Punctuation for Clauses

Transcript Slides 1-4

Slide 1 — Punctuation for Clauses

By this time, you should understand the structure of various types of clauses in English.

You should know these terms: independent clause (IC), dependent clause (DC)

If not, please go back and review the exercise Types of Clauses.

Slide 2

When two or more clauses are put together in one sentence, they are often separated by a transition signal.

Transition signals may be used at the beginning of a clause.

Slide 3

Transition signals may be coordinators, conjunctive adverbs, or subordinators.

In order to punctuate clauses correctly, it’s important for you to know which transition signals belong to which group.

Slide 4 — Types of Transition Signals

Coordinators:
and
but
for
nor
or
so
yet

Conjunctive adverbs:
accordingly
also
as a result
besides
clearly
consequently
finally
first
for example
furthermore
hence
however
in addition
in contrast
in fact
in summary
instead
moreover
nevertheless
next
nonetheless
on the other hand
otherwise
still
that is
therefore
thus

Subordinators:
after
although
as
as soon as
because
before
even though
if
since
so that
though
unless
until
when
whether
while

Transcript Slides 5-21

Slide 5 — Coordinators

And, but, for, nor, or, so, yet. These are also called “coordinating conjunctions.”

Slide 6

Use a comma before a coordinator that separates 2 independent clauses (ICs).

IC, coordinator IC.

Slide 7 — Examples

IC, coordinator IC.

The furniture has arrived, but the power isn’t on.

Alex can’t sing, nor can he dance.

Sara can go to the movies, or she can stay home.

The water was warm, so they went swimming.

They were very poor, yet they were happy.

Slide 8

Two independent clauses in one sentence with no transition signal between them should be separated by a semicolon.

IC; IC.

Slide 9 — Examples

IC; IC.

I don’t like this pen; do you have another one?

Mary is at the front door; she wants to talk to you.

Some people like to wake up early; others do not.

The quiz was easy; we all passed it.

Jim ate dinner; he went to bed.

Slide 10

But note that if there is only a comma between the two clauses, you have a run-on sentence.

IC, IC.

(This pattern is incorrect.)

Slide 11

On the next few screens, you will see some sentences. Decide if each sentence has correct punctuation.

Example:

You can pay with cash, or you can use a credit card.

Correct
Incorrect

The correct answer is Correct.

Slides 12-21 — Multiple Choice Questions

Transcript Slides 22-32

Slide 22 — Conjunctive Adverbs

accordingly, also, as a result, besides, clearly, consequently, finally, first, for example, furthermore, hence, however, in addition, in contrast, in fact, in summary, instead, moreover, nevertheless, next, nonetheless, on the other hand, otherwise, still, that is, therefore, thus

These words or phrases are also called “sentence connectors.”

Slide 23

Use a semicolon before a conjunctive adverb that separates 2 independent clauses.

IC; conjunctive adverb, IC.

Use a comma after the conjunctive adverb.

Slide 24 — Examples

IC; conjunctive adverb, IC.

The meat is too rare; therefore, they won’t eat it.

It is a nice hotel; on the other hand, it is too noisy.

Time reads quickly; however, he doesn’t understand much.

They did not pay the cable bill; as a result, the cable was cut off.

The bed was comfortable; nevertheless, Pat could not go to sleep.

Slide 25

When there is a conjunctive adverb at the beginning of a sentence, use a comma after the conjunctive adverb.

Conjunctive adverb, IC.

Slide 26 — Examples

Conjunctive adverb, IC.

Meanwhile, the lawyer continued to talk.

Furthermore, the price of oil is not fixed.

In fact, Dallas isn’t the capital of Texas.

Next, she called all her friends.

Consequently, his resignation created a vacancy.

Slide 27

Time for more practice! On the next few screens, decide if each sentence has correct punctuation.

Example:
On the other hand the professor gives easy exams.

Correct
Incorrect

The correct answer is Incorrect. A comma is needed after “hand.”

Slides 28-32 — Multiple Choice Questions

Transcript Slides 33-44

Slide 33 — Subordinators

after, although, as, as soon as, because, before, even though, if, since, so that, though, unless, until, when whether, while

These are also called “subordinating conjunctions.”

Slide 34

A subordinator introduces a dependent clause (DC).

subordinator DC, IC.

When the DC comes first, separate it from the independent clause (IC) with a comma.

Slide 35

IC subordinator DC.

When the IC comes first, there is no comma.

Slide 36 — Examples

subordinator DC, IC.

If you do nothing, the problem will never be solved.

Although order was soon restored, the soldiers stayed.

Until they sign the contract, we cannot be sure.

Whether we like it or not, the essay is due tomorrow.

Since they arrived very late, there were no seats left.

Slide 37 — More Examples

IC subordinator DC.

You could get sick if you eat that.

Paul was overjoyed when he won the lottery.

He went outside as soon as it stopped raining.

The students can’t stay awake because they are bored.

I like to listen to the rain while I read.

Slide 38

Time for more practice! On the next few screens, decide if each sentence has correct punctuation.

Example:
I will never trust Ted because he told me a lie.

Correct
Incorrect

The correct answer is Correct.

Slides 39-42 — Multiple Choice Questions

Slide 43 — Congratulations!

You have finished the “Punctuation for Clauses” activity.

You may repeat this activity as many times as you like.

Slide 44 — Summary Slide

After completing this activity, you may download or print a completion report that summarizes your results. To save a PDF copy of the report, click below and follow instructions for your browser.

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