Verb forms that occur in subordinate clauses of various languages that cannot occur in independent clauses are of various types, but there do exist some typical patterns that differentiate these forms from main-clause verb forms in the same language.
Languages that use deranking for their subordinate-clause verb forms do so according to a definite pattern.
There are relatively few languages that use deranked verb forms for all subordinate clauses (examples are found amongst the Tungusic and Salishan languages) but most languages with significant verb inflection use deranking for at least some of their subordinate clauses. Exceptions can be found only amongst certain rigidly head-marking languages such as Ainu and Lakhota. Languages with deranking far down (rightward) on the hierarchy are most typically those with extensive nominal case systems. This is because in their presence information expressed by person marking on the verb is already expressed on nouns. If relations of core noun phrases are marked only on the verb, it is less uneconomic to express them in a dependent clause.
The distribution of balancing and deranking in languages that do not belong to one of the two polar types briefly discussed in the previous page follows a definite hierarchy. If balancing is used at any point, it is used for all points below it on the following list ("to the right" in traditional wording of the deranking hierarchy) Relevant clauses for each example are italicised.
The commonly accepted explanation for the hierarchy outlined in the previous section is that the types of relation at the top of the deranking hierarchy are much more semantically integrated than those at the bottom. Being semantically integrated means that the events in the main and subordinate clauses are linked, which is true of purpose, perception, "before", "when" and "after" clauses, but not of those further rightward in the hierarchy. This integration leads to the use of verb forms not marked for tense, person or aspect, since they are much simpler than verb forms with these markers.
Relations that are temporal and imply that the dependent event takes place within a particular time reference relative to the main event favour verb forms that are unmarked for tense or aspect for the same reason. This is why temporal relations like "before", "when" and "after" come above relationships that have no temporal implication of this type like conditionals.
Another factor influencing use of deranking is lack of realisation of the dependent event, which often leads in purpose, desiderative and manipulative clauses to the use of moods that cannot be used in independent clauses.