Subordinating Conjunctions

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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 a flower 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 type 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 own sentence.

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

Types of Subordinating Conjunctions

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. 


According to the subordinating conjunctions meaning, 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. 

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

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.

  • 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