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Punctuation
Professor Stevens, English 28


 

Lesson 1: Subordinators

WARNING: Do not go beyond this punctuation section until you have accomplished the following: Memorize all the subordinators listed below, all FORTY of them alphabetically, A-W.

 

What are subordinators?

1.     Connects two sentences: John ran away when he did When, a subordinator, creates a complex sentence; a complex sentence uses a subordinator as the connector between two sentences.

2.     Front—COMMA-YES: When the subordinator begins (front) the sentence, a comma is NEEDED after the subordinate clause:
          Unless it is too late, we can go to the show.

3.     Middle—COMMA-NO: When the subordinator is in the middle of the two sentences, do not use a comma:
          Parents want to help their kids although they are too busy to do it often.

4.     Subordinators create fragments when second subject and verb are not present: Although the world is round.  The clause, "Although the world," is a fragment. To correct this fragment just remove the fragment maker "although:" The world is round. 

 

WARNING: Do not go beyond this punctuation section until you have accomplished the following: Memorize all the subordinators listed below, all FORTY of them in order alphabetically. 

 

 

SUBORDINATORS (Memorization  List 36 OR  Min. of those in RED)

 

Subordinating Connectors Alphabetically: OR Download complete list of 50

 

after

once

when & whenever

although

provided

what

as

since

whatever

as if

if only

whereas

as long as

in order that

where

as though

rather than

whether

because

than

which

before

that

while

even if

though

who

even though

till

whoever

how

unless

who

if

until

whom

 

 

 


Relative Pronouns used as Subordinators

 

which

what

whoever

who

that

whatever

 whomever

whose

 

 

 

whom

        

Relative Pronoun as Subordinators can be used as the subject connector within the subordinate clause.   

1. Jim is my friend who travels with us.—who acts as the subordinator and the subject. Larry wants to be with them who is a friend of mine.  Who is the subordinator and who is the subject (a relative pronoun) of the subordinate clause, who is a friend of mine? 

2. Subordinate clauses can also act as subjects.  What everyone wants to do is arrive on time. Subject = What everyone wants to do--with the verb =  is.

 


 

Subordinating Connectors by Usage (44)

Cause or effect

Condition

Comparison

Space or time

as

even if

or contrast

after

because

if

as

as long as

in order that

if only

as if

before

since

provided

as though

now that

unless

since

rather than

once

whereas

than

since

 

when

whenever

till

 

 

whether

until

Concession

 

whether

when

although

 

while

whenever

as if

 

 

where

even if

 

Purpose

wherever

even though

 

in order that

while

though

 

that

 

 

 

 

Source: Fowler HR, Aaron JE. The Little, Brown Handbook., Addison, Wesley, Longman, New York.

 

 


RULES FOR Subordinators

1.     Complex Sentence: Connects two sentences creating a complex sentence: I went although you didn't.  A complex sentence contains two sentences with a connector, a subordinator.

2.     Create fragments when second subject & verb not present . . . although you went = fragment. Delete although to make a sentence.

3.     Front: When the subordinator begins the sentence, a comma is required after the subordinate clause.  Although you went, (comma required) I didn't.

4.     Middle: When the subordinator is in the middle of the two sentences, no comma is required.  I didn't although you went.

 


SAMPLES OF SUBORDINATORS IN MIDDLE AND FRONT OF SENTENCES:

NO COMMA when subordinator is in the middle of two sentences:

No comma is need when the subordinator is in the middle of the complex sentence.

1.     Bobby played in the park until it got dark.

2.     The movie was funnier than I had expected.

COMMA REQUIRED when subordinator begins a complex sentence or is in front:

Sometimes a subordinating conjunction comes at the beginning of a sentence, and the comma is required after the subordinate clause, which is underlined.

1.     Since we are here, we should rehearse.

2.     After Margaret had lunchshe took a nap.

 

50 Subordinators: EVERY DARN ONE OF THEM:

 

Online Exam:

Subordinator Exam (100)

 

 

 

Lesson 2: Coordinators

 A compound sentence is made up of two or more independent SENTENCES joined by a coordinating conjunction (here referred as "coordinator)—and, or, nor, but, yet, for plus a comma.  The independent clauses must be simple sentences. The Coordinators—and, but, or, nor, yet, so, for--do the following:

  1. Connects two sentencesJohn slipped on the puddle, and his girlfriend slipped too.  The connector is not and; it is the "comma plus and."  The connector is NOT, and it is NOT the comma; it is the comma + the coordinator.
  2. Coordinators connect two sentences, and are equal in importance.  These type of sentences are called compound
  3. Coordinators can also connect words and phrases, such as "Mary and John"  "making money and spending it" (see below).

 

Simplify put: coordinators connect TWO SENTENCES.

Coordinators; Separates the parts of a compound sentence connected by a coordinator plus comma

1.     A difference exists between the musical works of Handel and Haydn, and it is a difference worth noting.

2.     I heard what you said, and I am furious.

3.     I got out of the car, and I walked and walked.

 

 

Coordinators:  Connect Two or More Items—a Series.


A coordinator also connects two-or-more-words or two-or-more-groups of words that are used in the same way—that is, they are the same part of speech or they are grammatically alike. The coordinators are and, but, or, nor, yet, so and for that can connect words or groups of words that all are all similar in usage.

 

We are going to play cards or dominos.

We're going to be Superman and Batman this Halloween.

