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Punctuation and Professionalism: Dependent Clauses

Evaluate if your use of dependent clauses is sufficiently professional and polished.

Here are some additional pieces of advice on dependent clauses. Post your favorite comments.

1. “A dependent clause cannot stand on its own. It needs an independent clause to complete a sentence. Dependent clauses often begin with although, since, if, when, and because.”

—Yale Center for Teaching and Learning (2015)

2. “A ‘dependent marker’ word is a word added to the beginning of an independent clause that makes it into a dependent clause.

WhenJim studied in the Sweet Shop for his chemistry quiz, it was very noisy.

Some common dependent markers are: after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order to, since, though, unless, until, whatever, when, whenever, whether, and while.”

—Purdue Online Writing Lab (2021)

3. “The adverb clause, the most common type of dependent clause, serves a variety of purposes in the sentence. Some of its most common functions are to indicate time and place, to provide reasons and explanations, and to describe methods, conditions, and outcomes. The adverb clause begins with a subordinating conjunction.

Common subordinating conjunctions: as, after, although, because, even though, if, now that, provided, rather than, since, unless, until, when, whereas, whether, and while

If an adverb clause occurs before an independent clause, it is followed by a comma.

Example: Because traffic was so heavy, I was late.

If an adverb clause occurs after an independent clause, it is NOT preceded by a comma unless it begins with although, whereas, or some other term that indicates contrast.

Example: I was late because traffic was so heavy.

Example: I was late, although traffic was relatively light for the time of day.”

—The University of Texas at Dallas Writing Center (2021)

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