Clause and Punctuation Summary


1. End an independent clause with a period.

independent clause.

What is an independent clause?

It can take several forms:

Subject Verb [S-V]

The sun rises.

Subject Verb Object [S-V-O]

The parrot whistled a strange tune.
Subject Linking Verb Predicate Noun [S-LV-PN] The boy is a hero.
Subject Linking Verb Adjective [S-LV-A] The girl is heroic.

A Partial List of LinkingVerbs:

is have been seem smell
am had been appear sound
are will be look remain
was become feel prove
were grow taste  

2. Join two independent clauses with a semi-colon.

independent clause ; independent clause

3. Or join two independent clauses with a semi-colon and a conjunctive adverb + a comma.

independent clause; conjunctive adv, independent clause

Partial List of Conjunctive Adverbs:

accordingly for example in addition nevertheless thereafter
afterward for instance in fact notwithstanding therefore
afterwards for one thing in general obviously thereupon
all in all fourth in other words of course third
also furthermore in particular on the whole thus
as a matter of fact granted in short otherwise to be sure
clearly then hence in summary second to make matters worse
consequently hereafter indeed similarly unfortunately
finally heretofore likewise still until
first however moreover then  

4. Or join two independent clauses with a comma and a conjunction.

independent clause, conjunction independent clause

Coordinating conjunctions:

for and nor but or yet so

5. Join a dependent clause and an independent clause with a comma

dependent clause, independent clause

Partial List of Subordinating Conjunctions (Words Beginning Dependent Clause)

after as though if now so much as until whereas whoever
although because if ever now that so near as what wherever whom
as before if only once so that whatever whether whomever
as close as but that in case provided such that what if whether ... or whose
as if but what in order that provided that than whatsoever which whosoever
as long as except in which since that when whichever why
as often as except that lest so far as though whenever while  
as soon as how like so long as unless where who  

6. Join an independent clause and a dependent clause with a subordinating conjunction and no punctuation.

independent clause (subordinating conjunction) dependent clause

7. Interrupt an independent clause with a comma and a parenthetical addition.

independent, parenthetical element, clause

Partial List of Parenthetical Elements:

of course I believe on the other hand however therefore
by the way        

8. Follow an independent clause introducing a series with a colon.

independent clause : A, B, and C.

Practices to Avoid


independent clause, independent clause = comma splice


independent clause independent clause = fused sentence

Conditional Statements