Sentences that do not have an independent clause

Read the sentence given below.

Though it is still debated whether there should be separate schools for boys and girls.

This is a sentence fragment. It does not have an independent clause. This is a mistake that I often notice in the essays of my students.

Let’s analyse the sentence. It has two dependent clauses:

though it is still debated

whether there should be separate schools for boys and girls

As you can see both clauses begin with a subordinating conjunction. A clause that begins with a subordinating conjunction is a subordinate clause. A subordinate clause is a dependent clause. It cannot stand alone.

Here is a list of common subordinating conjunctions: though, although, even though, even if, because, as, since, when, while, before, after, if, whether, unless, until, till etc. Memorize them.

Every sentence must have at least one clause that does not begin with a conjunction. Actually, you can solve the problem by simply removing the unwanted conjunction.

You may write:

  • It is still debated whether there should be separate schools for boys and girls.

Related posts:

  1. Remove unnecessary conjunctions from your sentences
  2. How to avoid sentence fragments from your essay?
  3. Complex sentences
  4. How to avoid run-on sentences?
  5. How to combine two sentences using a that-clause
  6. When to use commas to separate words and phrases
  7. How to avoid sentence fragments
  8. Connecting sentences with conjunctions and transitional adverbs
  9. When to use the present tense instead of the future tense?
  10. Band 9 IELTS essay: Should children go to mixed schools?

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