Subordinating Conjunctions

subordinating conjunctions

(See also Coordinating Conjunctions)

A subordinating conjunction joins a subordinate (dependent) clause to a main (independent) clause:

main clause + subordinate clause

Here are some common subordinating conjunctions:

  • after, although, as, because, before, how, if, once, since, than, that, though, till, until, when, where, whether, while

Look at this example:

main or
independent clause
subordinate or
dependent clause
Ram went swimming although it was raining.
A subordinate or dependent clause "depends" on a main or independent clause. It cannot exist alone. Imagine that somebody says to you: "Hello! Although it was raining." What do you understand? Nothing! But a main or independent clause can exist alone. You will understand very well if somebody says to you: "Hello! Ram went swimming."

A subordinating conjunction always comes at the beginning of a subordinate clause. It "introduces" a subordinate clause. However, a subordinate clause can come after or before a main clause. Thus, two structures are possible:

main clause + subordinate clause
Ram went swimming although it was raining.

+ subordinate clause, main clause
Although it was raining, Ram went swimming.

People often ask

FAQ: frequently asked subordinating conjunction questions