In this series of activities you will:
Understand how subordination and coordination are different Learn about dependent words and how they create dependent clauses Become familiar with the different types of dependent clauses Learn how dependent words signal different kinds of logical relationships between ideas Practise spotting common Hong Kong errors in complex sentences Complete a text – Does chocolate make you clever? - with missing dependent clauses Rate this Exercise
(click to choose task)

 

Subordination versus Coordination
Subordination is a feature of writing that communicates the relationships between different ideas and, therefore, it is a very common feature of academic writing. To understand the meaning of subordination it helps to compare it first to coordination. Two examples of coordinating conjunctions are and and but. Task One Choose either and or but to complete the sentences below.
  1. Myth: Chocolate is loaded with saturated fats is bad for your cholesterol.

  2. The flavonoids in dark chocolate may have a positive effect on blood pressure and resistance to insulin, research findings do not suggest that people with high blood pressure should eat dark chocolate instead of taking their prescribed medicine.
In these two sentences the conjunctions and and but are used to connect ideas that are of equal importance. They are not dependent on each other grammatically, and can stand alone grammatically, as in the example below.
The flavonoids in dark chocolate may have a positive effect on blood pressure and resistance to insulin. Research findings do not suggest that people with high blood pressure should eat dark chocolate instead of taking their prescribed medicine.
However, without the conjunction the writing is poor and not as easy to understand, because the reader needs to work unnecessarily to understand the relationship between the ideas.
Task Two
Now look at the following piece of poor writing.
Dark chocolate contains saturated fats. These have been linked to an increase in blood cholesterol. More recent research has shown that dark chocolate may protect the heart. It contains high levels of cell-protecting antioxidants.
These four sentences are all grammatically correct, and they can stand on their own independent of each other, but there are no dependent words that communicate the relationships between them.

Try to combine these four sentences into just one sentence by adding three dependent words. If you find this difficult, or you are not sure what dependent words are, click on "Hint" button to get some help.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Although dark chocolate contains saturated fats, which have been linked to an increase in blood cholesterol, more recent research has shown that dark chocolate may protect the heart, because it contains high levels of cell-protecting antioxidants.
It is now very clear how the different ideas are related, because you have established a logical connection between them.
Although indicates a +/- or -/+ relationship, often called a concession or contrast.
Which is used to add information; in this case, about saturated fats.
Because introduces a reason.

Dependent Words
Dependent words, such as although, which, because, introduce ideas that are dependent on other ideas.

For example: ‘Dark chocolate contains saturated fats’ is a complete and independent idea. But as soon as you put a dependent word in front of it (Although dark chocolate contains saturated fats) the sentence becomes incomplete or unfinished and is called a dependent or subordinate clause. It can only become a complete sentence when it is attached to a main clause, also called an independent clause.

Task Three Look at the clauses below and indicate whether they are complete, incomplete, main clauses or dependent clauses.

  Complete Incomplete Main clause Dependent clause
Although dark chocolate contains saturated fats
More recent research has shown that dark chocolate may protect the heart
Although dark chocolate contains saturated fats, more recent research has shown that it may protect the heart

Types of Dependent Clauses
Task Four There are four different types of dependent clauses. Match the clauses in columns A and B to form sentences, and then decide what type of dependent clause is in each sentence. Write your answers in the two columns on the right.

A B C  
Clause Clause Types of Dependent Clauses
Although chocolate is a sweet treat for us, 1 which is very close. A Relative clause 2 A
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy chocolate, 2 that chocolate grows on trees. B Adverbial clause 1 D
I can’t believe 3 eating one of my chocolate brownies. C Noun clause 3 B
I saw her 4 it is in fact toxic to animals. D Participle clause 4 C

Click here for a summary of the different types of dependent clause.

Type of dependent clause Important to note Dependent words Example sentences
1. Adverbial clause The subordinate conjunction expresses relationships between ideas. although
because
even if
Although chocolate is a sweet treat for us, it is in fact toxic to animals.
2. Relative clause Refers to a noun/idea in the main clause who
that
which
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can buy chocolate, which is very close.
3. Noun clause Often used after a reporting verb in academic English that
why
which
I can’t believe that chocolate grows on trees.
4. Participle clause Contains a past or present participle   I saw her eating one of my chocolate brownies.