Series--Separates and or from the final item in a series of three or more (optional):

  1.  Red, yellow (,) and blue may be mixed to produce all colors.
    (,) = comma is optional

Series--Separates two or more adjectives modifying the same noun if and could be used between them without altering the meaning.

  1. He moved the solid, heavy desk.
  2. They walked down the long, dark road.

 

Final Word on Commas

Use a comma to separate a series in a series (three or more things), including the last two. "He hit the ball, dropped the bat, and ran to first base." You may have learned that the comma before the "and" is unnecessary, which is fine if you're in control of things. However, there are situations when, if you don't use this comma (especially when the list is complex or lengthy), these last two items in the list will try to glom together (like macaroni and cheese). Using a comma between all the items in a series, including the last two, avoids this problem. This last comma—the one between the word "and" and the preceding word—often called the serial comma or the Oxford comma. In newspaper writing, incidentally, you will seldom find a serial comma, but that is not necessarily a sign that it should be omitted in academic prose.

Use a comma + a little coordinator (and, but, for, nor, yet, or, so) to connect two sentences, as in "He hit the ball well, but he ran toward third base."  Contending that the coordinator is adequate separation, some writers will leave out the comma in a sentence with short, balanced independent clauses (such as we see in the example just given). However, in this course it will be required that you use a "comma + coordinator" to connect two sentences; hence, use the comma + coordinator when connecting two sentences.

One of the most frequent errors in comma usage is the placement of a comma after a coordinator. Do not use a comma after a coordinator; there is rarely a good reason to put a comma after a coordinator.

Use a comma to set off introductory elements, as in "Running toward third base, he suddenly realized how stupid he looked." 

 

 

Online Exam:

S, CX, C (33)

 

 

Lesson 3: Transitions

 

           Transitional words (also called conjunctive adverbs) listed below do not do anything except introduce or take you from one part of a sentence to another.  The transitional words in the examples below do not connect anything.  #1 red below introduces the second sentence.  #2 red below used as a transition word to take the reader from one part of the sentence to the next.  Number 3 red below introduces a sentence as the first word of the sentence. 

Consequently, if the transitional word is NOT a coordinator + comma or subordinator, it is a NOTHING WORD.  The connector in item #2 is the semicolon (;).   Transitional words or conjunctive adverbs are NOT CONNECTORS.  They are NOTHING WORDS unless a semicolon accompanies them.  These words cannot connect two sentences.  These words DO NOT punctuate. On the other hand,  they can be used properly three ways:

  1. To introduce a sentence:  Consequently, I will be late to the meeting.  Here "consequently" is used as an introductory word to begin the sentence.
  2. To move from one part of a compound sentence to another, simply put to connect two sentences with a semicolon: I have finished my assignment; therefore, I will relax in the park.  Used to connect two sentences.  The semicolon connects the two sentences, not "therefore."
  3. Transitional words can introduce a sentence.  Therefore, I did not agree with the analysis.

Transition words and phrases help establish clear connections between ideas and ensure that sentences and paragraphs flow together smoothly, making them easier to read. Use the following words and phrases in the following circumstances.

Semicolon Connects the sentences of a compound sentence having no connector between its sentences:

Relaxation techniques have improved; people want to find out about them.
Connector = ;

Semicolon Connects sentences of a compound sentence using a semicolon with a transitional word, such as however, nonetheless, or hence:

We insisted upon a chairman; however, the members of the committee refused.
Interest rates rose last year; therefore, real estate prices took a downward plunge.

Connector = ; (however ---  Introduces the second sentence: therefore, real estate . . .

 

Alphabetically  (a few) Transitional Words

additionally

in addition

admittedly

afterwards

also

as well

assuredly

at first

at this level

basically

before long

besides that

certainly

clearly

consequently

finally

first…second…third

following this further

furthermore

generally

generally speaking granted

hence

however

in conclusion

in final

consideration in general

in other words

in the final analysis

in the first place

in the light of the

in the meantime

in the same way

in this situation

indeed

it is easy to see that

just in the same way

lastly

later

meanwhile

moreover

nevertheless

next

no doubt

nobody denies

obviously

of course

to be sure

on the contrary

on the other hand

point in fact

pursuing this further

second

similarly

soon

specifically

then

third

to be sure

true

undoubtedly

unquestionably

 

By Usage: Transitional Words

To indicate more information:

Also
Besides
Furthermore
further
In addition
incidentally
Indeed
In fact
Moreover
Second...Third..., etc.

To indicate an example:

For example
For instance
In particular
Particularly
Specifically
To demonstrate
To illustrate

To indicate time:

Currently
Eventually
Finally
First . . . Second . . . etc.
Former
Immediately
Initially
Lastly
Later
Meanwhile
Next
Previously
Simultaneously
Soon
Subsequently
thereafter
then

To indicate a cause or an effect:

Accordingly
As a result
Consequently
Due to
Finally
For the reason that
Hence
similarly
Therefore
Thus

To indicate a purpose or reason why:

For fear that
In the hope that
In order to
With this in mind

To indicate emphasis:

certainly
indeed
in fact
undoubtedly

To compare or contrast:

However
In comparison
In contrast
Likewise
Nevertheless
nonetheless
On the other hand
Similarly
otherwise

To conclude or summarize:

Given these facts
Hence
In conclusion
Therefore
Thus
To conclude
Briefly
Overall
Summing up

Source: Fowler HR, Aaron JE. The Little, Brown Handbook., Addison, Wesley, Longman, New York.

 

Lesson 4:
5
Ways to Connect Sentences