As much as I would love this to be a awesome short story about rebel Santas (insubordinate clauses, get it? Oh forget it.), we’ re actually diving into that dense and unforgivable jungle that is Grammarland.
Today’s Topic: Subordinate Clauses
Why?: I couldn’t pass up the joke about insubordinate clauses 🙂
Ok, let’s roll up our sleeves and get started. A clause, as we remember, is the smallest chunk of text that can stand on it’s own and still make sense. I ran. He sat. She ate waffles.
A subordinate clause doesn’t make sense all by itself, it needs more information. All by itself it is no more than a sentence fragment. Once you go to the movie. Whenever there is rain.
Forget it. I’m not qualified to even start this topic let alone teach about it.
Here, read this instead. This made sense to even me, who admittedly didn’t do all that well in English class (shocker, I know!).
Why is it important to know this stuff?
While most grammar topics seem to be actually useful in the long run, this is one that doesn’t seem that helpful. That is, until you start line editing and wondering where exactly the comma is supposed to go, or find that you need to alter your sentence structure but can’t figure out a good way to change things up. Then, knowing the nitty-gritty finer points of grammar can really pay off.
If you are still working that first draft, don’t sweat about all of the technical details, such as grammar, yet. You should focus on making your story, characters, and setting as awesome as possible. When you finish with all that and are past the point of having to make massive changes to key concepts, then you can tackle the technical stuff.