Subordination
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  • 1.  Subordination  Definition:  Words, phrases, and clauses that make one element of a sentence dependent on (or subordinate to) another.  Clauses joined by coordination are main clauses. This is in contrast to subordination, which joins a main clause and a subordinate clause.
  • 2. Subordination definition  The use of expressions that make one element of a sentence dependent on another. In the following sentence, the first (italicized) clause (also called a subordinate clause) is subordinate to the second clause: “ Despite all efforts toward a peaceful settlement of the dispute , war finally broke out.” ( Compare coordination, dependent clause, and independent clause.)
  • 3.  The Subordinate Clause  Recognize a subordinate clause when you see one.  A subordinate clause—also called a dependent clause—will begin with a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun and will contain both a subject and a verb. This combination of words will not form a complete sentence. It will instead make a reader want additional information to finish the thought.
  • 4.  Here is a list of subordinate conjunctions: after although as because before even if even though if in order that once provided that rather than since so that than that though unless until when whenever where whereas wherever whether while why
  • 5.  Here are your relative pronouns: that which whichever who whoever whom whose whosever whomever Now take a look at these examples: After Amy sneezed all over the tuna salad After = subordinate conjunction; Amy = subject; sneezed = verb.
  • 6.  Once Adam smashed the spider Once = subordinate conjunction; Adam = subject; smashed = verb. Until Mr. Sanchez has his first cup of coffee Until = subordinate conjunction; Mr. Sanchez = subject; has = verb. Who ate handfuls of Cheerios with his bare hands Who = relative pronoun; Who = subject; ate = verb.
  • 7. Remember this important point: A subordinate clause cannot stand alone as a sentence because it does not provide a complete thought. The reader is left wondering, "So what happened?" A word group that begins with a capital letter and ends with a period must contain at least one main clause. Otherwise, you will have written a fragment, a major error.
  • 8.  After Amy sneezed all over the tuna salad.  So what happened? Did Amy throw it down the garbage disposal or serve it on toast to her friends? No complete thought = fragment.  Once Adam smashed the spider.  So what happened? Did Belinda cheer him for his bravery or lecture him on animal rights? No complete thought = fragment. Until Mr. Sanchez has his first cup of coffee. So what happens? Is he too sleepy to work, or does he have a grumpy disposition? No complete thought = fragment.
  • 9. Correctly attach a subordinate clause to a main clause. When you attach a subordinate clause in front of a main clause, use a comma, like this: subordinate clause + , + main clause. Even though the broccoli was covered in cheddar cheese, Emily refused to eat it. Unless Christine finishes her calculus homework, she will have to suffer Mr. Nguyen's wrath in class tomorrow. While Bailey slept on the sofa in front of the television, Samson, the family dog, gnawed on the leg of the coffee table.
  • 10. When you attach a subordinate clause at the end of a main clause, you will generally use no punctuation, like this: main clause + Ø + subordinate clause. Tanya did poorly on her history exam Ø because her best friend Giselle insisted on gossiping during their study session the night before. Jonathon spent his class time reading comic books Ø since his average was a 45 one week before final exams. Diane decided to plant tomatoes in the back of the yard Ø where the sun blazed the longest during the day.
  • 11. Punctuate carefully when the subordinate clause begins with a relative pronoun. Subordinate clauses can begin with relative pronouns [and thus are called relative clauses, a type of subordinate clause]. When a subordinate clause starts with who, whose, or which, for example, punctuation gets a little bit trickier. Sometimes you will need a comma, and sometimes you won't, depending on whether the clause is essential or nonessential. : :
  • 12. When the information in the relative clause clarifies an otherwise general noun, the clause is essential and will follow the same pattern that you saw above: main clause + Ø + essential relative clause. Nick gave a handful of potato chips to the dog Ø who was sniffing around the picnic tables. Dog is a general noun. Which one are we talking about? The relative clause who was sniffing around the picnic tables clarifies the animal that we mean. The clause is thus essential and requires no punctuation.
