English is an immersive language. There are many grammatical rules to follow to become an effective writer and a coherent speaker. One such important part of speech is the conjunction. A conjunction joins phrases, clauses, and other parts of a sentence.
Conjunctions are of three types – correlative, coordinating, and subordinating. Among these, the correlative conjunctions are always used in pairs. They usually relate two different possibilities in a sentence.
Coordinating vs Subordinating Conjunction
The main difference between coordinating and subordinating conjunction is that a coordinating junction joins two grammatically equivalent clauses, whereas a subordinating conjunction joins an independent and a dependent clause.
Coordinating conjunctions join phrases and clauses that are mutually independent of each other. Examples of the coordinating conjunctions are – and, yet, and but.
Subordinating conjunctions join one independent and other dependent phrase or clause. Some examples of subordinating conjunction are – although and because.
Comparison Table Between Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunction (in Tabular Form)
|Parameter Of Comparison||Coordinating Conjunction||Subordinating Conjunction|
|Definition||Coordinating conjunctions are used to join two equivalent clauses or words.||Subordinating conjunctions are used to join two clauses or words that are not grammatically equivalent.|
|Type of Sentence||Coordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence, to make it a compound one.||Subordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence, to make it a complex one.|
|Identity of Joint Clauses||The clauses are capable of independent existence.||The main clause is capable of independent existence, while the subordinate clause is not.|
|Position within the Sentence||Coordinating conjunctions are generally placed between the clauses they join.||Subordinating conjunctions are generally placed at the beginning of the subordinate clause.|
|Examples||Examples of coordinating conjunctions are and, or, but and yet.||Examples of subordinating conjunctions are because, although and unless.|
What is Coordinating Conjunction?
A coordinating conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses that are syntactically and equivalent. So, there exists only a main clause and no dependent clause. When we join two clauses using a coordinating conjunction, a compound sentence is formed. These conjunctions can be placed in between the clauses or at the beginning of a sentence.
The general structure of the sentence is :
Main Clause + coordinating conjunction + Main clause
Coordinating conjunctions are seven in number. These are – and, or, nor, for, yet, but and so.
- Robert and Davis are heading towards the market.
- You can download the form from the site or fetch it from a kiosk.
- I am driving fast, but I don’t think that I will be able to reach on time.
- He was an enemy, yet I gave him water when he was dying.
However, one should keep the following rules in mind while using a coordinating conjunction :
- Do not use a comma between the words joined using the coordinating conjunction.
- Remember to use a comma to separate independent clauses in the sentence.
What is Subordinating Conjunction?
A subordinating conjunction joins words, phrases, or clauses that are not grammatically equivalent. One of them is a main clause, and the other is a dependent or subordinate clause. The subordinating conjunction is placed before the subordinate clause and the sentence so formed is a complex one. The general structure of the sentence is :
Main Clause + subordinating conjunction + Subordinate clause
The different subordinating conjunctions are because, although, since etcetera. Some of these conjunctions provide a reason for an action, while others tell about the contrasting nature of a situation.
- I didn’t go to the mall because my parents were visiting my house.
- Although I made the cake, I have no interest in eating it.
- Jack said that he wouldn’t attend the function unless Harry apologizes.
The following are some important rules to remember while using a subordinating conjunction :
- The main clause should provide a meaningful reference to the subordinate clause.
- A comma should be used after the subordinate clause if it appears at the beginning of a sentence.
Main Differences Between Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunction
Conjunctions are vital components of a meaningful sentence. Without them, a sentence appears incomplete.
A common avoidable mistake is the interchange of coordinating and subordinating conjunctions in a sentence. The main differences between the two are
- A coordinating conjunction joins syntactically equivalent parts of a sentence, whereas a subordinating conjunction joins syntactically different parts of a sentence.
- A coordinating conjunction appears in a compound sentence, whereas a subordinating conjunction appears in a complex sentence.
- A coordinating conjunction links two independent clauses. On the other hand, a subordinating conjunction joins an independent and a dependent clause.
- A coordinating conjunction is generally placed in between the clauses, whereas a subordinating conjunction is placed before the dependent clause.
- A sentence that uses a coordinating conjunction is easy to comprehend. On the other hand, a sentence that uses a subordinating conjunction can be hard to understand if appropriate punctuation is not used.
A conjunction makes a sentence meaningful and coherent. Remove it, and you will encounter scattered words that render little meaning alone. The conjunctions are classified as correlative, coordinating, and subordinating. Each has a different function and dominates the type of the sentence. Coordinating conjunctions join independent clauses. Subordinating conjunctions join independent and dependent clauses.
Also, correlative conjunctions use a pair of conjunctions in a sentence. Examples of correlative conjunctions are – either… or, neither…. nor etcetera.
There are certain rules associated with the usage of conjunctions. These should be kept in mind to use them effectively in a sentence.
There are many conjunctions that confuse students in the initial stages of learning. However, a consistent practice can help in grasping the central idea and making less mistakes with the passage of time.