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Coordinate Clause

A Clause is a group of words but it is only a part of a sentence. The smallest grammatical unit which is itself able to express a full on proposition is termed as a clause. A general clause will always consist of a subject along with a predicate. In such case the predicate is usually a phrase of verb that is a verb with objects and modifiers. There are different kinds of clauses like predicative, Wh-clauses, dependent, matrix, independent, embedded etc.

What is a Coordinate Clause?

Coordinate clause is a part of a sentence. It exists in rank as it is equal to the main clause only. But alone it can never form a complete sentence. It is somewhere connected to the independent clause with the help of some coordinating conjunction. But within itself it is a complete sentence. The coordinate clause is linked by a coordinating conjunction, such as: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.

  • He is sweet yet he was rude to her.
  • We might go to Seattle, or we might go to Italy.
  • It stopped raining and the sun came out
So it can be easily seen that the phrase that is added to the sentence after the coordinating conjunction is the coordinating clause. It can also be seen that the coordinating clause itself is a sentence within but when coordinated with the main clause it makes real sense.

We require a coordinating conjunction for combining a coordinate clause with the main clause. When we combine one or more coordinate clauses with a main clause we form a compound sentence. This implies that we can have more than one coordinate clause in a sentence along with a main clause.

Example: Cats are good kind of pets, for they are not noisy and are clean.

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List of Coordinate Clauses

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We see that a coordinate clause is a series of two or more clauses which are not dependent on each other syntactically and are joined by using either a coordinating conjunction or a connective or parataxis. We also learned that all the coordinate clauses in a sentence along with the main clause have equal importance. We do have some coordinating conjunctions that are used to combine a main cause and a coordinate clause.

The commonly used such coordinating conjunctions in the sentences are:

for, and, nor, yet, or, so, but.

The formats usually followed in combination of sentences are:

Main clause +, + coordinating conjunction + coordinate clause


                          Coordinate clause +, + and + main clause

Requisites to be remembered when we begin a sentence using a coordinating conjunction are:
  • One should see that a main clause is following the coordinating conjunction.
  • A coordinating conjunction should not be used to begin each and every sentence. This option must only be used when it is making the flow of the ideas more effective.
  • One should never use a comma after using the coordinating conjunction. Coordinating conjunctions are meant not for the transitional expressions we use punctuations rarely.
Sometimes some clauses serve as both a coordinate clause and a subordinate clause depending upon the way they are combined with a sentence.

  • John will work late tonight even though he shouldn’t stay up late.
  • John will work late tonight but he shouldn’t stay up late.

In the first sentence “he shouldn’t stay up late” is a subordinating clause while in the latter sentence “he shouldn’t stay up late” is a coordinating clause.

A conversation can also contain disconnected coordinating clauses. Sometimes speakers begin their conversation with coordinating conjunctions without any immediate proceeding to a linguistic material but sometimes to distant topics or perspectives.

A lot of times there are gapping in coordinate clauses along with verb phrase deletion. When a verb phrase deletion takes place in case of a coordinate clause then they are preceded by ‘and’. Ex: John will work late tonight but he shouldn’t. The deleted verb phrase is followed by its antecedent.

Examples of Coordinate Clauses

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Let us now see some examples of coordinate clauses to understand the concept better.
  1. The sun came out and the ice started to melt.
  2. Charlie fought for her father.
  3. I get up early in morning and go out for a walk.
  4. He is honest but he is very poor.
  5. I like chocolates but I don’t like chocolate ice cream.
  6. My tomato soup is hot and delicious.
  7. Ryan does not want to eat fish today nor does he want to eat chicken.
  8. Jenna ordered pie and Angela ordered pizza.
  9. My husband and I have been married for 5 years and we have not gone out alone on a holiday yet.
  10. Gerard must be really tired for he fell asleep as soon as he rested on the lounge.
  11. You say you love me so much yet you are hurting me by saying that we are no longer together.

Fill in the missing Coordinate Clauses in the sentences below:
  • Regina loves Aaron ------- Regina loves Jack as well.
  • This is a useful tip ------- it is difficult to remember.
  • Shelly has a pleasant personality ------- Shayne is very intelligent.
  • I have not done the work ------- has he done his work.
  • I generally play badminton ------- my favorite sport is basketball.
  • I always buy books to read ------- I never started even one of them.
  • I will buy the pink dress ------- I will buy that yellow dress.
  • I have not gone to club since a few weeks ------- have I visited my friends since long.
  • He must be able to play guitar well ------- he is not well.
  • He spent his summer vacations learning different dance forms ------- he learned how to play a guitar also.
  • He thinks he can get through the interview ------- his father knows the board of directors very well.
  • I have started learning to bake ------- I will bake every weekend for family to practice.
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