Advanced Grammar – Subordinating Conjunctions

Hello again! Ready for part 3: Subordinating Conjuctions?

If you want to check out past posts:

Introduction to Sentence Connectors
Coordinating Conjunctions
Correlating Conjunctions

Subordinating Conjunctions connect a dependent clause and an independent clause and establish a relationship between them. They happen at the beginning of a sentences (with a comma in the middle separating the clauses) or in the middle of a sentence with no comma.

So, basically, a subordinate conjunction will connect a main clause and a subordinate one. If the main clause comes first in the sentence it won’t be separated from the subordinate clause by a comma. If the subordinate clause comes first, then we will separate the clauses with a comma.

after if though although
if only till as in order that
unless as if now that until
as long as once when as though
rather than whenever because since
where before so that whereas
even if than wherever even though
that that while  


The most common subordinating conjunctions are:

After – later than the time that : later than when.
Example: “Call me after you arrive at work”

Although – despite the fact that : used to introduce a fact that makes another fact unusual or surprising.
Example: “Although she was tired, she couldn’t sleep”

As – used to introduce a statement which indicates that something being mentioned was known, expected, etc.
Example: “As we explained last class, coordinating conjunctions are sentence connectors”

Because – for the reason that.
Example: “I painted the house because it was a horrible colour”

Before – earlier than the time that : earlier than when.
Example: “Come and visit me before you leave”

How – in what manner or way.
Example: “Let me show you how to knit”

If -used to talk about the result or effect of something that may happen or be true.
Example: “It would be fantastic if you could come to the party”

Once – at the moment when : as soon as.
Example: “Once you’ve learnt how to cycle, it’s very easy”

Since – used to introduce a statement that explains the reason for another statement.
Example: “Since you’ve studied so well, you can go outside and play”

Than – used to introduce the second or last of two or more things or people that are being compared — used with the comparative form of an adjective or adverb.
Example: “My sister is older than I am”

That – used to introduce a clause that states a reason or purpose.
Example: “Olivia is so happy that it’s summer again”

When – at or during the time that something happened.
Example: “A teacher is good when he inspires his students”

Where – at or in the place that something happened.
Example: “We went to the bar where there most shade”

Whether -used to indicate choices or possibilities.
Example: “Bruno wasn’t sure whether to go to India or Thailand”

While – during the time that something happened”
Example: “While we were in Paris, it snowed”

Until – up to the time or point that something happened”
Example: “We stayed up talking until the sun came up”


About the author  ⁄ Kate

Kate has been teaching English for 10 years and has taught in Cambodia and Spain. She enjoys picnics in the park, cooking delicious vegan food and the world of social media.

Lear English for Free
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