Subordinating Style

 Create a sentence with several sections.

PDF: Subordinate Sentences

All the sections – or clauses – must be organized so readers can tell how they are are related.

The sections can be related in three ways:
1. how something causes something else;
2. how something happens before or after something else;
3. how something is more important than something else.

Create your own sentence using the subordinating style!

A. The sun shone.
1. Show something that causes something else:  The sun shone, bringing smiles to the faces of the winter-weary students.
2. Show something that happened earlier: After months of cold cloudy weather, the sun shone, bringing smiles to the faces of the winter-weary students.
3. Show something that happens afterwards: After months of cold cloudy weather, the sun shone, bringing smiles to the faces of the winter-weary students who rushed outdoors after school.

B. The cat fell asleep.
1. Show something that happens before something else: The cat – after running through the house, up and down the stairs and in and out of all the rooms – fell asleep.
2. Show something that happens before something else: The cat – after running through the house, up and down the stairs and in and out of all the rooms – curled up in a soft chair and fell asleep.
3. Show something that causes something else: The cat – after running through the house, up and down the stairs and in and out of all the rooms, waking up everyone still asleep in bed – curled up in a soft chair and fell asleep.

C. He read the book.
1. Show something is more important than something else: He read the book, ignoring his sister who wanted him to go outside and play basketball with her.
2. Show something that happened before something else: As soon as he got home, he read the book, ignoring his sister who wanted him to go outside and play basketball with her.
3. Show something that happened before something else: As soon as he got home, he read the book, ignoring his sister who wanted him – who always wanted him  – to go outside and play basketball with her.

 

Examples by Students

As the stranger approached the door, the dog barked, waking up everyone in the house. (Brenna)

After being drafted for the team, after weeks of practices, after a hard fought game, I won the soccer tournament. (Michael)

After I qualified for the show, after I groomed my horse, after I flew over the last jump, I won! (Kia)

Bored from listening to the lecture, he twirled his pencil, accidentally flinging it across the room, hitting another student in the back of her head. (Breanne)

After buying new running shoes, after intense training, after weeks of eating healthily, I won the race! (Dana)

After the refreshing shower, he ate breakfast while talking to his friend – the one who always played basketball with him – on the phone. (Agnes)

When I crashed into the wall, the painting – the very expensive painting – fell down, breaking the frame and shattering the glass. (Keeva)

After I accidentally agitated my best friend, I ran. (Aria)

After training hard, after playing my best, after scoring the last goal, I won! (Larissa)


To learn more, read How to Write a Sentence by Stanley Fish (HarperCollins, 2011).

[This page may be copied for use with students if the following credit is provided: ©2013 Sophie Rosen.]

 

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