Subordinating Conjunctions

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There are different types of conjunctions used to join two sentences, groups of words and phrases for the formation of a single sentence. If we consider the functions, there are three different types of conjunctions. Subordinating conjunctions are those used to join a subordinate clause with an independent clause. Let us study this conjunction properly with vivid examples.


What are Subordinating Conjunctions?

First, we have to understand the subordinating meaning. This conjunction delivers a meaning or sense of time, comparison, concession, cause, place, and condition. Hence, it is used to join a dependent clause with an independent clause. Subordinate conjunction always comes before a dependent clause. To define the subordinating clause, let us discuss the prime features now.

  • This conjunction can only be found in a sentence where there is an independent and dependent clause.

  •  You will always find subordinating conjunction before a dependent clause.

  • If you concentrate on the subordinating conjunction definition, you will find that this part of speech delivers a particular meaning to the sentence. In fact, it is categorized based on the meaning it delivers to the sentence.

  • The thumb rule is to set the subordinating conjunction in front of the dependent clause. Following this rule, there is no rule for the sequencing or positioning of the clauses to form a sentence. Irrespective of the sequence, the sentence will always deliver the same meaning.

  • They are also known as subordinators and complementizers.

We use coordinating and subordinating conjunctions in our everyday conversations to impart meaning to the sentences. These subordinators can be made of single words or a group of words. Before, when, because, etc are single word conjunctions used as subordinators. On the other hand, as long as, even though, apart from, etc are clusters of words used for the same functions.

We have learned what subordinate conjunctions are and what are their features. Let us consider some examples to understand how they are used in the sentences to give a particular meaning.

He cannot run because his legs hurt.

I might agree with your demands provided you abide by the rules.

These subordinating conjunctions sentences perfectly define what we wanted to understand. In the first sentence, ‘because’ is used to show a reason. It describes that a person is unable to play as his legs hurt. In the second sentence, ‘provided’ is used to input a meaning of a condition that someone has to maintain. Let us consider the conjunctions that are made with a cluster of words as examples.

We will leave as soon as he arrives.

Apart from her, everyone was on board with the plan.

In the first sentence, ‘as soon as’ is applied to describe a condition. In the second sentence, ‘apart from’ is used to separate someone who is not supporting a plan. This is how the subordinating conjunctions meaning transforms a sentence.


Types of Subordinate Conjunctions

Let us discuss the different types of subordinating conjunctions as per the functions.

  • Concession

This conjunction is used to add more meaning or context to a sentence. The action mentioned in the independent clause becomes more meaningful and gets highlighted.

He finished the race even though he was hurt.

Despite being close to him, she had to make the decision.

  • Comparison

The name of this conjunction is self-explanatory. This type of conjunction is used to introduce a sense of comparison in a sentence. The rest of the rules are followed. Consider the examples mentioned below.

He acted weird in comparison to others present in the room.

Rekha took the news very seriously in contrast to the rest.

  • Time

The conjunctions, in this case, are used to introduce a sense of time in a sentence. The action in the independent clause will depend on the activities mentioned in the subordinate clause in terms of time.

He will drop it as soon as Ram arrives near the door.

I will do it after having my lunch today.

As long as I am alive, I will not let this happen.

  • Cause

These subordinating sentences will carry a meaning that defines a cause behind an action. The action in the independent clause will be defined by a cause.

She was happy because of her new phone.

We have been here for two weeks after the lockdown.

  • Condition

The definition of subordinating clause here adds a condition to the action in the main clause.

In case I am late, you leave.

We will not let you go unless you spill the truth.

  • Place

The name suggests that this type of subordinate conjunction will define the place of action.

I can go where I want.

I can work when I wish to.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What is Subordinate Conjunction?

Ans: It is a type of conjunction used to connect an independent clause with a subordinate clause to form a sentence.

2. Which Conjunctions are Used to Signify a Reason?

Ans: The subordinate conjunctions used to signify a cause can also be used to describe a reason. Example: because, as, etc.

3. Which Conjunctions are Used to Signify the Place or Time of Action?

Ans: The conjunctions such as ‘as long as’ and ‘when’ are used to signify the time and place of action.