Subordination and Coordination Subordination Grammatically, subordination refers to the joining of a dependent or subordinate clause to an independent clause. Since a subordinate grammatical structure cannot stand alone, we need to attach it to a main or independent clause to make it meaningful. In fact, subordinate clauses are so called because they begin with subordinating conjunctions. A subordinating conjunction specifies the relationship between a dependent clause and an independent clause. Examples of subordinating conjunctions include: 1. because (cause) 2. although, even though (concession) 3. if, unless (condition) 4. so that (effect) 5. before, after (sequence) 6. when (time) Importance of subordinating conjunctions: By employing subordinating conjunctions, we are able to combine short sentences and show how they are related. Example: Classes were canceled on Friday. We could not meet. Revised: Because classes were canceled on Friday, we could not meet. Note: If the subjects of the two clauses are the same, the dependent clause can often be shortened. Example: After we ate our breakfast, we headed back to the construction site. Revised: After eating our breakfast, we headed back to the construction site. Coordination Grammatically, coordination refers to the joining of structures that have the same rank or form. The grammatical elements may be two words that are both adjectives, two phrases that are both prepositional, or two clauses that are both dependent or independent. Examples of coordinating conjunctions include: 1. for (cause) 2. and (addition) 3. nor (alternative) 4. but (contrast) 5. or (alternative) 6. yet (contrast) 7. so (result) Importance of coordinating conjunctions: We use coordinating conjunctions to indicate the relationship between coordinate words, phrases, or clauses. Example: The company was losing money, yet the employees suspected nothing. We also use coordination to avoid unnecessary repetition and thus make our sentences more concise. Example: The hike to the top of Angels Landing has countless switchbacks. It also has long drop-offs. Revised: The hike to the top of Angels Landing has countless switchbacks and long drop-offs. Note: Use either a coordinating conjunction or a subordinating conjunction, but not both, to signal connection between clauses. Example: Even though I took some aspirin, but I still have a sore shoulder. Revised: Even though I took some aspirin, I still have a sore shoulder. Because he had a severe headache, so he went to the health center. Revised: Because he had a severe headache, he went to the health center. Source: HHH 311?5.
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