top of page

Cumulative Sentences

INDEPENDENT CLAUSES can stand alone as sentences.


                    My class is wild.

DEPENDENT CLAUSES/PHRASES have a structure that indicates their dependence upon another (i.e. independent) clause:

PARTICIPIAL PHRASES function as adjectives that describe nouns/pronouns and begin with -ing or -ed.


My class, screaming and fighting as soon as the bell rings, is wild.

APPOSITIVES are noun phrases that restate or identify adjacent nouns/pronouns.


My class, a group of high-energy students, is wild.

RELATIVE CLAUSES begin with who/whose or which/where and give more information about adjacent nouns/pronouns.

My class, whose enthusiasm for distraction is palpable, is wild.

ABSOLUTE PHRASES contain both a subject and a verb (in the form of a participle) of its own. Absolutes are almost complete sentences. As a test, you can make any absolute a sentence by adding was or were.

My class, pencils flying, is wild.

bottom of page