What is the Difference between Subordinate and Coordinate Clause

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Apr 14, 2016 · 2 min read

Clause is a group of words that are related and it comprises a subject and a verb. Here, subject tells about the sentence, whereas the verb shows what the subject is doing. However, the clause is quite different from a phrase as it does not have a subject or a verb.

A subordinate clause is also referred as a dependent clause and it cannot stand alone as it does not express a complete meaning. However, a subordinate clause comprises a subject and a verb.

Examples of Subordinate Clause:

She has got a nice birthday gift which is quite unique.
I am always ready to learn though I am very moody.

Here, ‘which is quite unique’ and ‘though I am very moody’ are subordinate clauses and they do not give a complete meaning. However, subordinate clause can act as adverb, adjective and noun.

The Adverbial Clause: The subordinate clause acts as an adverb in some sentences and then it is referred as an adverbial clause.

Example: I tried hard to make clay pots until the Sun went down.
Here, ‘until the Sun went down’ is the adverbial clause.

The Adjective Clause: When the subordinate clause acts as an adjective in a sentence, it is referred as an Adjective Clause.

Example: The food that got spoiled was not cooked properly.
Here, ‘that got spoiled’ refers to the food, the subject of the sentence.

The Noun Clause: When the subordinate clause acts as a noun, it is referred as a noun clause.

Example: Whoever is not going to the vacation will definitely miss something.
Here, ‘Whoever is not going to the vacation’ acts as a subject and it is a noun clause.
On the other hand, coordinate clauses are joined by the coordinating conjunctions such as and, nor, for, or, but, yet and so.
Example: I like to have ice creams during the winter, but I hate chocolates.

The cricket match has been postponed so we have more time for practice.
Here, the first part and the last part are the independent clauses and these two are joined by using a coordinating conjunction-‘So’.

More examples:
I want to practice Math sample question papers for my betterment. Here, the coordinating conjunction ‘for’ is used to join two clauses.
I am planning to go for a vacation so I went for shopping.