1. Thanks for this article, Rachel. I’m a bit confused by the terminology though. I have always been taught that an independent clause is a clause that could stand alone by itself while a dependent (or subordinate) clause requires an attached independent clause to form a complete thought. And I’ve seen what you describe as dependent and independent clauses called essential and non-essential clauses. Is it just a different use of terms?

  2. Rachel

    Hi Brian! Yep, just a difference in terminology. As I mentioned in my asterisk note, there are a LOT of different ways to refer to clauses and their ilk, and I just picked one that made sense to me and that I thought was easy to understand. Non-essential and essential work just fine too. (And frankly, are probably even better than what I used… I may change them in the article!)

  3. Reader X

    In this post, you use the phrase “a essential xyz” and “an essential xyz”. Which form is correct?

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