Subordinating conjunctions

1st Part
Coordinating conjunctions

2nd Part
Subordinating conjunctions

3rd Part
Correlative conjunctions

Grammar in use

  • Topic : Subordinating conjunctions
  • Skills : Grammar


What is a subordinating conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction is a conjunction used to link a dependent clause to an independent clause. .
Subordinating conjunctions are words like becauseifalthoughsinceuntil, and while.

An independent clause can stand on its own as a complete sentence.

Subordinating conjunctions permit to:

Show the type of relationship (time or place–based; conditional; or cause-and-effect)
between the information in a sentence’s subordinate clause and its main clause—the independent clause.

Link a dependent clause to an independent clause.

Signal that a subordinate clause is less important to a sentence than a main, or independent clause.

“Because I was running late for work”
This is a dependent clause because it cannot stand alone as a sentence and doesn’t express a complete idea.
It needs to be attached to an independent clause to complete the sentence, for example: “Because I was running late for work, I had to skip breakfast.”

RoleSubordinating conjunctions
when, before, after, once, until, whenever, since, while
where, wherever
Cause and effect
because, since, as
if, unless, in case
Contrastalthough, though, whereas

Examples of subordinating conjunctions:

After I finish my work, I will go for a walk.
Although it was raining, they decided to go camping.
I couldn’t attend the party because I was feeling sick.
Please finish your homework before you go outside to play.
If it stops raining, we can go for a picnic.
I have been learning French since I was in high school.
You won’t be able to pass the test unless you study harder.
When the teacher arrived, the students were already seated in their desks.
I like to listen to music while I work out at the gym.

Language Tip about punctuating subordinating conjunctions

When a dependent clause begins a sentence, it should be followed by a comma.
For example: “Although it was raining, they decided to go camping.” 

If the dependent clause comes after the independent clause, no comma is needed.
For example: “They decided to go camping although it was raining.” 

If the dependent clause is in the middle of the sentence, it should be surrounded by commas.
For example: “I couldn’t attend the party, because I was feeling sick, and I had to stay home.”

If the dependent clause is short and the meaning is clear, no comma is needed.
For example: “I will help you if you need it.”

It’s important to note that these are general guidelines, and there may be exceptions or variations in specific cases.

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