What is dependent clause mean?

October 6, 2023

Introduction to Dependent Clauses

In the field of finance, effective communication is paramount. Whether you’re writing a business proposal, analyzing financial statements, or presenting investment strategies, understanding various grammatical structures can greatly enhance your ability to convey ideas accurately and succinctly. One such structure is the dependent clause. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore what dependent clauses are, their types, and how they work in the context of finance.

Defining dependent clauses

A dependent clause, also known as a subordinate 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. Dependent clauses usually begin with subordinating conjunctions or relative pronouns that indicate a subordinate relationship to the independent clause.
In finance, dependent clauses play a critical role in providing additional information, expressing conditions, stating cause and effect, and clarifying relationships between different financial elements. By understanding how to use dependent clauses effectively, financial professionals can improve the clarity and precision of their written and oral communications.

Types of Conditional Clauses in Finance

There are several types of dependent clauses that are commonly used in finance. Let’s explore two of the most common types: adverbial clauses and relative clauses.

  1. Adverbial clauses:

    Adverbial clauses modify the verb in the independent clause to provide additional information about time, place, condition, manner, purpose, or contrast. In finance, adverbial clauses are often used to express conditions, consequences, or reasons behind financial decisions or events.

For example:

  • “If interest rates continue to rise, the company’s borrowing costs will increase significantly.”
  • “While the stock market declined, the bond market remained stable.”
  1. Relative clauses:
    Relative clauses provide additional information about a noun in the independent clause. They are introduced by relative pronouns such as “who,” “which,” or “that. In finance, relative clauses are often used to describe financial instruments, companies, or economic indicators.

For example:

  • “The company that has consistently delivered strong earnings growth is poised for long-term success.”
  • “The investment portfolio, which consists of a mix of stocks and bonds, is well diversified.”

Conditional clauses and financial analysis

In financial analysis, the ability to identify and interpret dependent clauses is critical to accurately understanding financial statements, reports, and forecasts. Dependent clauses often provide important contextual information that affects the interpretation of financial data.

For example, consider the following sentence: “The increase in revenues despite higher production costs indicates improved operational efficiency.” Here, the dependent clause “despite higher production costs” clarifies the potential impact on profitability despite the increase in revenue.
By identifying and analyzing conditional clauses in financial documents, analysts can make more informed decisions and recommendations. They can identify potential risks, assess the validity of assumptions, and uncover underlying factors that may affect financial performance.

Using Conditional Clauses in Financial Writing

When writing financial reports, proposals, or analyses, the appropriate use of dependent clauses can enhance clarity and precision. Here are some tips for effectively using dependent clauses in financial writing:

  1. Use subordinating conjunctions and relative pronouns correctly: Make sure you choose the appropriate subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun to introduce the dependent clause and maintain the coherence and logical flow of your sentences.

  2. Keep sentences concise: While dependent clauses provide additional information, it’s important to strike a balance and avoid overly complex sentence structures. Clear and concise sentences facilitate comprehension and minimize the risk of misinterpretation.

  3. Maintain parallelism: When using multiple dependent clauses in a sentence, use parallel construction to maintain clarity and readability. Consistent use of verb tenses, sentence structure, and style improves the overall coherence of your writing.

  4. Proofread and revise: Always review your writing carefully to identify and correct any errors or ambiguities related to dependent clauses. Pay attention to sentence structure, grammar, and the relationship between dependent and independent clauses.


Dependent clauses are valuable tools in finance, enabling professionals to communicate complex ideas, express conditions, and provide essential context. By understanding the types and functions of dependent clauses, financial professionals can improve their written and oral communication skills and enhance their ability to convey information accurately and effectively. Properly incorporating dependent clauses into financial writing can help create clearer and more persuasive communication, leading to better decision making and analysis in the financial industry.


What does “dependent clause” mean?

A dependent clause, also known as a subordinate 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 can you identify a dependent clause?

A dependent clause can be identified by its reliance on another clause to make sense. It often begins with subordinating conjunctions such as “because,” “although,” “if,” “when,” or “since.” These words indicate that the clause is dependent and cannot function independently.

What is the difference between a dependent clause and an independent clause?

The main difference between a dependent clause and an independent clause is that an independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence, expressing a complete thought, while a dependent clause cannot. Dependent clauses rely on independent clauses to provide context and complete meaning.

What are some examples of dependent clauses?

Here are a few examples of dependent clauses:

“Because I was tired”

“Although she studied hard”

“If it rains tomorrow”

“When he arrives at the station”

“Since I have no money”

How do dependent clauses function in sentences?

Dependent clauses function as adverbial, adjectival, or nominal clauses in sentences. Adverbial clauses modify verbs, adjectives, or adverbs and provide information about time, place, reason, condition, or manner. Adjectival clauses modify nouns or pronouns, providing additional information. Nominal clauses act as nouns and can function as subjects, objects, or complements within a sentence.