I wasn't sure about the subordinate clause forms, so I searched on google and found a website that has examples. http://chompchomp.com/terms/clause.htm In this website, it says the general forms are following:

  1. Main Clause + Ø + Subordinate Clause
  2. Subordinate Clause + , + Main Clause

Does the form depend on the subordinate conjunction that is being used? What I mean by this is, if you're using the subordinate conjunction, whenever, are you bound to use form 1 or can you use form 2 also?

For examples on the website:

  1. Whenever lazy students whine, Mrs. Russell throws chalk erasers at their heads.
  2. Anthony ran for the paper towels as cola spilled over the glass and splashed onto the counter.
  3. Because my dog loves pizza crusts, he never barks at the deliveryman.

Is it still correct if you change the their forms?

  1. Mrs. Russell throws chalk erasers at lazy students whenever they whine.
  2. As cola spilled over the glass and splashed onto the counter, Anthony ran for the paper towels.
  3. My dog never barks at the deliveryman, because he loves pizza crusts.

1 Answer 1


Your rewrites are all syntactically fine, but it might be objected that the last one creates an ambiguity: is it the dog or the deliveryman who loves pizza crusts?

You should be aware, however, that the site you link employs the term subordinate clause in an unusual sense. It is true that these days there is very little standardization in English grammar; but I think that every contemporary linguist would call all of the clause types identified there subordinate clauses.

The term subordinate conjunction for whenever, as, because is also unusual: it is the clauses which follow these words which are "subordinate", while the words themselves in traditional grammar are called subordinating conjunctions. However, many contemporary grammars discard this term and classify almost all such words as prepositions.

  • Do you know a site you recommend?
    – English101
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 0:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .