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An independent clause (or main clause) is a clause that can stand by itself as a simple sentence. An independent clause contains a subject and a predicate and makes sense by itself.
Independent clauses can be joined by using a semicolon or by using a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet, etc.).
In the following example sentences, independent clauses are underlined, and conjunctions are in bold.
Single independent clauses:
- I have enough money to buy an ice cream cone.
- My favourite flavour is chocolate.
- Let's go to the shop.
Multiple independent clauses:
- I have enough money to buy an ice cream cone; my favourite flavour is chocolate.
- I have enough money to buy an ice cream cone, so let's go to the shop.
- Rozakis, Laurie (2003). The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style. Alpha. p. 152. ISBN 1-59257-115-8.