Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions
Telling coordinating and subordinating conjunctions apart can be tricky. Learn the difference with our drills that teach conjunction use.
Creating simple sentences is a necessary first step your student must take when learning to write. Once they understand it, though, they should learn to write complex and compound sentences. This is accomplished using either coordinating conjunctions or subordinating conjunctions.
A coordinating conjunction joins two independent clauses making a compound sentence. Each of the clauses could stand independently as their own sentence, but joining them together may offer a better narrative flow or just sound better. If you leave both sentences completely intact, you simply put a comma after the first clause, then change the first word of the second clause to one of the coordinating conjunctions:
These are the coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet
Your students should understand how to use coordinating conjunctions to avoid run-on sentences and comma splices
. A comma splice is when two independent clauses are connected using a comma but with no conjunction.
A subordinate conjunction is a type of conjunction that joins two independent clauses by making one of them an dependent clause. The resulting sentence is called a complex sentence. While a dependent clause may contain a noun and a verb, it does not represent a complete thought. Sometimes, it’s the very addition of the subordinate conjunction that makes the clause dependent. When a subordinate conjunction is used without connecting another independent clause, this sentence is considered a sentence fragment.
When using a subordinate conjunction, a comma is not necessary unless the dependent clause comes first in the complex sentence. Your students can practice this using the resources provided above by Education.com.