Subordination and Coordination: Definition and Examples

Marcus Froland

Understanding the nuances of subordination in writing and coordination in grammar is vital for creating compelling and sophisticated sentence structures. With the effective use of conjunctions, both aspects play a significant role in producing compound sentences and complex sentences. In this article, you will explore various aspects of subordination and coordination to help you enhance your writing abilities and create a clearer and more engaging narrative.

Understanding the Basics of Subordination and Coordination in Writing

Coordination and subordination are essential tools for constructing sentences that accurately convey the writer’s intention. By employing these techniques, authors can create a balance between emphasizing specific points and clearly connecting related thoughts. Let’s dive deeper into identifying and understanding these sentence-building concepts.

Defining Coordination: Equal Weight to Ideas

Coordination in writing serves to join two related ideas, giving them equal weight and importance. By using conjunctions or transitional phrases, coordination connects two independent clauses, each capable of standing alone as a separate sentence. Authors can achieve this using conjunctions such as the FANBOYS (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So) or transitional phrases like after all, even so, and in addition. Coordinated sentences effectively showcase the relatedness of ideas while maintaining the essence of each individual thought.

Defining Subordination: Emphasizing One Idea Over Another

Subordination, on the other hand, arranges ideas within a sentence to emphasize one over another, indicating that the subordinate clause or idea holds lesser importance. This technique involves merging a dependent clause with an independent clause and employing subordinating conjunctions or relative pronouns like since, while, or that. Subordination underscores the primary concept by placing it above a secondary detail, forming a complex sentence that reflects a hierarchy of ideas.

Identifying Coordination and Subordination in Your Writing

To identify coordination and subordination in your writing, pay close attention to the conjunctions and sentence structure. Coordination typically uses coordinating conjunctions like and, but, or so to link sentences of equal importance. Conversely, subordination employs subordinating conjunctions such as although, because, and since to indicate a main clause’s dominance over a dependent clause. By understanding these structures, you can enhance the sophistication and variety of your writing, ultimately improving the overall quality.

“Subordination and coordination are two sides of the same coin: they both serve to connect ideas within a sentence but do so in distinct ways. Coordination creates a balance between ideas, while subordination creates a hierarchy of importance.”

To further illustrate the differences and application of these concepts, consider the following examples:

  • Coordinated sentence: I love going to the beach, and I enjoy sunbathing.
  • Subordinated sentence: Although I love going to the beach, I prefer going in the early morning to avoid the intense afternoon heat.

The coordinated sentence gives equal importance to both actions, while the subordinated sentence emphasizes the preference for going in the early morning, with the love for the beach taking a secondary role.

In conclusion

, mastering the art of coordination and subordination in writing allows you to create a harmonious balance of ideas within your text. Employing these grammatical concepts effectively will improve the readability of your writing and help convey a greater depth of meaning to your audience.

Enhancing Sentence Variety with Coordination

Creating an engaging and lively piece of writing often requires the use of coordination. By implementing coordination techniques and using conjunctions, writers can maintain the separate but related nature of independent clauses. This ultimately contributes to improving sentence flow and crafting a well-rounded narrative.

Among the many coordination methods available, writers may consider using semicolons followed by conjunctive adverbs or transitional phrases to link sentences. This approach allows sentences to flow more naturally and enhances sentence variety. To further illustrate, consider the following coordination approaches:

  1. Connecting independent clauses with coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS)
  2. Linking related thoughts using a semicolon followed by a conjunctive adverb
  3. Employing transitional phrases to create a smooth connection between sentences

Let’s explore these options with practical examples:

She loved visiting the art museum, and she spent hours admiring the paintings.

He wanted to become a professional athlete; however, his injuries kept him from achieving his dream.

She excels in mathematics. In addition, she has also developed a passion for writing poetry.

These examples demonstrate how coordinating conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, and transitional phrases can be used to create distinct, yet connected sentences. This variety keeps readers engaged while simultaneously guiding them through your text seamlessly.

Coordination Technique Description Example
Coordinating Conjunctions (FANBOYS) Join independent clauses with equal importance She loved visiting the art museum, and she spent hours admiring the paintings.
Semicolon + Conjunctive Adverb Link related ideas using a semicolon, followed by an adverb He wanted to become a professional athlete; however, his injuries kept him from achieving his dream.
Transitional Phrases Connect sentences with phrases that indicate the relationship between them She excels in mathematics. In addition, she has also developed a passion for writing poetry.

Implementing a variety of coordination techniques can significantly improve the flow and overall impact of your writing. By combining sentences in different ways, you’ll engage your readers and provide an enjoyable reading experience.

