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Subordinating Conjunctions

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Last updated date: 16th Jul 2024
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Introduction to Subordinating Conjunctions

Conjunctions in grammar are a type of part of speech that connects the words or phrases or clauses. In the absence of conjunctions, we are forced to express complex sentences by breaking them into short simple sentences. These conjunctions are to be used wisely to convey the same meaning. The conjunctions may either 

Example: She bought flowers and chocolates from the market.


There are Three Different Types of Conjunctions:

  1. Coordinating conjunctions

  2. Correlative conjunctions

  3. Subordinating conjunctions


Subordinating Meaning

Let us understand the subordinating meaning. Subordinating conjunction definition is as follows, these are the types of conjunctions that help to join dependent clauses with independent clauses. 


Some of the common subordinating conjunctions are “since, because, though, as, although, while, and whereas”. Sometimes the adverbs can also act as conjunctions such as, “until, after, or before”. 


Example: I can stay here until the clock strikes nine. Here the word “until” acts as a conjunction that connects two ideas such as, “can stay here” and “clock strikes nine”. Here the first idea is independent of the second one hence, “can stay here” is an independent clause, and “clock strikes nine” is a dependent clause.


It is not mandatory to have the subordinating conjunctions in the middle of the sentence, but it has to be a part of the dependent clause. The dependent clause is also called the subordinate clause or subordinating sentences. 


The Dependent Clause has Two Specific Qualities

  1. It cannot act as its sentence.

  2. It depends on the independent clause to provide a complete meaning.


Types of Subordinating Conjunctions

These are categorized accordingly. When there is a main clause there are time related conjunctions that form the points. Some of the examples are once,before, yet, anytime.


This also emphasizes what occurs with them. Some Of them help the connections between words which provide the correlation. There is also some condition which contains the main clause to work.


The location defines the action or the activity and also includes where to go.


The subordinating conjunctions are categorized by meaning:

  1. Time: When the main clause is performed or will be performed, the time-related conjunctions establish a period. 

Some of them include: as soon as, once, before, still, whenever.

  1. Concession: By providing the additional information the concession conjunctions help to redefine the meaning of the main clause. It highlights the action that has happened in the hindrance or obstacle. 

 Some of them include: although, even though, as though.

  1. Comparison: It helps to establish the connection between the words by providing a correlation. It includes though, whereas, just as, in contrast to.

  2. Cause: It defines the reason that the main clause was performed. Commonly used once is because, since, so that.

  3. Condition: It provides the rules under which the main clause works. It includes if, in case, even if, unless.

  4. Place: It defines the place where the action or the activities occur. It includes wherever, whereas. 


Let us know the Method of Subordinating Conjunctions which is Preceded by Comma Placement.

It is observed that there is no comma before the subordinate conjunction. This is actually the opposite of what is usually done when the conjunctions or words are adjusted.Further more to know if the subordinate clause begins the sentence then the whole sentence will be followed by a comma.


Let us know the Difference between the Coordinating Junction and Subordinate Junction.

Coordinating junctions usually refer to linking words which connect nouns and verbs or even adjectives , independent clauses or even the sentences. This also connects two units which have the similarity in the grammatical type. Furthermore it is noticed that it gives equal importance to the main clauses. There are mainly even coordinating conjunctions. This also represents change between the ideas in terms of time, place.


Let us know if the Subordinate Needs a Subject.

This is an independent clause which has a subject and the verb but even though it is independent it cannot be represented as the sentence. The beginning of the subordinate clause has words and short phrases.


More about Subordinating Conjunctions.

There are many terms that include conjunctions which are sometimes difficult to remember. Sometimes the subordinate conjunctions are mistaken for the coordinating conjunctions. This can be further defined as the word or even a phrase that connects the subordinate clauses. These have to be always combined with independent clauses as they cannot be alone.


There is always a need to add more information to the sentence.This can be welldone by using the subordinate clauses. The advantage of the subordinate clause is that it allows you to add additional information to the sentence using the subordinate conjunctions which will transform the sentence into complex.


The subordinate clause depends on another clause. This indicates the relationship between the two clauses.



According to the meaning of the subordinating conjunction, the construction of complex sentences is difficult without subordinating conjunctions. Instead we have to split them into simple sentences. We should be very careful while placing the comma when the subordinating conjunctions are used. The conjunctions that generally appear in the middle of the sentence are not preceded by the comma. If the subordinate clause appears at the starting of the sentence then the whole sentence is followed by a comma. 

FAQs on Subordinating Conjunctions

1. Define subordinating conjunction.

The subordinating definition is as follows, it helps to join the dependent clauses with independent clauses. 

Example:  Whenever the doorbell rings the dog barks loudly.

2. Mention the different types of subordinate clauses.

The different types of subordinate clause are:

  • Adverb Clauses: after, because, since, before, until, when, where.

  • Adjective Clauses: that, whom, who, which.

  • Noun Clauses: what, whoever, whichever 

3. Mention the difference between coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.



It connects the ideas of equal importance.

It connects the dependent and independent clauses.

Two ideas are independent clauses.

One is the main clause and the other is the subordinate clause.

It is joined by coordinating conjunctions and conjunction adverbs.

Subordinating conjunctions sentences are joined by subordinating conjunction and relative pronoun.

Example: However, moreover

Example: Who, which, that