  • 13. When a relative clause follows a specific noun, punctuation changes. The information in the relative clause is no longer as important, and the clause becomes nonessential. Nonessential clauses require you to use commas to connect them. main clause + , + nonessential relative clause. Nick gave a handful of potato chips to Button , who was sniffing around the picnic tables. Button, the name of a unique dog, lets us know which animal we mean. The information in the relative clause is no longer important and needs to be separated from the main clause with a comma.
  • 14. Relative clauses can also interrupt a main clause. When this happens, use no punctuation for an essential clause. If the clause is nonessential, separate it with a comma in front and a comma behind. Take a look at these examples: After dripping mustard all over his chest, the man Ø who was wearing a red shirt Ø wished that he had instead chosen ketchup for his hotdog. After dripping mustard all over his chest, Charles, who was wearing a red shirt, wished that he had instead chosen ketchup for his hotdog.
  • 15. . Use subordination to combine ideas effectively. Writers use subordination to combine two ideas in a single sentence. Read these two simple sentences: Rhonda gasped. A six-foot snake slithered across the sidewalk. Since the two simple sentences are related, you can combine them to express the action more effectively: Rhonda gasped when a six-foot snake slithered across the sidewalk.
  • 16. If the two ideas have unequal importance, save the most important one for the end of the sentence so that your reader remembers it best. If we rewrite the example above so that the two ideas are flipped, the wrong point gets emphasized: When a six-foot snake slithered across the side walk, Rhonda gasped. A reader is less concerned with Rhonda's reaction than the presence of a giant snake on the sidewalk!
  • 17.  Examples:  Here is the door. It is close. Probably it is locked. Paul usually locks the door. He is very careful. He puts the key under the doormat. Perhaps it is there now. I will look. I hope it is. This composition will sound better if related sentences are joined together. Look- Here is the door, but it is closed. Probably it is locked, for Paul usually locks the door. He is very careful, and he puts the key under the doormat.
  • 18.  He has many friends. He is a gloomy person. This two sentences can be joined together, but remember to use an appropriate conjunction or connector.  He has many friends, and he is a gloomy person. (this may be grammatically correct, but it may sound ridiculous)  He has many friends, but he is a gloomy person. (compound sentence using the conjunction but to show contrast)  Although he is a gloom y person, he has many friends. (complex sentence)
  • 19.  We place one idea rather than another in the main clause, depending upon how we wish the sentence to be read.  Remember these guidelines:  1.Do not place the principal thought in a subordinate position. Wrong: We read the headlines, a feeling of utter despair overwhelming us. Right: As we read the headlines, a feeling of utter despair overwhelmed us.
  • 20.  2. Do not nullify subordination by inserting a coordinating conjunction. Wrong: I want several new books, but which are too expensive for me to buy. Right: I want several new books which are too expensive for me to buy.
  • 21.  3. Do not use the wrong subordinating connective. Wrong: Because he speaks softly is no proof that he is kind. Right: That he speaks softly is no proof that he is kind. Or His gentle speech is no proof that he is kind.
  • 22.  4. Use adjectives and adjective phrases. CHOPPY: The limbs were covered with ice. They sparkled in the sunlight. They made a breathtaking sight. BETTER: Sparkling in the sunlight, the ice- covered limbs made a breathtaking sight. [participial phrase and hyphenated adjectival]
  • 23.  5. Use adverbs or adverb phrases. CHOPPY: His face was covered with white dust. So were his clothes. The man looked like a ghost. BETTER: His face and clothes white with dust, the man looked liked a ghost. [first two sentences combined in an absolute phrase]
  • 24.  6. Use appositives and contrasting elements. CHOPPY: These kindness were acts of love . They were noticed. But they were not appreciated. BETTER: These kindnesses - acts of love – were noticed but not appreciated.
  • 25.  7. Use subordinate clauses. Subordinate clauses are linked and related to main clauses by such markers as who, that, when , and if. CHOPPY: The blizzard ended. Then helicopters headed for the mountaintop. It looked dark and forbidding. BETTER: As soon as the blizzard ended, helicopters headed for the mountaintop, which looked dark and forbidding. [adverb clause and adjective clause]
  • 26. Caution: Do not use but or and before which, who, or whom when introducing a single adjective clause, as in “Irene is a music major who can play several instruments [NOT and who]”.
  • 27. THANK YOU!