Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Subordinate My Clause, Santa
Subordinate Me, Santa Claus
Subordinate clauses are baby clauses that can’t stand all by themselves as complete thoughts and they demand a certain kind of punctuation – or lack of punctuation.
Here are examples:
If I can find Santa, then we can go party.
We can go party if Santa ever freaking shows up.
So, in both of those sentences there is a clause can’t stand alone as a complete thought:
If I can find Santa
If Santa ever freaking shows up.
A subordinate clause or supporting clause is basically a clause that’s supporting the show-stopping regular clause, right? These clauses do not get a comma before them if they are at the end of the sentence.
HOW TO DEAL
There are words that always lead off these clauses. What I do is go back and do a find/replace in my work (or client’s work) when I’m copyediting.
Helpful hint for writers: If you include the comma in the find/replace search, it makes it so much easier.
Those words are…
After, although, as, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order that, once, provided that, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, whether, while, why, for, therefore, hence, consequently, and due to.
And these relative pronouns that make the world of the clause even trickier. They are part of relative clauses but then these overachievers? Well, they are part of a subculture called restrictive or nonrestrictive clauses.
These are the relative pronouns
that, which, who, whom, whichever, whoever, whomever, and whose.
Are you Restrictive or Nonrestrictive Mr. Clause?
These pronouns start either restrictive clauses or nonrestrictive clauses. Restrictive clauses also like to be called essential clauses because they are alpha like that, but also because they are – you guessed it – essential to the sentence meaning and shouldn’t be separated by a comma
Do you enjoy watching Santa Claus employ lots of elves that wear sexy sweaters?
No comma before that because the sentence needs to know the qualifier for its meaning.
But in a nonrestrictive clause? Well, you don’t have that happen. Here’s an example:
Watching Santa, who employs a lot of elves wearing sexy sweaters, is pretty freaking awesome.
WRITING TIP OF THE POD
Subordinate the proper things.
DOG TIP FOR LIFE
It’s not about domination. It’s about understanding restrictions.
And there you go. Grammar Moment with Dogs are Smarter Than People. Happy Holidays!
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
WHERE TO FIND US
LEARN WITH ME AT THE WRITING BARN!
The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here!
“Carrie’s feedback is specific, insightful and extremely helpful. She is truly invested in helping each of us move forward to make our manuscripts the best they can be.”
“Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching.”
IN THE WOODS – READ AN EXCERPT, ORDER NOW!
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
PATREON OF AWESOME
Get exclusive content, early podcasts, videos, art and listen (or read) never-to-be-officially published writings of Carrie on her Patreon. Levels go from $1 to $100 (That one includes writing coaching and editing for you wealthy peeps).
WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.
Brought to you by Carrie Jones and Shaun Farrar of Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation