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Rewriting Subordinate Clauses as Main and Main as Subordinate
Based on "Perseus" 
in The Heroes, or Greek Fairy Tales For My Children
by Charles Kingsley
Analysis Key

     Remember that the objective of this exercise is to increase the flexibility of students' writing. Even though two main clauses may sound worse than a subordinate clause, it is important that students be able to change a subordinate clause into a main one. The versions given below suggest some of the possibilities. Some students will rewrite the sentences in other interesting ways. In the (b) notes below, I have suggested some of them and noted the constructions that would be used. If students use these, you can tell them that they have written interesting (correct) sentences, and, if you wish, which constructions they have used, but try to make sure that students also understand how to rewrite the originals as either two main clauses or a main clause with compound finite verbs.

A. Subordinate to Main

     Note that subordinating a clause pushes it into the background, thereby highlighting the ideas in the main S/V/C pattern (giving them more of the focus).

1. You must go northward to the country of the Hyperboreans, [Adj. who live beyond the pole, at the sources of the cold north wind]. |

a. You must go northward to the country of the Hyperboreans. | They live beyond the pole, at the sources of the cold north wind. |

b. You must go northward to the country of the Hyperboreans beyond the pole, at the sources of the cold north wind. | [prepositional phrase Note how the omission of "who live" reduces the focus on the people and puts more emphasis on the place.] 

2.  [Adv. When they grew up] each tried to take away the other's share of the kingdom, and keep all for himself. |
a. They grew up, | and each tried to take away the other's share of the kingdom, and keep all for himself. |

b. Growing up, each tried to take away the other's share of the kingdom, and keep all for himself. | [verbal (with the same focus as the subordinate clause)]

They grew up, each trying to take away the other's share of the kingdom, and keep all for himself. | ["Each trying" is a noun absolute that functions as an adverb. This version makes "They grew up" the main idea.]

They grew up trying to take away the other's share of the kingdom, and keep all for himself. | [The omission of "each" turns "trying" into a gerundive that modifies "They." This version makes "They grew up" the main idea, but it messes up the clarity of the pronouns "They" to "himself."]

3. Poor Perseus, [Adj. who grew mad with shame], hardly knew [DO what he was saying]. |
a. Poor Perseus grew mad with shame, | and he hardly knew [DO what he was saying]. | [Two separate main clauses. The comma  plus "and" joins them as being equally important but does not suggest a logical relationship between them.]

Poor Perseus grew mad with shame | -- he hardly knew [DO what he was saying]. | [A dash or colon here suggests that the second clause explains the first. For example, his "hardly" knowing could be a result of his shame.]

b. Poor Perseus grew mad with shame and hardly knew [DO what he was saying]. | [Compound finite verbs shortens the sentence, but also reduces the focus on "he" (Perseus).]

Poor Perseus, growing mad with shame, hardly knew [DO what he was saying]. | [This version makes "growing" a gerundive, a verbal adjective that modifies "Perseus."]

Poor Perseus grew mad with shame, hardly knowing [DO what he was saying]. | [This version makes "knowing" the gerundive, thereby shifting the original emphasis (focus) from "knew" to "grew mad."]

4. [Adv. Because you have risen up against your own blood], your own blood shall rise up against you. |
a. You have risen up against your own blood. | Therefore your own blood shall rise up against you. | [Separate main clauses make the sentence(s) simpler. The "therefore" is a conjunctive adverb, so the causal connection between the two clauses is maintained.]

b. I don't see any other one-main-clause option here.

5. She cared for no one but her boy, and her boy's father, [Adj. whom she never hoped to see again]. |
a. She cared for no one but her boy, and her boy's father. | Him she never hoped to see again. | [Does not the making of "Him she never hoped to see again" into a separate main clause give it more attention?]

b. I don't see any other one-main-clause option here.


B. Main to Subordinate

1. He spoke and pointed to the babe. |

a. [Adv. As (time) he spoke] he pointed to the babe. |
b. He spoke [Adv. As (time) he pointed to the babe]. |
2. You must find the three Gray Sisters. | They have but one eye and one tooth between them. | [Note: It is "between" and not "among" in the original.]
You must find the three Gray Sisters, [Adj.  (identity) who have but one eye and one tooth between them]. |
3. He had no sword. | He therefore caught up the stone hand-mill. |
a. [Adv.  (cause) Because he had no sword] he caught up the stone hand-mill. |
b. He had no sword [Adv. (result) so he caught up the stone hand-mill]. |
4. The Egyptians looked long for Perseus's return, but in vain, and worshipped him as a hero, and made a statue of him in Chemmis. | It stood for many a hundred years. |
The Egyptians looked long for Perseus's return, but in vain, and worshipped him as a hero, and made a statue of him in Chemmis, [Adj. (identity) which stood for many a hundred years]. |
5. You have sinned against your kindred. | Therefore by your kindred you shall be punished. |
a. [Adv.  (cause) Because you have sinned against your kindred], by your kindred you shall be punished. |
b.  You have sinned against your kindred [Adv. (result) so by your kindred you shall be punished. |