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Subordinate Clause and Relative Pronouns (who, which, that) Subordinate Conjunctions There is a second kind of Subordinate Conjunction that also joins two sentences: For example, take two sentences having a Subject and a Verb: My professor handed me the exam. He is named Dr. Glustrom, You can connect these two sentences to show that there is a relationship between them: My professor, who is named Dr. Glustrom, handed me the exam. Subordinate Conjunctions My professor, who is named Dr. Glustrom, handed me the exam. Notice that the Subordinate Conjunction who is also the Subject of the Subordinate Clause! Who is a Pronoun that takes the place of the second Subject He. Notice also that the Subordinate Clause “who is named Dr. Glustrom” is inserted in the sentence to give you extra information about the Subject of the Main Clause “My professor.” Subordinate Conjunctions There are only three of these Subordinate Conjunctions you need to remember: Who Which That Subordinate Conjunctions Here are the rules you need to know about using commas with this type of Subordinate Clause: It is almost always true that ‘which’ takes a comma and ‘that’ does not. This is because „which‟ interrupts the sentence to give you extra information and „that‟ gives information that is essential to the sentence. “The briefcase, which I use for work, is in the closet.” [Commas!] “The briefcase that I use for work is in the closet.” [No Commas!] Subordinate Conjunctions Notice that when „which‟ (and sometime „who‟) is in the middle of the sentence, there are commas both before and after the interruption. For example: “The briefcase, which I use for work, is in the closet.” The main sentence is: “The briefcase is in the closet.” The Subordinate Clause is: “which I use for work.” Subordinate Conjunctions With who, you get to choose depending on whether you believe the sentence is interrupted by the Subordinate Clause. Practice Sentences Underline the Subject(s) once, and put the verb(s) in bold. Put the “subordinate conjunctions words that signal a dependent clause in blue type. Add any commas that are needed. 1. Isabel knew that she was about to be fired. 2. Jill came tumbling after Jack had fallen. 3. That story was the first to be published. 4. John who passed the test was elated. 5. The quote which is in your text is important for understanding the controversy.
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