Subordinating Conjunctions - Learn the Meaning, Definition, Usage with Examples

Unlike coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions include a wide range of conjunctions. This article on subordinating conjunctions will help you with all that you need to know about their meaning, definition and usage, along with examples. Also, there is a list of subordinating conjunctions that you can use in your daily communication.

Table of Contents

What is a Subordinating Conjunction?

A subordinating conjunction is a word used to combine an independent clause and a dependent clause in a sentence. They help in forming complex sentences.

Definition of a Subordinating Conjunction

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, a subordinating conjunction is defined as “a word that begins a subordinate clause, for example although or because.”

The Macmillan Dictionary gives a much more elaborate definition of subordinating conjunctions. According to it, a subordinating conjunction is “a conjunction such as ‘because’, ‘while’, ‘although’, or ‘in case’ that begins a subordinate clause and connects it to an independent clause or other unit in the sentence.

For example in the sentence ‘I refused to comment because I didn’t have all the facts’, ‘because’ is a subordinating conjunction.”

The Collins Dictionary defines a subordinating conjunction as “a word such as ‘although’, ‘because’, or ‘when’ which begins a subordinate clause” and according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a subordinating conjunction is “a conjunction that joins a main clause and a clause which does not form a complete sentence by itself.”

Examples of Subordinating Conjunctions

In the English language, subordinating conjunctions include those like as long as, because, even if, if, unless, before, since, though, etc. Let us look at the following sentences to understand how subordinate conjunctions are employed and made use of.

Examples:
  • Unless you submit all the supporting documents, your application will not be processed.
  • I was not able to go to the hospital because it was raining heavily.
  • When I reached the railway station, I found out that the train had already left.
  • Although we had parked in the parking lot, the traffic police issued us a parking ticket.
  • It is better to keep everything packed as you are not sure when you would be asked to come to Bangalore.

List of Subordinating Conjunctions for Everyday Use

Given below is a list of subordinating conjunctions that can be used in everyday conversation.

Examples of Subordinating Conjunctions

After

When

Before

As soon as

Because

As

Since

Though

Although

Even though

If

Unless

Until

Even if

Once

While

Than

Till

Now that

Whenever

In order that

Wherever

As though

As long as

Provided

So that

That

Points to Remember When Using Subordinating Conjunctions in Sentences

No matter how frequently you converse in English, it is always better to keep the following points in mind.

  • Subordinating conjunctions can be used in the beginning or middle of a sentence according to the position of the dependent clause.
  • When the subordinating conjunction appears in the beginning of a complex sentence, a comma is used after the dependent clause.
  • When a subordinating conjunction is used in the middle of a sentence, there is no need for a comma to be used.
  • A dependent clause with a subordinating conjunction cannot stand by itself as it does not make sense.

Check Your Understanding of Subordinating Conjunctions

Fill the blanks in the following sentences with the most appropriate conjunction. You can choose the suitable conjunction from the list given below.

(If, while, when, since, as soon as, even though, unless, though, before, after)

1. __________ Deepa reached home, she called to let me know .

2. __________ she had paid all the bills, the system showed that she had some due payments to be done.

3. _________ you do not find it interesting, it is okay.

4. _________ I was walking across the street, I saw that the shops were closed.

5. _________ she finishes the work given, she cannot go home.

6. __________ you make a decision, just take a second opinion.

7. __________ he was tired, he agreed to help me out.

8. She knew that there was a nationwide lockdown today only _____ I told her about it.

9. _________ you are done with it, let me know.

10. I think this place will not feel the same ever again _______ they demolished the football gallery.

Check out if you used the right subordinating conjunctions in the given sentences.

1. As soon as Deepa reached home, she called to let me know .

2. Even though she had paid all the bills, the system showed that she had some due payments to be done.

3. If you do not find it interesting, it is okay.

4. While I was walking across the street, I saw that the shops were closed.

5. Unless she finishes the work given, she cannot go home.

6. Before you make a decision, just take a second opinion.

7. Though he was tired, he agreed to help me out.

8. She knew that there was a nationwide lockdown today only after I told her about it

9. When you are done with it, let me know.

10. I think this place will not feel the same ever again since they demolished the football gallery.

Frequently Asked Questions on Subordinating Conjunctions in English

What is a subordinating conjunction?

A subordinating conjunction is a word used to combine an independent clause and a dependent clause in a sentence. They help in forming complex sentences.

What is the definition of a subordinating conjunction?

According to the Oxford Learner’s Dictionary, a subordinating conjunction is defined as “a word that begins a subordinate clause, for example although or because.” The Macmillan Dictionary gives a much more elaborate definition of subordinating conjunctions. According to it, a subordinating conjunction is “a conjunction such as ‘because’, ‘while’, ‘although’, or ‘in case’ that begins a subordinate clause and connects it to an independent clause or other unit in the sentence. For example in the sentence ‘I refused to comment because I didn’t have all the facts’, ‘because’ is a subordinating conjunction.” The Collins Dictionary defines a subordinating conjunction as “a word such as ‘although’, ‘because’, or ‘when’ which begins a subordinate clause” and according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a subordinating conjunction is “a conjunction that joins a main clause and a clause which does not form a complete sentence by itself.”

Give some examples of subordinating conjunctions.

As long as, because, even if, if, unless, before, since, though, even though, although, while, etc. are some examples of subordinating conjunctions.

Give some examples to show how subordinating conjunctions are used in sentences.

Here are some examples to show you how subordinating conjunctions can be used in sentences.

  • Although we had parked in the parking lot, the traffic police issued us a parking ticket.
  • It is better to keep everything packed as you are not sure when you would be asked to come to Bangalore.
  • Unless you submit all the supporting documents, your application will not be processed.

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