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Here's how clauses are combined!

1. When the Chinese first came to America, they could live anywhere;

When the Chinese first came to America,

a subordinate adverbial clause beginning with the adverbial subordinator, when 

they could live anywhere;

an independent clause

2. however, they often chose to live in the same area so they could be around people who were familiar and who spoke Chinese. 

however, they often chose to live in the same area

an independent clause connected to the first part of the sentence by the semicolon connector, however 

so they could be around people

an independent clauses connected by the coordinator, so

who were familiar and who spoke their language.

a subordinate adjectival clauses with the relative subject pronoun, who. The subject is repeated, connected by the coordinator, and 

3. Later, when the violence against the Chinese began, they moved closer together for mutual help and protection. 

Later, they moved closer together for mutual help and protection

an independent clause

when the violence against the Chinese began

a subordinate adverbial clause beginning with the adverbial subordinator, when

4. Chinatowns thus formed and grew.

Chinatowns thus formed and grew

an independent clause containing two verbs connected by the coordinator, and 

5. Most of the Chinese who came to America in the 1850's and 1860's were men who did not intend to make their homes here. 

Most of the Chinese were men

an independent clause 

who came to America in the 1850's and 1860's

a subordinate adjectivial clause with the relative pronoun, who 

who did not intend to make their homes here.

a subordinate adjectivial clause with the relative pronoun, who

6. Many came with contracts for a specific period of time. 

Many came with contracts for a specific period of time   

an independent clause

7. Others thought that they would get rich quickly in the "Mountains of Gold" and then go home to China to retire. 

Others thought that they would get rich quickly in the "Mountains of Gold" and then go home to China to retire.

an independent clause containing two verbs connected by the coordinator, and

8. The laborers soon discovered that it would take many years to make the money they needed to go home and live a life of comfort. 

The laborers soon discovered that it would take many years to make the money 

 

(which or that) they needed to go home and live a life of comfort

(which or that) is understood but not stated 

9. They also realized that while the money they earned went a long way in China, it was not enough to bring their families to join them. 

They also realized that it was not enough to bring their families to join them

 

while the money they earned went a long way in China

a subordinate adverbial clause beginning with the adverbial subordinator, while

10. Even the merchants who had the money were reluctant to bring their families because of the difficulties of life in the West.  

Even the merchants...were reluctant to bring their families because of the difficulties of life in the West.

an independent clause

who had the money

a subordinate adjectival clause with the relative pronoun, who

11. Obviously, it was almost impossible for the Chinese in America to have any kind of family life.

Obviously, it was almost impossible for the Chinese in America to have any kind of family life.

an independent clause

12. The men earned very little money, and almost everything they earned was either sent home to their families, or saved  so that they could return to China for a visit. 

the men earned very little money  

an independent clause

and almost everything they earned was either sent home to their families, or  saved

two independent clauses joined by the connector and.  

so that they could return to China for a visit.

a subordinate adverbial clause beginning with the adverbial subordinator so that 

13. Usually, it took ten or more years to save enough for a visit home.

Usually, it took ten or more years to save enough for a visit home.

an independent clause

Caution! Sentences 2 and 7 have examples of double subjects or verbs. Sentences 8 and 9 use noun clauses as direct objects.

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