Use of dependent
and independent clauses
As we read the passage, "What is the UN doing to address the HIV-AIDS crisis?", we can see a number of examples of both dependent and independent clauses in the text. Clauses are groups of words containing subjects and verbs. Independent clauses can stand alone as sentences, dependent clauses cannot; rather, dependent clauses serve to modify the main sentences of which they are a part. In the paragraph below (from the unit reading passage), dependent clauses are highlighted in green:
BecauseAIDS has had such far-reaching effects, in the year 2000,for the first time in the history of the United Nations, the Security Council took up a health issue - HIV-AIDS. The world body declared the spread of the virus a global emergency, a threat to peace and security in Africa as this continent has been the hardest hit by the disease.
*Note: if a dependent clause precedes a main clause, a comma must follow it; however, if a dependent clause follows a main clause, no comma is necessary.
(click for an exercise with dependent