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7th Grade Language Arts / Lesson 6: Clauses


What will we be learning in this lesson?

  • In this lesson you will learn to recognize two kinds of clauses
  • Independent clauses
  • Subordinates clauses

How will knowing about clauses help me?

  • Using clauses will help you vary the length of your sentences
  • It will help you make you writing more interesting to read.

What will I Learn in This Lesson

  • Definition of a clause
  • Definition of an independent clause
  • Definition of a subordinate clause
  • How to use clauses

Questions to Keep in Mind As You Read

  • What is a clause?
  • What is an independent clause?
  • What is a subordinate clause?
  • How do I use clauses in sentences?


  • A clause is a group of words with its own subject and verb.

  • There are two types of clauses

  • 1 Independent clause
    2 Subordinate clause

  • There is an important difference between these two types of clauses.

Independent Clause

  • An independent clause has a subject and a verb and can stand by itself as a complete sentence.
  • Independent clauses can be long or short
  • What is important is that the clause expresses a complete thought
  • It can stand by itself as a sentence.

Subordinate Clause

  • A subordinate clause also contains a subject and a verb, but it is different from an independent clause in one important way.
  • It does NOT express a complete thought.
  • It cannot stand alone as a complete sentence.
  • It is only PART of a sentence.

  • Do these clauses express a complete thoughts or do they need more information to make sense?

Using Independent Clauses

  • Independent clauses can be joined together to make them ONE sentence.


  • From Becky and the Wheels-and-Brake BoysJames Berry
  • It was evening time, but sunshine was still big patches in yards and on housetops.
  • Why did the author choose to combine these independent clauses into a single sentence?

Using Subordinate Clauses

  • A subordinate clauses can be joined with an independent clause to make a single sentence.

  • Look at the clauses below.

  • Identify the independent and subordinate clauses.
  • Join them to make ONE sentence.
  • after the climber tied the rope to the piton
  • she checked the knot

    After the climber tied the rope to the piton, she checked the knot.

This is the end of the Lesson

  • Do you know what a clause is?

  • Do you know the difference between an independent clause and a subordinate clause?

  • IdenDo you know how clauses can be joined together to form ONE sentence?

  • If you can't answer these questions, review this Lesson.