Make your own free website on
Language Arts: Mrs. Garcia
Home | LA 8H classroom guidelines | LA 8 Classroom Guidelines
Subordinate Clauses
A phrase is a group of words.
A clause is a group of words that contains both a subject and a verb.

Subordinate Clause:

       Contains both a subject and a verb

       Incomplete thought—cannot stand alone as a sentence

       Connected to the independent clause with a subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun.


Subordinating Conjunctions:

after, although, as, as if, as long as, as soon as, as though, because, before, even though, if, in order that, once, provided that, since, so that, than, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, while


Relative Pronouns:

that, how, what, who, whom, which, whichever, whoever, whomever, whose, whether, why


1)  Adverb Subordinate Clause

       Modifies verbs, adjectives, or adverbs.

       Begins with a subordinating conjunction.

       Location—anywhere, usually before or after independent clause.

       Punctuation Rules: If it opens sentence, use a comma; if inside sentence, a comma is usually unnecessary.


--Because she loves film, her friends buy her movies for her birthday.

--I will lose the case unless I find a reliable witness.

--The concert seemed less than exciting after the main singer left the stage.


2)  Adjective Subordinate Clause

       Modifies nouns or pronouns.

       Begins with a relative pronoun.

       Location—always follows the noun it modifies

       Punctuation Rules: If essential (noun is general), do not use commas; if inessential (noun is specific), use commas.


--The novel that I am reading was banned from publication until 1963.

--Mrs. Garcia, who has taught here for almost nine years, has a three-year-old son.

--The reason why she likes chocolate cannot be determined through logic.


3)  Noun Subordinate Clause

       Functions as a noun.

       Begins with a relative pronoun.

       Punctuation Rules: No comma unless it is an appositive.


--How I attempted to speak Italian when in Italy is a funny story.

--Jessica believes that her best friend has betrayed her.

--The uniform rule, that shoes must be black, is enforced daily.