Subordinating conjunctions link an independent clause to a dependent clause. Each subordinating conjunction expresses a relationship between the meaning of the dependent clause and the meaning of the independent clause.
Don't use length as your yardstick when determining if a clause is independent or dependent. Either type of clause can be very long or very short—or somewhere in between. Skilled writers often vary the length of their clauses to achieve rhythm, balance, and meaning in their writing.
For example, some conjunctions show time order; others, result or effect. The following table shows the most common subordinating conjunctions and the relationships they express.
|Condition||unless, provided that, if, even if|
|Reason||because, as, as if|
|Choice||rather than, than, whether|
|Contrast||though, although, even though, but|
|Result, effect||in order that, so, so that, that|
|Time||while, once, when, since, whenever, after, before, until, as soon as|
Linking the right ideas can be nearly as gratifying as linking the right people. Okay, it might not be as satisfying, but it can be a whole lot easier.
Give it a whirl. Join each dependent clause with its independent clause by using the subordinating conjunction that expresses the most suitable meaning. Make your choice from the preceding chart. Write your answer on the lines provided.
|1. after||6. while|
|2. when||7. because|
|3. while, or although||8. until|
|4. If||9. if|
|5. In order to||10. When, so|
When a dependent clause introduced by a subordinating conjunction comes before the independent clause, the clauses are usually separated by a comma. For example: If you are to keep your respect for sausages and governments, it is best not to know what goes into either.
There are three different kinds of subordinate clauses: adverb clauses, adjective clauses, and noun clauses. Let's examine each one and see how it can help you beef up your writing and speech.
Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grammar and Style © 2003 by Laurie E. Rozakis, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.