Meaning of “dependent clause” in the English Dictionary


"dependent clause" in English

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dependent clausenoun [ C ]

uk /dɪˌpen.dənt ˈklɔːz/ us /dɪˌpen.dənt ˈklɑːz/ specialized

Examples from literature

  • After a verb of wishing, the subjunctive is regularly used in the dependent clause. 
  • He does not giggle nor prattle, nor launch into a long and involved explanation with halting, dependent clauses. 
  • In Latin the law of tense sequence is obeyed with considerable regularity, especially when an indicative in the principal clause is followed by a subjunctive in the dependent clause. 
  • The subjunctive is used in a dependent clause to express the purpose of the action in the principal clause. 
  • The tense of the verb in a dependent clause varies with the tense of the principal verb: as, I know he will come. 

(Definition of “dependent clause” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"dependent clause" in American English

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dependent clausenoun [ C ]

us /dɪˈpen·dənt ˈklɔz/

grammar a clause in a sentence that cannot form a separate sentence but can be joined to a main clause to form a sentence

(Definition of “dependent clause” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)