We already know . . . * Simple sentences should tell “Who did what to whom?” (subject, verb, object). * A lot of simple sentences will sound choppy, so combine related ideas. * Combine ideas (independent clauses) with fanboys (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) to show the relationship between the ideas. * (DON’T create run-‐ons, either fused or comma splices).
Excessive Coordination * However, while combining related ideas through coordination will ﬁx the choppiness, excessive coordination will sound like a long, dull list of points. That’s because everything has equal emphasis: * Cisco’s café is a Mexican restaurant, but it is not located in Mexico. It is located here in town on Abercorn Street, and it is run by Americans, but it sells Mexican food and it has a cantina. Cantina is the Spanish word for a bar. The outside of Cisco’s is shaped like a cactus and it is painted with diﬀerent colors and some of these are orange, purple, and brown. Inside Cisco’s there are potted plants and pottery and rugs and pictures and these all give the café a Mexican air. Many college students work at Cisco’s and they may not be too experienced but they are friendly and the service is as good as the food and the food is very good. The food includes burritos and tacos and tortillas and many other foods native to Mexico, but you can also order non-‐Mexican foods and some of these are quiche and pizza. Cisco’s is a place where you can treat your family to Sunday dinner or down a few beers with the boys after work or entertain a date and not have to spend a fortune. I recommend Cisco’s for its high quality, low prices, and friendly atmosphere.
From Coordination to Subordination
* Instead, show readers which ideas are more signiﬁcant. This helps clarity, focus, ﬂow-‐-‐and interest. So-‐-‐ subordinate less important ideas (stick a word in front, i.e. a subordinating conjunction, that changes them from independent clauses to dependent clauses).
* Subordinating conjunctions are words/phrases like: after, how, although, if, unless, as, until, when, wherever, since, while, because, before, even though – and many more.
* If you stick a word/phrase in front of an independent clause (which can be a sentence by