace the subject. On some occasions, a THAT dependent marker will be deleted. In most cases, those are nominal clauses serving as the direct object of another clause.