Adverb Clause Video Lecture
A compound sentence has two independent clauses joined by a comma and a conjunction. If you start a sentence with one of these connectors, then you'll put a comma at the end of that dependent clause. Pause the video, and on a piece of paper decide if these sentences need commas or not.
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This lesson is about adverb clauses. Remember that a simple sentence just has one independent clause. A compound sentence has two independent clauses joined by a comma and a conjunction. And a complex sentence has one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. We’re looking at complex sentences in this lesson. Here are some examples. While Sam washed his face, we listened to music. Or you could say, we listened to music while Sam washed his face. Both of these sentences are correct. They are both complex sentences. Look at the next pair. Jeff ate an apple when he got home from work. You can also turn it around. When Jeff got home from work, he ate an apple. Both of these are also complex sentences. Look at the last pair. After I graduated from college, I started working. You can also say, I started working after I graduated from college. All of these are complex sentences, and from these examples, you can see that we can write the complex sentences two different ways. Now before we go any further, you need to make sure you understand what a dependent clause is. Here we have our sentence. This is a complex sentence. While Sam washed his face, we listened to music. The dependent clause is this part, while Sam washed his face. The reason this is dependent is because it cannot be a sentence. This is not a sentence by itself. And the reason for that is because of this word, while. While is an adverb clause connector. When you start with an adverb clause connector, you need a subject and a verb. We do have that, but we don’t have a complete thought. While Sam washed his face, what? What’s the rest of the sentence? So this is not a complete sentence. It’s a dependent clause, and dependent clauses have to be attached to an independent clause. Here’s another dependent clause. When Jeff got home from work. Well, when Jeff got home from work, what? What’s the rest of the idea? We don’t know, so this is not a complete sentence. And the reason is because of the adverb clause connector, when. Here’s another example. This is a dependent clause. It’s not a complete sentence,because we have the connector, after. So remember that dependent clauses will start with an adverb clause connector, and then they’ll have a subject and a verb. That group of words will make up your dependent clause. And dependent clauses are one part of complex sentences. Let’s look at those sentences again. Now, we said that each adverb clause can be written two different ways. If you look at the first pair of sentences, while Sam washed his face, do you recognize that? You should know now that that’s a dependent clause. Because of the adverb clause connector, while. And the other part of our sentence, we listened to music, is the independent clause. So remember, a complex sentence has one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. Now in this sentence the dependent clause is in front of the independent clause. When your dependent clause is first, when it starts the sentence, we have to put the comma after the dependent clause. In the other sentence we changed the order. We listened to music is our independent clause, remember. But this time it’s starting the sentence. So when you start with the independent clause, you do not put a comma in the sentence. There’s no comma before while. Look at the next pair. Jeff ate an apple when he got home from work. Can you find the dependent clause? When he got home from work is the dependent clause. It starts with the connector when. And because this is in the middle of the sentence, we don’t put a comma. But if we turn it around and put the dependent clause first, then we put a comma after it. Look at the last pair. After I graduated from college, I started working. We started with the dependent clause this time. After is our connector, so that’s the dependent clause, and we have to put a comma after it. But when we turn it around, and we start with the independent clause, we do not put a comma. All of the dependent clauses in these sentences are called adverb clauses. Here are some of the common adverb clause connectors. After, while, before, if, although, when, since, and because. You’ve probably seen these before and used them before, but now you should know how to correctly punctuate sentences with these words. Remember that when you see these words in the middle of a sentence, you don’t put a comma. Here are some other adverb clause connectors. These are not as common, and you may not have learned these before, but they work just the same. If you put these adverb clause connectors in the middle of a sentence you don’t put a comma. If you start a sentence with one of these connectors, then you’ll put a comma at the end of that dependent clause. Let’s check your understanding. Pause the video, and on a piece of paper decide if these sentences need commas or not. Put the comma where you think it goes. Remember, some of the sentences don’t need commas. Pause the video now. Let’s check your answers. How did you do? We don’t put a comma on the first one because we started the sentence with an independent clause. You don’t put a comma when because is in the middle of a sentence. The second sentence has the adverb clause connector even though, and it’s starting the sentence so our dependent clause is in front of the independent clause. Now we need a comma. In the third sentence, we started with the independent clause, and our dependent clause starts with if. That’s in the middle of the sentence, so we don’t put a comma. On the next one, we started with the independent clause again. Our dependent clause connector was since. And that’s in the middle of the sentence, so there’s no comma. On the next one, we start the sentence with the dependent clause. Although this book is interesting is a dependent clause and we put the comma after it. The next one also has a comma before, as a connector. And we have the dependent clause, before I cook dinner, starting the sentence. The last sentence, we started the sentence with an independent clause. Unless Bob wants to drive is the dependent clause. But it follows the independent clause. So no comma. Let’s review. You use a comma if a dependent clause starts a sentence. So if you see a dependent clause connector at the beginning of the sentence, find the end of that dependent clause and put a comma. The comma goes between the dependent clause and the independent clause. You don’t use a comma if the independent clause starts the sentence. It’s pretty easy, right? Watch the video again or do some practice exercises.
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