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.