General Writing and Grammar Help/Clauses


Dear Ted:

Are there any differences among a "subordinate clause," a "dependent clause," and a "subjunctive clause"?

If so, would you please give me some examples of them?

Again, many, many thanks for your kind help.


Dear Paolo:

Are there any differences among a "subordinate clause," a "dependent clause,"
and a "subjunctive clause"?

A subordinate clause IS a dependent clause.  They are two names for the same thing.  Likewise, a main clause is also called an independent clause.

Years ago, someone at Allexperts asked me if there were ANY kinds of grammar questions that I would NOT ask.  My response . . . . the perfect tenses AND the subjunctive mood.

The subjunctive mood is used infrequently.  Unfortunately, it is used often enough, though, to create headaches.

Here are the basic uses for the subjunctive mood:  a supposition, a hypothesis, and a condition contrary to fact.

If I were the King of England, I would do away with Parliament.  [This is a condition contrary to fact, because I am NOT the King of England.]

I AM the King of England.  [main or independent clause]

I can eat all the chocolate I want, because I am the King of England.  [What follows "because" is an independent or subordinate clause.]

That's it!


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Ted Nesbitt


I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.


I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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