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Subordinating Conjunctions

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Subordinating conjunctions are conjunctions that are used at the beginning of subordinate clauses.
Some examples of these conjunctions are; although, after, before, because, how, if, once, since, so that, until, unless, when etc.

Here are examples of their use;


Although—means "in spite of the fact that":
Although it was raining, I ran home.
He came to work, although he felt sick.
Although my mum told me to come home early, I stayed out late.


After—shows "subsequently to the time when":
Call me after you arrive at the station.
We couldn't see the film after the electricity went out.0
I always tell my daughter that she can have dessert after she eats her dinner.


Before—shows "earlier than the time that":
He had written a living will before he died.
Before he contacted me, I was going to call him.
I need to finish the report before the manager arrives from Paris.


Because—means "for the reason that":
He became rich because he was smart and worked hard.
They stopped building the house because it was raining hard.
I love kittens because they are so cute.


How—means "the way in which":
Tell me how you persuaded Danny to see that film.
He explained how he completed it in a few days.
Can you show me how to use the computer?


If—means "in the event that":
If it is sunny tomorrow, we can go to the park.
If I receive a promotion, you will be the first to know.
You can watch TV if you finish your homework.


Once—indicates "at the moment when":
Once you see him, you will recognize him.
Once the light came on, we all shouted with joy.
Call me once you start working.


Since—means "from the time when":
I've been a dancer since I was young.
Since he graduated, he has been doing nothing.
This shop has been refurbished three times since I lived here.


So that—means "in order to":
So that she could keep her job, she didn't complain at all.
He finished his work as fast as possible so that he could leave early.
He worked harder for a promotion so he could buy a new car.


Until—means "up to the time that":
Don't do anything until I come back.
She didn't know she was a talented singer until she sang in the school concert.
They won't allow us to start until everyone arrives.


Unless—means "except, on the condition":
You will not pass the exam unless you work harder.
I will not tell you anything unless you tell me what you know first.
Unless you ask her, you will never know.


When—means "at that time":
When I came in the room, everyone looked at me.
I woke up when my baby was crying.
I started looking for a place to stay when I decided I wanted to live here.

Lesson by Tristan, teacher at EC Malta English school

Now complete the following with the correct conjunction:

  • 1) Could you contact me _ you receive the information.

  • 2) I want to go to the concert early _ we can get a good place.

  • 3) We need to start early _ we want to arrive at the hotel in time for lunch.

  • 4) I have no idea _ to operate the new printer.

  • 5) _ he was tired, Danny still managed to help me with my work.

  • 6) Peter started yoga _ he wanted to learn how to relax.

  • 7) Tess planned her holiday a whole year _.