Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Movement with Subordination

In a previous post that explained the difference between subordinating and coordinating conjunctions, I mentioned that there are different types of dependent clauses that are attached to independent clauses with subordinating conjunctions; I also mentioned that these clauses deserved their own post. So here it is -

The types of dependent clauses include: nominal, adverbial and adjectival clauses.
(Blogger didn't like the program I created this chart in so I had to copy it as a screen print)


Semantically, nominal clauses answer the question "what?", and adverbial clauses answer the questions "how, when, where or why?". Adjectival clauses also answer the question "what?", but they require the movement of the preceding noun phrase along with the subordinating conjunction to answer the question.

As with determining whether a conjunction is subordinating or coordinating, the method of determining whether a dependent clause is nominal, adverbial or adjectival involves movement. Try moving the subordinating conjunction and the dependent clause to the front of the independent clause. Depending on how the clause moves, you will be able to determine the clause type. When I say "how the clause moves", I mean, does it require any additional words to form a grammatical sentence.

Adverbial clauses are the easiest to move in a sentence because they require no extra words to help them move.

Before movement: I haven't been back to Ipanema since I was a kid.
After movement: Since I was a kid, I haven't been back to Ipanema.

Nominal clauses require the addition of a "'to be' what" phrase (is what or are what).

Before movement: We were told that we couldn't cross the street without looking both ways.
After movement: That we couldn't cross the street without looking both ways is what we were told.

Adjectival clauses require the addition of a "'to be' what" phrase and require the noun phrase that precedes the subordinating conjunction to move with the subordinating conjunction and the dependent clause.

Before movement: I remember the ocean that smelled so salty.
After movement: The ocean that smelled so salty is what I remember.

Now, for the fun of it, let's take another look at the first sentence in this post:

In a previous post that explained the difference between subordinating and coordinating conjunctions, I mentioned that there are different types of dependent clauses that are attached to independent clauses with subordinating conjunctions (that there are different types of dependent clauses...is what I mentioned. NOMINAL) (different types of dependent clauses that are attached to independent clauses...is what there are. ADJECTIVAL).


2 comments:

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