Dependent vs. Independent Clause [SAT Writing Tips]

Dependent vs. Independent Clause [SAT Writing Tips]


In this video we’re going to be talking
about a clause. What’s a dependent clause, what’s an
independent clause and what’s a phrase. You really need to know what these terms
are for the SAT and the ACT, because those concepts really affect punctuation.
I’m Katya Seberson, I’m the inventor of the Seberson method, a scientifically
proven way to learn anything fast, including the punctuation on the SAT and
the ACT. So if you guys have approached the SAT and the ACT books, you probably
have seen terms like independent clause, dependent clause, phrase or modifier. And I
really want you to get those straight and then you have been worried about how
much information you have to read before you would understand them. I want
you to worry no more. In this lesson we’re going to cover it all and I know
that my definitions of a clause dependent/independent are very limited,
but it is done so on purpose, that is all you need to know for the SAT and the
ACT, not the great volumes of grammarian knowledge. So what makes up a clause? A
clause is a group of words that have two components. That have actor and the
action the actor is performing. Those are your subject and your verb. If
subject and verb are terms that are confusing to you, feel free to watch our
videos that I recorded on subject and verb specifically, but let’s say you know
what subjects and verbs are, so let’s proceed. In order to become a clause you
need a subject and verb. Not just regular verb, that has to be a conjugated verb.
Now how do you tell if something is a dependent clause or an independent.
Dependent, we’re just going to call it a DC, or an IC.
And a common answer I get from my students is like: “Oh, independent clause
can stand by itself and a dependent clause cannot”. Yes, and… I think that this
definition doesn’t really serve a student on the SAT or the ACT, because
what they’re going to try to do is try to analyze the sentence and think: “hmm
can it stand on its own or can’t”. I suggest a better way to differentiate
between a dependent clause and an independent
clause. If the clause begins with a subject it’s an independent clause. If
the clause begins with words like “after”, “because”, “as” or other subordinating
conjunctions, then it’s a dependent clause. Let me give you an example. Come
here with me. I cook pies. That is an independent
clause. Here’s why? My subject is I, my verb is cook and if you know anything
about verbs you probably know that this is a transitive verb, because it has an
object – “pies.” I cook pies. Now, how can I turn this
independent clause into depemdent clause? I can insert one of the
subordinating conjunctions in front of I. I can say: “as I cook pies”. Now we can no
longer put a period after it, we now need a comma. And many of you know about
fanboys coordinating conjunctions. Now it’s time for you to learn about
subordinating conjunctions that turn ICs into DCs. Because this is no
longer an IC, because of the word “as”, a subordinating conjunction, this is now a
DC. It is still a clause, still a C, but it has, because it has an
actor and an action, but it can no longer stand by itself. The subordinating
conjunctions are, and I created a weird acronym, “www.a2(bs).ui” Because there’s a two will pretend like it’s math, so we’re distributing,
there’s gonna be “bbss”, so: when, where and while – www stands for when
where and while, so if I said “when I cook pies”, “while I cook pies”, “where I
cook pies” – all of those sentences would have turned into a DC. “A” stands for many
words, but I want you to choose “although” just in your memory, because one of the
words is going to be “before” and if “before” one of the subordinating
conjunctions, and then “after” is also one of the subordinating conjunctions. So:
when, where, while, although, because, before, since, so that, until and if. Although,
because, before, since, so that, until and if. Here’s why these words are essential,
because these are the subordinating conjunctions, that the SAT and the ACT
use the most, and when you see something that looks like a clause, and here’s now
you know, it has a subject and it has a verb, but it has one of these words in
the front of the sentence, you’re are looking at a dependent clause. But now
let’s talk about how do you know that you’re looking at a phrase or a modifier.
A phrase is something that does not have a clause. That means it either does not
have a subject or it does not have a verb. Something like this: “at the
restaurant” is not a clause, because there is no verb. “Smiling from ear to ear” is
not a clause because it does not have a subject. “By the virtue of faith” is not a
clause because it does not have a verb. So whenever you’re looking at something
that does not have either a subject or a verb, you’re definitely looking to a
phrase or a modifier. And this knowledge will help you out a lot in many-many
ways: in punctuating to independent clauses and punctuating a dependent
clause an independent clause and also working with your dangling modifiers. If
you guys don’t know what dangling modifiers are and how you can figure
those out, we will make a video for you about dangling modifiers later on
today, so a link it up above and enjoy that knowledge, because those could be
really tricky. I hope you like this video and if you did, please give it a thumbs
up. And don’t forget: every month if you leave a comment below this video you
will get entered into a monthly draw to be a lucky winner and to get on to a
free one-hour tutoring session with me, where we can do SAT and ACT prep or talk
about anything tutoring related. I look forward to meeting you guys and bye!

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