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What are Subordinating Conjunctions?


Subordinating ConjunctionsConjunctions that connect subordinate clauses with independent clauses are called subordinating conjunctions. Subordinating means putting in a lower rank. You have already seen the subordinating conjunction at work introducing adverbial and adjective clauses.

EX.— I shall come when I feel better.
EX.— Brian will attend if he is invited.
EX.— Put the baseballs where other players can find them.

Noticed the connecting nature of the words, when, if, and where. They introduce subordinate clauses. A subordinate clause is one which depends on another independent clause.

The primary subordinating conjunctions are:

when — where — if
although — though — whether
lest — unless — that
because — than — as
since — while — after


EX.— I told him that I would go.

EX.— He carried the wood longer than I did.

EX.— Will you find out whether or not your sister is coming?

EX.— Put this where others can find it.

EX.— I will go, although I will need to leave early.

EX.— He waited because he was patient.

EX.— There is no happiness where evil exists.

EX.— Sumit your resume if you want the job.

Remember: the conjunction connects; the plain adverb directly modifies a verb, adjective, or other adverb.

Subordinating conjunction: I will go where you go.

Plain adverb: Where are you going?

Subordinating conjunction: I planned a party, since it will make you happy.

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