independent clause

The counterpart of a dependent clause. A dependent clause has a subject and verb, but it cannot stand on its own. An independent clause is simply a simple sentence. It can stand on its own.
For example, the following clause is independent:

Jim drove his car over the bridge.

When a DMW is added to it, it becomes a dependent clause.

When Jim drove his car over the bridge,

The word “when” is a DMW and makes this clause dependent. It is called dependent because it must be attached to an independent clause in order for it to function as a complete thought.