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Acceptable Ways to Join Dependent and Independent Clauses

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Acceptable Ways to Join Dependent and Independent Clauses

This English grammar lesson covers some of the common ways that clauses can be joined in English. While there are other acceptable ways to combine clauses, you should defer to the following widely-accepted rules.

[Independent]; [Independent].

Example 1: Jane went grocery shopping at Publix; she usually shops at Kroger.
Example 2: Jane went grocery shopping at Publix; she checked her mail on the way home.

[Independent]; {Transition}, [Independent].

Example 1: Jane went grocery shopping at Publix; however, she usually shops at Kroger.
Example 2: Jane went grocery shopping at Publix; in addition, she checked her mail on the way home.

[Independent], {Conjunction} [Independent].

Example 1: Jane went grocery shopping at Publix, but she usually shops at Kroger.
Example 2: Jane went grocery shopping at Publix, and she checked her mail on the way home.

[Independent]: [Dependent]. (Only when the second clause describes the first)

Example 1: My brother has a unique talent: the ability to fall asleep anywhere.
Example 2: Please buy the following groceries: bread, eggs, and milk.

[Dependent], [Independent].

Example 1: While shopping at Publix, Jane bought bread, eggs, and milk.
Example 2: On the way home, Jane checked her mail.

[Independent] [Dependent].

Example 1: Jane bought bread, eggs, and milk while shopping at Publix.
Example 2: Jane checked her mail on the way home.

[service-plug]