Posted by: episystechpubs | July 26, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Main Clauses and Sentences

Way back in April, I received an email from one of our JHA technical writers. She was quite distraught because she couldn’t get away from people speaking in sentence fragments. Rather than getting right into sentence fragments, I thought maybe we should break up this discussion into a few pieces. Just like Maria and the Von Trapp Family, let’s start at the very beginning (since it’s a very good place to start).

Main Clause

A main clause (also called an independent clause) must contain the following:

· A subject

· A verb

· A complete thought

Examples:

· The Labrador caught the ball.
Labrador=subject; caught=verb

· Billy saw a truck crash into a utility box.
Billy=subject; saw=verb

· Bobo and Trixie have eaten all of their treats for today.
Bobo, Trixie=subjects; have eaten=verb

You may have noticed that these examples look like sentences; indeed, they are sentences. The rule behind a sentence is that it must contain at least one main clause.

Tomorrow, we will talk about what you have if your clause is missing one of those important items above (subject, verb, or complete thought).

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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