Subordinating Conjunctions

Conjunctions are connecting or linking words that help join a group of words, phrases or sentences into one. They are of three types based on their use and function, Coordinating, Subordinating and Correlative. Here we will learn more about Subordinating Conjunctions and their uses.

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Subordinating Conjunction Definition

The subordinating conjunction is a type of conjunction that connects or joins an independent clause with a subordinate clause. An independent clause is essentially a clause that can exist by itself in a given sentence which means that it doesn’t need any additional information to exist.

A subordinate or dependent clause is one which cannot exist by itself as a sentence and only provides some additional information to the main clause. Sentences where there is an independent and at least one dependent clause, it is known as a complex sentence. Subordinating conjunctions are therefore found in complex sentences where they try to join or link the clauses together.

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List of Subordinating Conjunctions


Subordinating conjunctions


 Subordinating Conjunctions Examples

The subordinating conjunctions are many in number and we use them regularly in our daily communication without knowing. Subordinating conjunctions have different properties and they can be grouped accordingly:

  • Those which show cause and effect(that show reason)
  • Those which show the significance of time or place
  • Those which show condition

Subordinating conjunctions that show Cause and Effect

Few commonly used subordinating conjunctions that show cause and effect are because, since, though, as, hence, as a result of, in order that, so that, even though, although, unless, because of, unless, provided that etc. These conjunctions are used to show the cause and effect of something. Let us see some examples

  • I am not going to work because I am sick.
  •  I will not release her payment unless she completes her work.
  • The government might agree to their demands provided they follow the rules.
  •  Although she is petite, she has a lot of strength.

Subordinating conjunctions that show the significance of Time or Place

Few subordinating conjunctions are used to show the transition of place or time. Examples of this type of conjunctions are where, wherever, as soon as, as long as, once, when, till, until, while, whenever etc. Some examples are given below

  • Whenever his wife was out working, he would take care of the house.
  • As long as she lived, she took care of the orphanage.
  • I won’t be back in Mumbai until early next week.
  • The child ran to her mother as soon as she saw her.

Using a comma with Subordinating Conjunctions

When subordinating conjunctions are used in the middle of a sentence, they are not preceded by a comma. If you compare this with coordinating conjunctions, we realise that it is just the opposite of using a comma with coordinating conjunctions. It is similar to when conjunctions are used to join two independent clauses.

When a subordinate clause begins a sentence, the entire clause is followed by a comma. But, the subordinating conjunction itself is not followed by a comma.

Solved Example for You

Q: Fill in the correct subordinating conjunction to fill in the blank in the following sentence.

    I make it a point to visit the Taj Mahal …………………. I go to Agra

(a)    When    (b) Whenever

(c)     Wherever    (d) Because

Ans: (d) Whenever. The sentence begins with ‘I make it a point’ which indicates that the action performed by the individual is a regular one or occurs after intervals. So, the conjunction which we use is option b) whenever which indicates a repetitive event or occurrence.

‘When’ is used in a one-time event and so option a) is wrong. Option c)wherever is a subordinating conjunction which indicates place and not time as is required by the sentence. option d) because is incorrect as it is used to show a cause-effect scenario.

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21 responses to “Conjunctions: Definitions, Types, and Examples”

  1. Ayush says:

    What is appropriate conjunction

  2. Pius says:

    kindly help put in the right conjunction in the following sentences. thanks.
    1. newton was busy. He did not notice the food on the table. He did not even remember that he was hungry.

  3. Opeoluwa jegede says:

    How can I join. I’m in Nigeria Africa

  4. Iarisha marpna says:

    Can you please fill in this one.
    I will keep the secret……… if he begs me to tell him.

  5. Victor says:

    Pls how can I join I am a Nigerian

  6. Victor says:

    Hw can I join o
    I am a Nigerian

  7. Victor says:

    I need replies o

  8. What is the example of coordinating conjunctions

  9. Tulika says:

    as if is correlative yes or no?

  10. Chanchal says:

    I am not entusiastic ________skiing, but I don’t mind spending a few days at an Uludag resort hotel.

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