Logical Relationships
Task Five

To be able to write well and include dependent clauses in your writing you need to understand the meanings of the different dependent words and how they are used to signal different relationships between ideas.

Read the examples of dependent clauses in bold below and from the dropdown menu select the type of relationship that the dependent word signals.

TIME CONCESSION

CONDITION

PLACE MANNER PURPOSE or RESULT
REASON or CAUSE COMPARISON  and CONTRAST

RELATIVE PRONOUNS


  1. Big chocolate companies, such as Cadbury’s, Fry’s and Terry’s, were started with money from the Quakers* whose intention was to turn people’s interest away from alcohol.
    *A Christian sect, or group, founded in 1660.

    Type of relationship:

  2. The Quakers regarded the consumption of alcohol as a serious sin whereas the consumption of chocolate was simply a minor weakness.

    Type of relationship:

  3. Eating chocolate is bad for dogs. Even if a dog doesn’t eat enough to poison him, there are several other serious consequences to eating chocolate including severe stomach problems and vomiting.

    Type of relationship:

  4. Cacao trees are grown in Africa, parts of Asia, and Central and South America, where the weather is hot.

    Type of relationship:

  5. New scientific evidence from Spain has shown that addiction to chocolate may occur because chocolate contains the same alkaloid compounds that are found in alcohol.

    Type of relationship:

  6. I eat all the chocolate in my Advent Calendar as soon as I buy it.

    Type of relationship:

  7. The chocolates are displayed in the shop window as though they were gems.

    Type of relationship:

  8. This particular variety of chocolate should be eaten slowly and in small amounts in order that the consumer can taste the rich flavours at their best.

    Type of relationship:

  9. Despite the fact that the chocolate industry makes a lot of money, African cocoa farmers are still struggling to meet their basic needs.

    Type of relationship:

Task Six Can you identify the types of logical relationships signaled by different dependent words? In the table below there are two errors in each category. Select which two words are wrong in each box by clicking on the words.

TIME CONCESSION CONDITION
after
as
as soon as
before
by the time
the first time
now that
since
though
until
when
whenever
where
although
despite the fact that
even though
wherever
while
as long as
even if
every time
in case
if
which
PLACE MANNER PURPOSE or RESULT
unless
whose
as though
since
so that
as
in order that
whereas
REASON or CAUSE COMPARISON and CONTRAST RELATIVE PRONOUNS
as if
because
due to the fact that
provided that
in order to
in spite of the fact that
like
who
whom
while
that

Now transfer the words to the correct box, or category.


Common Errors when Constructing Dependent Clauses
A further step in understanding how to use dependent clauses correctly in your writing is to recognise errors that are quite common among Hong Kong students. One common error is called a sentence fragment, and this can occur when a writer punctuates a dependent clause as if it were a main, or independent, clause as in the following example.

In December 2012 it was announced that Cadbury had invented a new way of making chocolate. So that it does not melt until it reaches 104 degrees Fahrenheit.

Click here for a summary of the different types of dependent clause.
Task Seven Decide whether each piece of writing below is correctly or incorrectly punctuated. How would you correct those that are wrong? Click to find the answers.

  Correct Incorrect
  1. Due to the fact that cocoa trees were hard to grow in some parts of South America, cocoa beans were introduced as currency by the Aztecs.
  1. Chocolate fondue is not a difficult dessert to make. Provided that you keep an eye on the chocolate as it melts.
  1. Chocolate is thought to be good for stress. As it contains a relaxant called valeric acid.


Task Eight Now correct these other common Hong Kong errors by putting what you have learned here into practice. Write the sentence correctly in the box below and then check your answer.

Question 1
Although dark chocolate is not the most popular type of chocolate, but it is beneficial for one’s health.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Although dark chocolate is not the most popular type of chocolate, but it is beneficial for one’s health.
Question 2
Two researchers at the Bourneville company in the UK have invented a chocolate that it does not melt when it is exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Two researchers at the Bourneville company in the UK have invented a chocolate that it does not melt when it is exposed to temperatures of 40 degrees centigrade.
Question 3
A chocolate drink was consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans lived in South and Central America 3,000 years ago.
Your Answer:
Answer:
A chocolate drink was consumed by the Aztecs and Mayans who lived in South and Central America 3,000 years ago.
Question 4
Nestlé has announced a recall of its chocolate drink, Nesquick. It is because salmonella has been found in one of the ingredients used to make the powder.
Your Answer:
Answer:
Nestlé has announced a recall of its chocolate drink, Nesquick, because salmonella has been found in one of the ingredients used to make the powder.

