Subordinating Conjunctions

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Subordinating conjunctions join an independent clause and a dependent clause. Dependent clauses cannot exist on their own; they need to be joined to an independent clause. Subordinate conjunctions join them.  The word subordinate (adjective) means ``something less important than something else``. (Steel, 2000 : 657).  Here are some of the most common subordinating conjunctions : time – (after, before, since, when, whenever, while, until, till, as, as…as, once; reason – (because, since, so that, in order that, why);  concession– ( although, though, even though, while);  place – ( where, wherever);  condition– ( if, unless, until, in case, provided that, assuming that, even if);  manner– ( as if, as though, how);  introducing a relative clause– the person or thing already mentioned– (that, who, which);  comparing two things– (than).

That - . I spent some hours thinking nervously that the unknown Allengate Manor might be a horrible place, but I need not have worried. (Howatch, 1971:238).

Who -  She wanted a son who would echo her, a weak shadow, a masculine complement  to her dominant personality. (Howatch, 1971:10).

Which -  My father did not talk much about honor and justice, the concepts which my mother so dearly loved to brandish.  (Howatch, 1971:17).

Than – My eyes were bluer than Mama`s and a different shape. (Howatch, 1971:241).

After -  Papa would read the letter aloud to them after breakfast on the morning of its arrival. (Howatch, 1971:266).

Before - It was five minutes before we were finally face to face. (Howatch, 1971:54).

Since -  It`s seven months since I last saw her in Cornwall. (Howatch, 1971:267).

When - My father, for instance, more than doubled the family fortune when he was in India as a young man. (Howatch, 1971:8).

Whenever - “I expect it was upsetting for Mrs. Castallack,“ said Mama, “whenever he came to see me.“ (Howatch, 1971:272).

While - Papa left me with her while he went off to discover where William had gone. (Howatch, 1971:248).

Until -  At the end of the village she took the path again across the moors and I went on watching her until she had vanished from sight. (Howatch, 1971:6).

Till - Papa told us to stay here, and we shall stay here till he comes back. (Howatch, 1971:244).

As - As I stared at her misery she tried to speak but the words would not come. (Howatch, 1971: 68).

As soon as - As soon as I`m sixteen I`ll leave school and go and live with Mama. (Howatch, 1971:276).

Because -  Mama asked me not to, because she didn`t want you to worry when you were so far away at school. (Howatch, 1971:252).

Since-  After years of struggle I at last had a home of my own, and the home was doubly precious to me since I had had to fight so long for what I wanted. (Howatch, 1971:113).

So that -  I had never conversed at length with a lady before and at first was very shy, but Miss Charlotte was sweet and unaffected so that I soon overcame my nervousness. (Howatch, 1971:104).

In order that -  “Well Mark,” she said, having dispatched Cousin Robert on some errand in order that she could speak to me alone. (Howatch, 1971:16). 

Why - The fault was mine, and why you should even want to marry me after I`ve treated you so shamefully. (Howatch, 1971:68).

Although -  It was the last breath he would ever take although I did not know it then. (Howatch, 1971:97).

Though -   Secretly I cherished the notion of acting as my own housekeeper and fulfilling my ambition to be in charge of the domestic affairs of a large mansion, but of course, ironic though it seemed to me at the time, I was denied the opportunity to prove my skill. (Howatch, 1971:168).

Even Though -  Even though she had left Gwekellis Manor more than six years ago, the memory of her temper lingered on among the servants. (Howatch, 1971:9).

Where-  I can still remember the one-room hovel where my earliest years were spent. (Howatch, 1971:102).

Wherever - However, for some reason he`s formed an overpowering attachment to me and follows me wherever I go. (Howatch, 1971:292). 

If -  He would have married me if I had been free to become his wife. (Howatch, 1971:7).

Unless -  I wouldn`t ask a respectable young lady to come to be housekeeper for a widower and two bachelors unless I could offer her a way of keeping up her respectability. (Howatch, 1971:109).

Even if -  You wouldn`t have seen much of her even if you`d been there, because I was there and I hardly ever saw her. (Howatch, 1971:259).

As if -  She greeted me as if it were four days, not four years, since we had last met. (Howatch, 1971:21).

How -  I remembered how Laurence and I had drunk a glass of wine together when I had first invited him into the house. (Howatch, 1971:130).


Steel, Miranda. (2000). Oxford Wordpower Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

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