1

If she had left some for her brother, maybe he would have been happier when he arrived home.

In the above sentence I know that

If she had left some for her brother

is a dependent clause.

I know that

when he arrived home

is a dependent clause.

It seems to me that

maybe he would have been happier

is also dependent!

Which begs the question: can you have a sentence made up of dependent clauses with no independent clause in it?

Can anyone enlighten me please?

0

maybe he would have been happier

might sound a little incomplete or ambiguous, but it is quite independent.


All clauses which start with a conjunction or other linking word (e.g. if, when, that...) are dependent.

Therefore

If she had left some for her brother

is as dependent as

when he arrived home


Can a sentence have no independent clause in it?

No. Any sentence has to have an independent clause. Even if the clause is short, denaturated, or in any other way "obfuscated", it must exist. Otherwise, you end up with a fragment of information and no "object" to which to attach it.

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