Subordination in complex sentences. Tani, Mary, Brandon

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1 Subordination in complex sentences Tani, Mary, Brandon

2 What is Subordination? A complex sentence is made up of two clauses, one main (independant) and one subordinate (dependant). Subordination is the use of a subordinating conjunction to make the meaning of one clause dependent on another clause. A subordinate clause will begin with a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun and will have both a subject and a verb.

3 Subordinating Conjunctions The subordinate conjunction serves two purposes, First, writers use it to make clearer and logical necessary transitions between two ideas in the sentence, Secondly, the subordinate conjunction reduces the importance of one clause to show the importance of a clause, which would be the main clause. The less important is introduced by the subordinate clause.

4 Subordinating Conjunctions Contrast or Concession: Although, even though, though, while, whereas Ex: While the snow just kept coming down, it was not accumulating as quickly as you would think. Cause and effect or Reason because, since, so that Ex: Tanya did poorly on her history exam because her best friend Giselle insisted on gossiping during their study session the night before. Condition Time If, once, unless Unless Katherine finishes her precalculus homework, she will have to suffer Ms. Jens wrath in class tomorrow. When, whenever, after, before, as, once, since, while I had committed myself to doing it [killing the elephant] when i sent for the rifle.

5 Punctuation The punctuation, makes the sentence more clear. Commas are used to set off subordinate clauses that open sentences. The comma comes after the conjunction but is at the end of the clause Restrictive clauses do not require commas because of the fact that the dependent clause is necessary.

6 Examples with only subordinate clause: Until Tom has his cereal Until= subordinate conjunction, Tom=subject, has=verb Once Ally got home Once=subordinate conjunction, Ally=subject, got=home Both of these sentences are missing something... So where's the rest?

7 Examples with subordinate clause and main clause: Until Tom has his cereal, he is frustrated and famished. The beginning of the sentence cannot stand alone so the main clause is added to make a clear and logical sentence. Once Ally got home, she finished all her homework and took a nap. The main clause adds clarity to make the rest of the sentence flow.

8 Rhetorical and Stylistic Strategy One strategy is to use subordination to blend short sentences into more graceful longer sentences Ex. It was still August. The air already had the smell of October, football seas yellow-red leaves, everything crisp and clean. Though both complete sentences are easily understood, the relationship between the sentences is temporal. Here s the difference once adding a subordinating conjunction: Ex Though it was still August, the air already had the smell of October, football season, piles of yellow-red leaves, everything crisp and clean. Combining the two sentences results into a longer sentences that is easier to understand.

9 Emphasis In a complex sentence a writer must determine which clause should be independent and which should be dependant. The independent clause should carry the main idea of the sentence, so you want to put the most emphasis on the independent clause. Ex. Although my classmates and I would not have known it at the time, the London publishing house of Metuchen had brought out the year before, in 1951, a little book titled simply West Africa. -Chinua Achebe Although the London publishing house of Metuchen had brought out the year before, in 1951, a little book titled simply West Africa, my classmates and I would not have known it at the time. In the second sentence there is more emphasis on publication of West Africa which is the main event in the sentence, because the publication of the book affected Achebe and her classmates, not vice versa.

10 Placing of Emphasis Placement of the dependant and independant clause also changes the importance and flow of the sentence. Though it was still August, the air already had the smell of October, football season, piles of yellow-red leaves, everything crisp and clean. - Tim O Brien In this sentence O Brien placed the independent clause in the beginning of the sentence giving it emphasis. But if placing the independent clause at the end rather than at the beginning it gets buried, leaving it was still August pointless. Ex. The air already had the smell of October, football season, piles of yellow-red leaves, everything crisp and clean, Though it was still August. But wherever the writer places the subordinate clause is style choice.

11

12 Practice Underline the part that is the main clause, and circle the part that is the subordinate clause. 1. As Brandon blew out the birthday candles atop the cake, he burned the tip of his nose on a stubborn flame. 2. When my mother shows, she will bring the food. 3. Mary begins to sneeze violently whenever he opens the door to greet a fresh spring day. 4. No matter how you look at it, we are in good hands. 5. Unless you have the right size, do not try on the shoe.

13 Practice Continued 6. Even though Tani persevered at the calculus exam, she was only adding another F beside her name in Mrs. Chens grade book 7. Since I don t have money, I will not buy anything. 8. When the doorbell rang, Mary slammed shut her textbook and rose to pay for her pizza. 9. Because I can t wait for the bus, I will walk to school. 10. When the president arrives, he will give a speech.

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