Subordination: The Creation of the Complex Sentence




There is a type of sentence called the complex sentence.  Creating a complex sentence involves subordination, which involves combining two types of clauses.


Two kinds of clauses: independent clause (IC)

                                                dependent clause (DC)


Reminder: All clauses have a subject and a verb.


                             Another name for an independent clause is a                                     sentence.


                             A dependent clause is a kind of fragment that

                             begins with a subordinating conjunction (or

                             sometimes a relative pronoun).










Examine the following clauses:


                             Because it is raining.

                             When the music stops.

                             If you are serious.


The statements above are incomplete thoughts (fragments) because of the subordinating conjunctions that come in front of the subjects.


How to Fix a Dependent Clause Fragment:


1.      Take away the conjunction. (This makes a sentence – IC).


          EXAMPLE:      It is raining.

                                      The music stops.

                                      You are serious.


2.      Complete the thought.


          A.      Begin with what you have.

                   Add a comma.

                   Complete your thought.


Because it is raining , ________________________________.

When the music stops , _______________________________.

If you are serious , ___________________________________.


          B.      Add words in front of the dependent clause.  DO

                   NOT ADD A COMMA.


___________________________ because it is raining.

___________________________ when the music stops.

___________________________  if you are serious.


You have created a complex sentence made up of two clauses.  The dependent clause is subordinate to the independent clause.






                             DC , IC .    (use comma)


                             IC DC        (no comma)