What is a dependent clause definition?

October 19, 2023

Welcome to our comprehensive guide to dependent clauses in finance. In financial writing, it is crucial to have a strong grasp of grammar and sentence structure in order to effectively communicate complex ideas. Dependent clauses play an important role in creating well-organized and coherent financial documents. In this article, we will explore the definition of dependent clauses, their types, and how they are used in financial writing. By the end, you will have a solid understanding of how to incorporate dependent clauses into your financial communications to improve clarity and precision.

1. The definition of dependent clauses

A dependent clause, also known as a subordinate clause, is a group of words that contains both a subject and a verb but cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. It relies on an independent clause to form a grammatically correct sentence. Subordinate clauses are called “dependent” because they depend on an independent clause to provide complete meaning and context. In financial writing, dependent clauses are used to express complex relationships, provide additional details, and make logical connections between ideas.
Dependent clauses can be distinguished from independent clauses by the presence of certain subordinating conjunctions or relative pronouns. These words indicate the dependent nature of the clause and help establish the relationship between the dependent and independent clauses. Examples of subordinating conjunctions include “because,” “although,” “if,” “since,” and “when,” while relative pronouns such as “who,” “which,” and “that” are also commonly used to introduce dependent clauses.

2. Types of dependent clauses in financial writing

Dependent clauses can be divided into different types based on their functions and the relationships they establish within a sentence. Understanding these different types will enable you to effectively use dependent clauses in your financial writing:

a. Adverbial clauses: Adverbial clauses modify the verb in the independent clause by providing information about time, place, manner, condition, or reason. For example, “Since the market is volatile, investors should exercise caution when making investment decisions. Here, the dependent clause, “Because the market is volatile,” provides the reason for the caution advised in the independent clause.
b. Adjectival clauses: Adjectival clauses act as adjectives, modifying nouns or pronouns in the independent clause. They provide additional information or describe the noun in more detail. For example, “The company that has consistently delivered strong financial performance is expected to attract investors. In this example, the dependent clause “that has consistently delivered strong financial performance” describes the noun “company” and clarifies which company the sentence is referring to.

3. Benefits of Using Conditional Clauses in Financial Writing

There are several benefits to effectively using dependent clauses in financial writing:

a. Improved clarity: Dependent clauses provide additional information and context, allowing for clearer and more precise communication. They can help clarify complex relationships and ensure that the reader understands the intended meaning.

b. Logical organization: By establishing logical connections between ideas, dependent clauses contribute to the overall coherence and structure of financial documents. They allow writers to present information in a more organized and systematic manner.

4. Tips for Using Conditional Clauses in Financial Writing

To maximize the effectiveness of dependent clauses in financial documents, consider the following tips:

a. Use subordinating conjunctions appropriately: Choose the proper subordinating conjunctions to express the desired relationship between dependent and independent clauses. Be aware of the nuances and meanings associated with different conjunctions to accurately convey your intended message.

b. Maintain sentence clarity: While dependent clauses can add valuable information, be careful not to overload sentences with too many subordinate clauses. Make sure that each clause contributes to the clarity and coherence of the sentence without overwhelming the reader.

5. Examples of dependent clauses in financial writing

Let’s examine some examples of how dependent clauses are used in financial writing:

a. Adverbial Clause: “Since the company reported strong earnings, its stock price increased significantly.” Here, the dependent clause “Since the company reported strong earnings” provides the reason for the subsequent stock price increase.
b. Adjectival Clause: “Investors who diversify their portfolios can reduce their overall risk.” In this sentence, the dependent clause “who diversify their portfolios” describes the noun “investors” and specifies which investors the statement refers to.

By incorporating these examples into your financial writing, you can effectively convey your intended message and improve the overall quality of your content.

In summary, understanding dependent clauses is essential for financial professionals to effectively communicate complex ideas and maintain clarity in their writing. By incorporating different types of dependent clauses, such as adverbial and adjectival clauses, writers can provide additional details, make logical connections, and improve the overall structure of financial documents. Appropriate use of subordinating conjunctions and maintaining sentence clarity are important considerations when incorporating dependent clauses into financial writing. By following these guidelines and using examples from finance-specific contexts, you can improve your financial communication and ensure that your ideas are conveyed accurately and effectively.


What is a dependent clause definition?

A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb but cannot stand alone as a complete sentence. It relies on an independent clause to form a complete thought.

How is a dependent clause different from an independent clause?

An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence because it expresses a complete thought. In contrast, a dependent clause cannot stand alone and relies on an independent clause for its meaning.

What are some examples of dependent clauses?

Here are a few examples of dependent clauses:

  1. “Although she studied hard”
  2. “When the rain stopped”
  3. “Because he was tired”
  4. “If you need assistance”

What are the different types of dependent clauses?

Dependent clauses can be categorized into various types based on their function. Some common types include:

  • Adverbial clauses: Modify verbs, adjectives, or adverbs and answer questions such as when, where, why, and how.
  • Adjectival clauses: Modify nouns or pronouns and provide additional information about them.
  • Noun clauses: Act as the subject or object of a sentence, or as a complement.

How are dependent clauses used in sentences?

Dependent clauses are used to add additional information or provide context to an independent clause. They can be used to express conditions, reasons, time relationships, contrasts, and more. By combining dependent and independent clauses, you can create complex and compound sentences.