Coordinating vs Subordinating Conjunction
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.
People tend to get confused about the usage of the coordinating and subordinating conjunction. They, mistakenly, consider the two as same.
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.
The 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.
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.
Word Cloud for Difference Between Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunction
The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunction. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.