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Subordinating Conjunctions: Examples and Rules


What are Subordinating Conjunctions?

The subordinating conjunctions are words that join two clauses together, but the second clause cannot stand by itself. There are many subordinate conjunctions in English, but some of the most common is “after,” “although,” “as,” “because,” “before,” “how,” “if,” “once,” and ” since,” “then,” “that,” “though,” “until,” “when,” and “where.”

Subordinate conjunction joins two ideas in a sentence where one idea is dependent on the other. For example, the dependent clause in the sentence below is introduced by the subordinate conjunction “if”: “I will go to the party if you come with me.” In this sentence, the idea of going to the party is dependent on the idea of you coming with me.

Subordinating conjunctions usually come at the beginning of sentences. They can be used to introduce subordinate clauses or to connect clauses. Sometimes they are called transitional words because they indicate a change from one idea to another in an essay or story.

Subordinating Conjunction Join two Clauses Together

The Subordinating conjunction is a word that joins two clauses together, but the second clause cannot stand by itself. They’re often called “conjunctive adverbs” or “dependent clauses.”

These words show cause and effect, explain why something is true or happened in a certain way, or contrast with what another sentence says about an idea or topic. For example:

  • After is used to indicate that something follows immediately after another thing: “The boy ran into the room after he had fallen.”
  • Although can be used to introduce a contrast between two things or ideas: “He was happy despite his illness.”
  • As indicates similarity or nearness in time; it’s often followed by an object (other than ‘that’): “The cat curled up on my lap as I read my book.” However, it also has several other uses including:
  • To explain why something happens: “Why did you do that?” (because) * To point out what happened later than expected (as in this sentence).

List of Subordinating Conjunctions

The list of subordinate conjunctions is:

  • as
  • if
  • although
  • because
  • before
  • how
  • after
  • once
  • since
  • then
  • that
  • though
  • unless
  • until
  • when
  • where
  • In this case
  • Therefore
  • As a result of this fact

How to use subordinate conjunctions

Subordinate conjunction joins two related ideas or clauses. Most sentences have one main clause, which has a subject and a verb and tells the reader something. A subordinate clause (sometimes called a dependent clause) also has a subject and a verb but doesn’t express a complete thought. It is said to be dependent on the main clause to make sense.

Subordinate clauses begin with words like when, if, that, because, and although. If a sentence begins with one of these words, it must be followed by another clause to make a grammatically correct sentence. An example of this is ‘Because I was ill,’ which doesn’t make sense on its own but becomes ‘I was ill because I ate the wrong thing’ when you add the second clause ‘I ate the wrong thing.’

Subordinate conjunctions are used to join two clauses together when there is some kind of relationship between them. For example, if you want to indicate that something happened after another event, you could use ‘after.’ We could say ‘after I ate the wrong thing’ as an addition to the above sentence, giving us ‘I was ill after I ate the wrong thing.’

As in this example, subordinate conjunctions can join two separate clauses together so that they work within one sentence. There are other ways to say the same thing in sentences like this – for example we could join them with ‘when,’ for example: ‘When I ate the wrong thing I became ill.’


The Subordinating conjunction is a great way to join two clauses together. They usually come at the beginning of sentences and are used in place of a subordinator like because or however. The most common subordinating conjunctions are after, although, as, because, before, how, if, once, since, then, and then (that).