Punctuation:Clauses ENG 141
Beginning Punctuation GOALS • Distinguish between • Phrases and Clauses • Main and Subordinate Clauses • Know How to Punctuate Clause Combinations
Vocabulary • A Phrase is any group of words • A Clause is a group of words with a subject and a verb • There are two types of clauses: • Main (also called Independent) Clauses • Subordinate (also called Dependent) Clauses
Clauses • A Main Clause can stand alone as a complete sentence • Example: He went to the movies. • Technical Definition: • A Main Clause is not introduced by a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun • subordinating conjunctions: after, although, because, until, whereas (some listed on 313 of Keys for Writers) • relative pronouns: that, which, who/whom, whose, whoever/whomever, etc.
Clauses, cont. • A Subordinate Clause cannot stand alone • Example: Before he went to the movies • Technical Definition: • A subordinate clause isintroduced by a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun
More Vocabulary • Types of Sentences • A Simple Sentence has one main clause and no subordinate clauses. • The rules of grammar are complex. • A Compound Sentence has more than one Main Clause. • The rules of grammar are complex, and few people understand them all.
Types of Sentences, cont, • A Complex Sentence has one or more Subordinate Clauses. • Few people understand grammar because its rules are complex. • A Compound-Complex sentence has more than one Main Clause and at least one Subordinate Clause • Because grammar is complex, few people understand it, and even fewer people enjoy studying it.
Principle #1 • Every complete sentence must contain one Main or Independent Clause • If a group of words lacks a subject, finite (conjugated) verb, or main clause, it is a fragment
Fragments • Examples of Fragments • And was a fine film. • Lacks a subject • A man going to the movies • Lacks a finite verb • Because he decided to go to the movies • No main clause
Principle #2 • Clauses must be combined in particular ways with particular punctuation marks in order to make complete, correct sentences.
Compound Sentences • Two main clauses cannot be combined with only a comma • This is called a comma splice • Example: She got her paycheck, she paid her bills. • Two main clauses cannot be combined without any punctuation. • This is called a fused sentence. • Example: She got her paycheck she paid her bills.
Compound Sentences • Two main clauses can be combined in the following ways: • MC, cc MC. • cc=coordinating conjunction • complete list: and, but, or, for, nor, yet, so • Example: She got her paycheck, and she paid her bills. • Note that you do not place a comma before a coordinating conjunction that separates a compound verb • She received and cashed her paycheck.
Compound Sentences, cont. • MC; MC. • Example: She got her paycheck; she paid her bills. • MC; ca, MC. • ca=conjunctive adverb (sometimes called transitional expression) (386-7) • some examples: furthermore, therefore, otherwise, indeed, for example • Example: She got her paycheck; consequently, she paid her bills.
Compound Sentences, cont. • MC: MC. • The colon is only a good strategy if the second main clause explains or clarifies the first • Example: She can pay her bills now: she finally got her paycheck.
Complex Sentences • If the Subordinate Clause comes first, you will ordinarily use a comma • SC, MC. • Even though he woke up with a headache, he went to all of his classes. • If the Main Clause comes first, no punctuation is necessary • MC SC. • He went to all of his classes even though he woke up with a headache.
Summary • The first step in learning proper punctuation is to learn how to • distinguish between phrases and clauses • identify Main and Subordinate Clauses • know which punctuation marks are appropriate for which situations • Where to Get More Information • Keys for Writers