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Grammar 06 - Subordinating Conjunctions
"EVEN THOUGH it was painted last year, the house needs repainting." EVEN THOUGH is a subordinating conjunction.

Grammar 06 - Subordinating Conjunctions

The versatility of conjunctions can be seen by their use in many different situations. Conjunctions are joining words that can be used to join two words or two phrases or two clauses and even two sentences. Conjunctions allow the writer to add new meaning to sentences, draw inferences, choose alternatives and show contrast. Conjunctions are subdivided into coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions and correlative conjunctions. While coordinating conjunctions are just seven in number comprising AND, FOR, NOR, SO, YET, OR and BUT, correlative conjunctions come in pairs such as NEITHER…NOR, EITHER…OR, NOT ONLY…BUT ALSO and BOTH…AND. Correlative conjunctions are similar to coordinating conjunctions. Another type of conjunction is the Subordinating conjunction.

Subordinating conjunctions are much larger than the other two types of conjunctions and are more versatile. They join an independent clause with a subordinate clause. For instance, ‘The batsman went to see a coach’ can stand by itself and is an independent clause. The phrase ‘Because his cover drive was faulty’ is a subordinate clause and cannot stand by itself. When we join the two clauses we get the sentence ‘The batsman went to see a coach BECAUSE his cover drive was faulty.’ BECAUSE is the subordinating conjunction.

Different subordinating conjunctions imply different meanings to sentences. Subordinating conjunctions help to show contrast, specify conditions, show cause/effect and relate to time. Subordinating conjunctions related to contrast are ALTHOUGH, EVEN THOUGH, THOUGH, WHEREAS, EVEN IF and WHENEVER, subordinating conjunctions related to condition are AS LONG AS, UNLESS, PROVIDED THAT, WHILE, IF and SO LONG AS, subordinating conjunctions related to cause/effect are WHETHER, AS IF, IN ORDER THAT, NOW THAT, SO, BECAUSE, and subordinating conjunctions related to time are AS SOON AS, UNTIL, SINCE, WHEN, BEFORE and AFTER.

Understanding the proper use of conjunctions will help you to write better English. Take the quiz that follows and enter the colourful world of subordinating conjunctions.

1.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
WHENEVER your homework is unfinished, you may not play outside.
AS SOON AS your homework is unfinished, you may not play outside.
WHETHER your homework is unfinished, you may not play outside.
SO LONG AS your homework is unfinished, you may not play outside.
SO LONG AS is a common subordinating conjunction of condition. WHENEVER is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast, AS SOON AS is a common subordinating conjunction of time and WHETHER is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect
2.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
BEFORE your assignment is over, you may leave.
EVEN THOUGH your assignment is over, you may leave.
ALTHOUGH your assignment is over, you may leave.
NOW THAT your assignment is over, you may leave.
NOW THAT is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect. ALTHOUGH is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast. EVEN THOUGH is also a common subordinating conjunction of contrast and BEFORE is a common subordinating conjunction of time
3.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
WHEN it was painted last year, the house needs repainting.
EVEN THOUGH it was painted last year, the house needs repainting.
SO it was painted last year, the house needs repainting.
UNLESS it was painted last year, the house needs repainting.
EVEN THOUGH is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast. WHEN is a common subordinating conjunction of time, SO is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect and UNLESS is a common subordinating conjunction of condition
4.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
You may eat your lunch SO you have taken your medicines.
You may eat your lunch SINCE you have taken your medicines.
You may eat your lunch WHILE you have taken your medicines.
You may eat your lunch THOUGH you have taken your medicines.
SINCE is a common subordinating conjunction of time. SO is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect, WHILE is a common subordinating conjunction of condition and THOUGH is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast
5.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
We can stay at the coffee shop UNTIL it closes.
We can stay at the coffee shop BECAUSE it closes.
We can stay at the coffee shop AS LONG AS it closes.
We can stay at the coffee shop ALTHOUGH it closes.
UNTIL is a common subordinating conjunction of time. BECAUSE is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect, AS LONG AS is a common subordinating conjunction of condition and ALTHOUGH is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast
6.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
We should arrive at the station on time ALTHOUGH we left a little late.
We should arrive at the station on time AS SOON AS we left a little late.
We should arrive at the station on time BECAUSE we left a little late.
We should arrive at the station on time PROVIDED THAT we left a little late.
ALTHOUGH is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast. AS SOON AS is a common subordinating conjunction of time, BECAUSE is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect and PROVIDED THAT is a common subordinating conjunction of condition
7.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
IF he loses the election, he will be made Chief Minister.
IN ORDER THAT he loses the election, he will be made Chief Minister.
EVEN IF he loses the election, he will be made Chief Minister.
AFTER he loses the election, he will be made Chief Minister.
EVEN IF is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast. IF is a common subordinating conjunction of condition, IN ORDER THAT is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect and AFTER is a common subordinating conjunction of time
8.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
You may go to the movies THOUGH your friend accompanies you.
You may go to the movies BEFORE your friend accompanies you.
You may go to the movies PROVIDED THAT your friend accompanies you.
You may go to the movies IN ORDER THAT your friend accompanies you.
PROVIDED THAT is a common subordinating conjunction of condition. THOUGH is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast, BEFORE is a common subordinating conjunction of time and IN ORDER THAT is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect
9.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
BECAUSE it is blazing hot, you should stay indoors.
AS LONG AS it is blazing hot, you should stay indoors.
AFTER it is blazing hot, you should stay indoors.
EVEN if it is blazing hot, you should stay indoors.
BECAUSE is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect. AS LONG AS is a common subordinating conjunction of condition, AFTER is a common subordinating conjunction of time and EVEN IF is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast
10.
Choose the sentence with the correct usage of the conjunction.
WHEREAS your taxi comes, you may leave for the airport.
WHILE your taxi comes, you may leave for the airport.
WHETHER your taxi comes, you may leave for the airport.
WHEN your taxi comes, you may leave for the airport.
WHEN is a common subordinating conjunction of time. WHEREAS is a common subordinating conjunction of contrast, WHILE is a common subordinating conjunction of condition and WHETHER is a common subordinating conjunction of cause/effect
Author:  V T Narendra

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