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Subordinating conjunctions

  • The term subordinating conjunctions is an easy one to understand. Everyone uses subordinating conjunctions, also known as subordinate conjunctions, in their everyday speech, though they may not know what is a subordinating conjunction. We will examine the function of a subordinating conjunction or subordinate conjunction, how to identify what is a subordinate conjunction, provide a list of subordinating conjunctions and show some examples of subordinating conjunctions in sentences.


     

    What’s a subordinating conjunction? It is a word that connects two clauses in a sentence, an independent clause and a dependent clause. An independent clause is the main part of a sentence, and may stand on its own as a complete sentence. A dependent clause adds more information relevant to the dependent clause, but is not a complete thought that may stand in a separate sentence. For example:

    The dog ate the pizza because he was hungry.

    The dog ate the pizza is the independent clause. It may stand on its own as a sentence. Because he was hungry is the dependent clause. It can not stand on its own as a sentence because it is not a complete thought. However, the clause provides more information about the dog eating the pizza, so it is information that is helpful to the main thought. The word because is the subordinating conjunction that joins these two clauses.

    Below, you will find a subordinate conjunctions list and subordinate conjunction examples. But first, let’s ask, what are subordinating conjunctions supposed to do? The two main jobs of a subordinating conjunction are to form a transition between the main or independent clause and the subordinate or dependent clause, and to highlight the importance of the idea expressed in the independent clause. The function of the subordinate conjunction may be to show cause and effect between the main clause and the dependent clause, or the subordinate conjunction may show a relationship between the two clauses in time and space.

    Subordinating conjunctions list:

    after, although, as, as soon as, because, before, by the time, even if, even though, if, in as much as, in order that, lest, now that, once, provided that, rather than, since, so that, than, that, till, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, wherever, whether, while, why

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    This list does not include every word that may function as a subordinating conjunction, but it contains some of the more common ones.

    Some subordinating conjunctions examples used in sentences:

    We can not go to the basketball game unless we have tickets.

    Francis ate his dinner, though it wasn’t enough.

    Dad drove the car, once he figured out how to turn on the ignition.

    Sometimes the subordinate or dependent clause is placed at the beginning of the sentence, with the first word being one of the subordinating conjunctions, examples are:

    Although it’s sunny, the weather is very cold, today.

    By the time we got there, the play had ended.

    Now that you’re older, you may go to bed at midnight.

    Remember, a subordinating conjunction provides a connection between a main clause and subordinate clause, augmenting the importance of the idea in the main clause and adding pertinent information.


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