Along with the other characteristics of effective writing, the way
one interprets, writes or reads a sentence depends on logical
organization. To get down to the nitty gritty of these logical
characteristics, let's break the three concepts down with examples
2. Logical Expression of Ideas
Both coordination and
subordination work to combine independent clauses into one
sentence. They use different conjunctions to create relationships
between the different ideas. Most people are great with comparisons
such as these, but I'm including more detail on the different
conjunctions to help you figure out their meaning and relationship.
Also, by understanding the different conjunctions, these can help
you with the sentence completion
parts of the SATs as well. Conjunction words can
act as key words in finding what the blanks may be. Go through the
charts on coordination and subordination to see for
Coordination: combining two equally
Each of the seven coordinating
conjunctions clarifies a specific relationship between equally
||Sharon bought an iron with an automatic shut-off, for she was always forgetting to
||The temperature has fallen rapidly this afternoon, and the roads are beginning to
||Neither his mother nor his father finished college.
Note that in this sentence, the coordinating
conjunction joins equal phrases rather
than equal clauses. Both applications of coordination are
||His car isn't running right now,
but he intends to repair it before weekend.
||We can eat dinner now,
or we can wait and eat after the movie.
||He always arrives late,
yet he expects everyone else to arrive on
||My mom was born in Italy,
so I've always wanted to visit that country.
Subordinating: combines two ideas,
making one idea more important than the other. This makes the less
important of the statements to be subordinate or dependant on the
The list of subordinating
conjunctions is long, but here are some of the more common
|Whenever the afternoon bell rings, a
teeming horde of children rush eagerly out of the school building.
I never knew what love meant until I met you. My uncle always calls
after he watches the news.
|I know a place where blackberries grow
wild all along the roadside.
Wherever you can find an empty spot, just
drop your luggage there.
|Cause / Effect
|Since you have to leave early, why
don't you arrive a few days earlier too?
The cat took off in a panic because the
dog started barking and growling.
|If my ticket doesn't arrive today, I
won't be able to fly out tomorrow.
He won't listen to you unless you make him
turn off the radio and look at you.
|Although I have called repeatedly, the
credit card company has not corrected my account.
He still brings her roses even though he
knows she is allergic to them.
- Harry grew more vegetables than his
- Correct: Harry grew more vegetables than his
The comparison is being made
between Harry and his neighbour, not Harry and his neighbour's
garden. To make this a logical comparison, the garden part of the
sentence must be removed. In thinking of other logical comparison,
think about the purpose of the sentence. If you think that the
comparison should be made between the two gardens, then the
sentence should appear as something like "Harry's garden grew more
vegetables than his neighbour's."
Modification and Word
- Singing triumphantly, the leaves crunched
under her feet as she walked.
- Correct: Singing triumphantly, she walked as
the leaves crunched under her feet.
We want to logically show the
relationship between what is happening in the sentence and who or
what the sentence is about. There may be some confusion as to what
was "singing triumphantly". As the sentence appears in it's first
form, it is possible for the reader to think that the leaves are
the ones singing. What needs to be done, is a modification of the
subject of the sentence leading the other details. So, the switch
in the word order makes the sentence a lot
With these tips
and refreshers on grammatical cues, you can develop your writing
skills. This will help you with your sentence completion questions, as
well as your abilities when approaching the essay section on the SATs.
OwLet. Combining Sentences through
Coordination and Subordination.
Fox, Steven, Isreal, Elaine,
O'Callaghan, Robin. The Official SAT
Study Guide. Pg, 101 "About the Writing Section".