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Subordinating Conjunctions

The table below shows some of the main subordinating conjunctions grouped by meaning:

Cause & Effect Time/Sequence Contrast/Concession Condition Place
because as since so that in order that before after since as soon as when whenever once while now that by the time while/whilst whereas although even though even if if only if even if provided that in the case unless assuming that where wherever

 

Complex sentences are made up of an independent clause and at least one dependent clause. The examples below show the two different structures with the necessary punctuation using ‘if’ as the conjunction.

Structure 1

There is no need for a comma if you start with the independent clause.

Structure 2

If you start with the dependent clause, you need to put a comma between the clauses.
Complex sentences are a great way to express your meaning more precisely, and they also help you to get a higher mark for grammar in English proficiency tests such as IELTS, PTE, or CELPIP.

Subordinating Conjunction Exercises

Task 1 Choose the correct letter (a-d) to complete the sentence.

1. _________ the sun came out, we spent all day at the park.

a. After
b. Although
c. Before
d. Even if

2. I avoid going to hospitals _____________ I hate the smell of them.

a. although
b. because
c. whenever
d. so that

3. I hired Jason, ___________ his graphic design work is first-rate.

a. whenever
b. whose
c. after
d. if

4. ___________ the music stops, I’ll continue dancing!

a. Because
b. Unless
c. Although
d. Now that

5. _____________ 5 o’clock comes around, I’m officially on holiday.

a. As soon as
b. Because
c. Before
d. Now that

 

TASK 2 Combine the following simple sentences to form a complex sentence. Use the list of subordinate conjunctions in the box below to help you.


after as so that although unless

1. 11. Don’t go in there. She tells you to.
_________________________________________________________________________

2. 12. Being involved in team-building activities is so important. It gives employees a sense of belonging.
__________________________________________________________________________

3. 13. It was extremely hot all day. We still enjoyed the day out.
___________________________________________________________________________

4. 14. Ryan will clean the freshly caught fish. We can eat them for dinner tonight.
___________________________________________________________________________

5. 15. Gigi will go to the gym. She has finished all her chores.
___________________________________________________________________________

Task 3 Choose the subordinate conjunction that creates the best relationship between the independent clause and the dependent clause.

1. (Whenever, Where) my wife leaves the house, she always takes her makeup with her.
2. Sadie felt responsible for the missing tablet (because, though) it was not her fault.
3. Kaitlyn devoured that pizza (as if, even though) she hadn’t eaten in days.
4. (Since, Although, ) it was raining, we decided to call off the BBQ.
5. (Now that, if) Tina has attained her master’s degree, she’ll start looking for a better job.

 

Task 4 Circle the subordinating conjunction in the sentences below.

1. Although English is the most international language of the world, Chinese is the most widely spoken language.
2. While there are many tips to learn English, some of the best include: surround yourself with English, and don’t be afraid to make mistakes.
3. Some of the ancient ruins still survive, though they are in very poor condition.
4. My friend always carries his camera with him wherever he goes.
5. We will send you a WhatsApp reminder so that you arrive on time for your next lesson.

Reference:

 

 

 

 

Answer key:

Task 1:
1. After the sun came out, we spent all day at the park.
2. I avoid going to hospitals because I hate the smell of them.
3. I hired Jason, whose graphic design work is first-rate.
4. Unless the music stops, I’ll continue dancing!
5. As soon 5’oclock comes around, I’m officially on holiday.

Task 2:
1. Don’t go in there unless she tells you to.
2. Being involved in team-building activities is so important as it gives employees a sense of belonging.
3. Although it rained all day, we still enjoyed the field trip.
4. Ryan will clean the freshly caught fish so that we can eat them for dinner tonight.
5. Gigi will go to the gym after she finishes all her chores.

Task 3:
1. Whenever
2. though
3. as if
4. Since
5. Now that

Task 4:
1. Although
2. While
3. though
4. wherever
5. so that

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