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Snap Language

Getting Smarter through Language

(Basic) Subordinating Conjunctions

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About Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions are words or phrases that connect an independent clause (the main part of the sentence) to a dependent clause (a part of the sentence that adds information to the main clause).

Subordinating conjunctions connect these sentences and create more complex sentences.

For example, this is an independent clause:

John is learning Italian.

This sentence has a subject (John) and a verb (is learning). It makes sense by itself.

The sentence below also has a subject (he) and a verb (lives), but it does not make sense by itself; it needs another sentence:

Because he lives in Italy.

Independent + Dependent Clauses

You can add a dependent clause to an independent clause like this:

John is learning Italian because he lives in Italy.

Now the independent clause (”because he lives in France”) makes sense. That is why it is called a dependent clause; it depends on another clause to make sense.

The word “because” is the subordinating conjunction that connects both clauses.

Types of Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions express different relationships between the independent and dependent clauses. Let’s look at the different types.

Subordinating conjunction for time relationships






as soon as


Example sentences

John always takes a shower when he gets home.

The students only speak English while they are in class.

Let’s start the movie as soon as Pedro arrives.

Subordinating conjunctions for cause-effect relationships



now that

Example sentences

The baby is crying because he is hungry.

Because John lives in France, he speaks French very well.

Let’s complete an exercise now that you understand the lesson.

Subordinating conjunctions for concession relationships



even though

just as

Example sentences

The children want to go swimming even though it is cold today.

Even though John doesn’t have a lot of money, he wants to go out to eat every night.

Subordinating conjunctions can express other relationships. For more details on the above relationships and for other relationships, see one of the “Related Lessons” below.

Related Lessons on Subordinating Conjunctions