Key Difference – Coordinate vs Subordinate Clause
Coordinate and subordinate clause are two types of clauses. Coordinate clause is an independent clause while subordinate clause is a dependent clause. This is the key difference between coordinate and subordinate clause. Coordinate clause expresses a complete thought whereas subordinate clause does express a complete thought. Therefore, a subordinate clause has to be combined with another clause to express a complete thought.
What is a Coordinate Clause?
A coordinate clause is one of two or more clauses in a sentence that are of equal importance and usually joined by a coordinating conjunction. Since they are joined by a coordinating clause, the clauses are syntactically independent of each other.
A coordinating conjunction is a word that links two independent clauses to make a compound sentence. There are seven coordinating conjunctions in the English language: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet and So.
I like sandwiches, but my sister likes fish and chips.
“I like sandwiches” and “my sister likes fish and chips” are two independent clauses that are joined by the coordinating conjunction “but”.
Given below are some more example sentences containing coordinate clauses.
You have to study hard or you will fail the exam.
Jane went to school and her mother went to work.
I went to bed early for I had a tiring day.
What is a Subordinate Clause?
A subordinate clause is a clause that begins with a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun and contains both a subject and a verb. This type of clause cannot stand alone and does not express a complete meaning. Additional details are needed to make this meaning complete.
Subordinate conjunction is a word that links a dependent clause to an independent clause. Although, since, after, why, that, until, wherever, so that, etc. are some examples of subordinating clauses.
Given below are some examples of subordinate clauses. Observe how all these start with either a subordinate clause or a relative pronoun.
Until Mr Sanchez returned from Italy
Whenever she saw me
After I finished my studies
As the lights went out
None of the above examples expresses a complete thought; they have to be combined with an independent clause to express a complete thought.
Subordinate clauses can be categorized into three types based on their functions: adjective clause, adverb clause, and noun clause.
Adjective Clause: The boy who won the race received a grand prize.
Adverb Clause: They stayed at the beach until the sun went down.
Noun Clause: We have to find out who opened the gate.
What is the Difference Between Coordinate and Subordinate Clause?
Coordinate vs Subordinate Clause
|A coordinate clause is one of two or more clauses in a sentence that are of equal importance and usually joined by a coordinating conjunction.||A subordinate clause is a clause that begins with a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun and contains both a subject and a verb.|
|A coordinate clause is combined with the other clause by a coordinating conjunction.||A subordinate clause starts with a subordinate conjunction or a relative pronoun.|
|Type of Clause|
|Coordinate clauses are independent clauses.||Subordinate clauses are dependent clauses.|
|Type of Sentences|
|Two subordinate clauses make a compound sentence.||Subordinate clauses typically make a complex sentence.|
|Coordinate clauses express complete thoughts.||Subordinate clauses do not express a complete thought.|
Summary – Coordinate vs Subordinate Clause
The difference between coordinate and subordinate clause mainly lies in their ability to express a complete thought. Coordinate clauses can convey a complete thought; hence, they are independent clauses. Subordinate clauses are unable to convey a complete meaning by themselves; hence, they are known as dependent clauses.
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