Clauses, Part 2

When dependent clauses are joined by a coordinate conjunction, there is no comma because there is not an independent subject and verb after the conjunction. …I was more concerned when I got there and when I saw his condition. Sometimes the second “when” is omitted — and it is perfectly correct to do so. …I was more concerned when I …

Is It a Phrase or a Clause? It Matters

A dependent clause has a subject and a verb; a phrase does not. …after lunch (phrase) …after we ate lunch (clause) …since Friday (phrase) …since I left Friday (clause) …before the session (phrase) …before the session ended (clause) The difference matters. For example, at the beginning of a sentence, the phrases above do NOT take a comma; the clauses do. …

The Word “That” — Omitted

We have to be aware when the word “that” is omitted — which usually makes something a dependent clause, needing no comma, rather than an independent clause, which would need a comma. …Suppose [that] a patient arrives on an afternoon and [that] you’ve been in there in the morning. No comma before “and” because the “that” is understood, beginning a …

Noun Clause as the Subject

Take a look at this next to yesterday’s blog. Don’t get them confused. When a noun clause is the subject of the sentence, do not separate it from the verb with punctuation. …Whether he is attending is not my concern. …Whether he is attending the conference on the effects of caffeine on children that is to take place later this …

Noun Clause out of Place

We generally start a sentence with the subject and verb and put direct objects and objects of prepositions later in the sentence. When these objects are clauses, they usually go after the verb. …I do not remember whether he paid me or not. …He is not aware of what you are saying. Sometimes a speaker decides to move that clause …