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Subordinating Conjunctions

Home » Conjunctions in English » Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions are conjunctions that join two clauses together, however, one of the clauses must be a dependent clause that relies on the independent/main clause in order to function.

Without the independent clause, the dependent clause cannot function. The independent clause can function on its own without any other clauses.

Some subordinating conjunctions include: because, since, that, until, while, once, after, though, as, whether, etc.

Examples of subordinating conjunctions that have a dependent and independent/main clause in order to work

  • I really like this new girl at school because she was so nice to me. 
  • Since the pupils at the school were so misbehaved the teacher punished them. 
  • After getting the results I decided to ring my mum. 
  • We all loved the performance although they didn’t get an applause. 
  • Before going to work I had a bite to eat.

Examples detailing a few of the above sentences explaining the usage of the subordinating conjunction, dependent and independent clause

  • ‘I really like this new girl at school because she was so nice to me’.

In the above sentence, the dependent clause; is ‘she was so nice to me‘. This phrase is not valid and doesn’t make sense by itself.

However, the independent clause; ‘I really like this new girl at school‘ makes perfect sense by itself and can function on its own as is.

The subordinating conjunction ‘because‘ is thus necessary to introduce the subordinating clause ‘she was so nice to me‘.

  • ‘Since the pupils were so misbehaved the teacher punished them’. 

In the above sentence, the dependent clause is; ‘the teacher punished them‘. This phrase is not valid and doesn’t make sense by itself.

However, the independent clause; ‘the pupils were so misbehaved‘ makes perfect sense by itself and can function on its own as is.

The subordinating conjunction ‘since‘ is thus necessary to introduce the subordinating clause ‘the teacher punished them‘.

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