Expressing Complex Relationships Through Subordination

Subordination is an essential writing technique that allows authors to express complex relationships between ideas by constructing subordinate clauses. This method helps create engaging content using complex sentences and enhances clarity while placing an emphasis on specific concepts.

How to Construct a Subordinate Clause

To construct a subordinate clause, start by selecting a subordinating conjunction, such as “although” or “because.” This conjunction will determine the type of relationship between the dependent clause and the independent clause. Next, compose a dependent clause that relies on the main clause for its full meaning. The combination of the dependent clause and the independent clause will form a complex sentence, effectively expressing a nuanced relationship between ideas.

The Role of Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions, including “while,” “if,” and “since,” play a critical role in creating complex sentences. They connect dependent clauses to the main, independent clause, clearly establishing a hierarchy between the two ideas. By utilizing subordinating conjunctions, writers can emphasize a key idea while providing context or conditions relevant to the focal point.

The following table displays common subordinating conjunctions and their potential effects in complex sentence structures:

Subordinating Conjunction Effect
Although Contrast
Because Cause and effect
Since Time or reason
While Simultaneous events or contrast
If Condition or possibility

Creating Emphasis and Clarity with Subordination

Through effective subordinate clause positioning, writers can create emphasis on specific ideas and contribute to overall writing clarity. Placing a subordinate clause before the main clause in a sentence emphasizes the information presented in the dependent clause. To enhance readability, a comma is often used to separate the two clauses.

Subordination can also help rearrange ideas for logical or dramatic effect. Depending on the desired outcome, a writer may choose to use or omit commas between clauses. Experimenting with subordinate clause positioning can ultimately contribute to more engaging and dynamic writing.

“His smile widened because he knew the truth.”

In the example above, the subordinating conjunction “because” introduces the dependent clause and creates emphasis on the main clause, “His smile widened.” This emphasis reinforces the connection between the wider smile and the known truth, engaging the reader and communicating a complex relationship between ideas.

Combining Ideas: How to Use Coordination Effectively

Coordination is a writing technique that unifies independent clauses into a single sentence, giving equal importance to multiple ideas. To effectively combine ideas using coordination, writers can use the FANBOYS conjunctions (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So). This approach simplifies complex relationships, ensuring that each idea retains its separate identity. In this section, we’ll examine the FANBOYS conjunctions and provide examples of how they help construct coordinated compound sentences.

Coordination with FANBOYS: Examples for Each Conjunction

  1. For – explains the reason or cause:

    I decided to take a nap, for I felt sleepy.

  2. And – adds related information:

    Jane went to the library, and she picked up a new book.

  3. Nor – presents a negative alternative to a previous negative statement:

    He doesn’t like chocolate, nor does he like ice cream.

  4. But – shows a contrast:

    I love hiking, but I dislike camping overnight.

  5. Or – indicates a choice or alternative:

    You can either study at home or go to the library.

  6. Yet – introduces an unexpected result or contrast:

    He works long hours, yet he still finds time for his hobbies.

  7. So – introduces a consequence or result:

    I was tired from work, so I decided to take a nap.

To further demonstrate the use of FANBOYS conjunctions in linking ideas, let’s look at a table comparing each conjunction with its function and an example:

Conjunction Function Example
For Reason/Cause She felt sick, for she had eaten too much.
And Addition He collected seashells, and he displayed them in his room.
Nor Negative Alternative Jim doesn’t play golf, nor does he watch it on TV.
But Contrast I enjoy painting, but I dislike drawing.
Or Choice/Alternative Take the bus or walk to the store.
Yet Unexpected Result/Contrast She forgot her keys, yet she managed to open the door.
So Consequence/Result He studied hard, so he aced the exam.

By carefully selecting the appropriate FANBOYS conjunction to coordinate compound sentences, writers can effectively link ideas and create engaging, well-structured prose that resonates with readers.

Mastering Punctuation for Subordination and Coordination

Understanding the nuances of punctuation is crucial for effectively incorporating subordination and coordination into your writing. Generally, commas play a significant role in complex sentences, helping clarify relationships between ideas and maintaining readability.

It’s essential to recognize when to use commas in complex sentences. As a rule of thumb, when a subordinate clause precedes the main clause, include a comma. However, if the main clause comes first, there’s usually no need for a comma. Understand these conventions, as they can help emphasize your intended meaning and the relationships between ideas in your writing.

Differentiating between coordinating and subordinating punctuation ensures the accurate construction of sentences. Coordinating punctuation typically involves the use of a comma before a coordinating conjunction that joins independent clauses or a semicolon before a conjunctive adverb. In contrast, subordinating punctuation often requires the use of commas only when the dependent clause is at the beginning of the sentence. Knowing these distinctions enables you to achieve grammatical accuracy and convey your intended message effectively.