Learn Subordinate Conjunctions with meaning and examples

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All things considered, Subordinate Conjunctions link two unequal but grammatically correct elements. This happens when a main (Independent Clause) is combined with a subordinate (Dependent Clause). This combination creates a complex sentence. 

For example, Henry Olusegun Adeola Samuel, the singer of the band Seal, wrote:

“We’re never going to survive unless we get a little crazy” 

In the lyrics, he uses the conjunction “unless” to link the main clause “we’re never gonna survive” with “we get a little crazy.”  There are numerous words that can be used as Subordinate Conjunctions, for instance, “while, ” meaning at the same time,  is often used to link unrelated ideas. George Harrison, the guitarist of the Beatles, wrote: 

“I look at the world, and I notice it’s turning while my guitar gently weeps” 

Effectively using the conjunction “while” and the imagery of a weeping guitar. 

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A bit of Grammar

A Subordinate Clause does not complete thought on its own. And so, it can’t act as a sentence by itself. For example, you would never hear a native English speaker saying “while my guitar gently weeps.” There must be the main clause. While using Subordinate Conjunctions, it’s essential to ask yourself, is there a main clause? 

Examples of Subordinate Conjunctions

  • He was late after the train had a malfunction. 
  • Since Tommy broke one of the vials, he is not allowed inside the laboratory. 
  • I was awake until two in the morning to finish my project. 

Let’s practice 

Q1: Try making your own sentence. 

Q2: What is your favorite past-time after having a long week or day? 

Q3: Which activities do you like before going to bed? 

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