Task Nine Some of the dependent clauses, or dependent words, have been removed from the following text. Read the paragraphs carefully and write your answers in the tables below.

19 November 2012

Does chocolate make you clever?

By Charlotte Pritchard BBC News

Eating more chocolate improves a nation's chances of producing Nobel Prize winners - or at least that's what a recent study appears to suggest. But how much chocolate do Nobel laureates eat, and how could any such link be explained?


Part One

The study's author, Franz Messerli of Columbia University, started wondering about the power of chocolate .One paper suggested regular cocoa intake led to improved mental function in elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment, a condition ."There is data in rats showing that they live longer and have better cognitive function ,and even in snails you can show ," he says.

Part Two
So Messerli took the number of Nobel Prize winners in a country as an indicator of general national intelligence and compared that with the nation's chocolate consumption. The results - published in the New England Journal of Medicine - were striking.

Chocolate consumption and Nobel laureates

" When you correlate the two - the chocolate consumption with the number of Nobel prize laureates per capita - there is an incredibly close relationship," he says. "This correlation has a 'P value' of 0.0001." says Messerli. This means there is a less than one-in-10,000 probability of getting results like these if no correlation exists.

It might not surprise you that Switzerland came top of the chocolate-fuelled league of intelligence, having both the highest chocolate consumption per head and also the highest number of Nobel laureates per capita. Sweden, however, was an anomaly. It had a very high number of Nobel laureates but its people consumed much less chocolate on average. Messerli has a theory: "The Nobel prize obviously is donated or evaluated in Sweden [apart from the Peace Prize] so I thought that the Swedes might have a slightly patriotic bias. "Or the other option is that the Swedes are excessively sensitive and only small amounts stimulate greatly their intelligence, so that might be the reason that why they have so many Nobel Prize laureates."

Part Three
We conducted our own, entirely unscientific, survey . Christopher Pissarides, from the London School of Economics, reckons his chocolate consumption laid the foundations for his Nobel Prize for Economics in 2010. "Throughout my life, , chocolate was part of my diet. I would eat it on a daily basis. It's one of the things I eat to cheer me up. "To win a Nobel Prize you have to produce something - chocolate that makes you feel good might contribute a little bit. Of course it's not the main factor but... anything that contributes to a better life and a better outlook in your life then contributes to the quality of your work."

However, Rolf Zinkernagel - the largely Swiss-educated 1996 Nobel Prize winner for medicine - bucks his national trend. "I am an outlier, because I don't eat more than - and never have eaten more than - half a kilogram of chocolate per year," he says.

Robert Grubbs, an American , says he eats chocolate . "I had a friend who introduced me to chocolate and beer . I have transferred that now to chocolate and red wine. "I like to hike and I eat chocolate then, I eat chocolate ."

Part Four
But this is a controversial subject. Grubbs' countryman, Eric Cornell, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, told Reuters: "I attribute essentially all my success to the very large amount of chocolate that I consume. Personally I feel that milk chocolate makes you stupid… dark chocolate is the way to go. It's one thing if you want a medicine or chemistry Nobel Prize but if you want a physics Nobel Prize it pretty much has got to be dark chocolate. "But when ‘More or Less’ contacted him to elaborate on this comment, he changed his tune. "I deeply regret the rash remarks I made to the media. We scientists should strive to maintain objective neutrality and refrain from declaring our affiliation either with milk chocolate or with dark chocolate," he said. "Now I ask that the media kindly respect my family's privacy in this difficult time."

Part Five
It might surprise you . This is a classic case . Messerli gave us another example. In post-war Germany, the human birth rate fell along with the stork population. Were fewer storks bringing fewer babies? The answer was that more homes were being built, . And the homes were small - not the sort of places you could raise a large family in. "This is a very, very common way of thinking," he says. " , you do think there is causation in one way or another. And in general it's absolutely true. But here we have a classic example ."


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