Grammar 13


Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions are used to introduce subordinate clauses (clauses on the bottom level).

Here is a list of subordinating conjunctions:

  • after*
  • although
  • as*
  • as far as
  • as though
  • because
  • before*
  • even if
  • even though


  • if
  • inasmuch as
  • in case (that)
  • in order (that)
  • insofar as
  • in that
  • lest
  • no matter how
  • now that
  • once

  • only if
  • provided (that)
  • since*
  • supposing that
  • than****
  • though


  • till
  • unless
  • until*
  • when
  • whenever
  • where**
  • wherever
  • whereas
  • whether or not
  • while


* Words marked with a single asterisk can also function as prepositions.

** The word “where” is more commonly used to introduce an adjective clause or a noun clause.

*** These pairs express “degree” and do not follow the usual pattern.

**** The conjunction “than” is unusual in that the predicate of the subordinate clause is often omitted.


Pay special attention to the handful of subordinating conjunctions that can also function as prepositions:

To determine the function of these words within a sentence, examine the words that follow them.

I went to the park after school.

"School" is a noun; therefore,
"after" is a preposition.

I got dressed, after I took a shower.

"I took a shower" is a clause; therefore, "after" is a subordinating conjunction.


He works as a waiter.


He called my name as I walked by.

subordinating conjunction


I ate a candy bar before lunch.


I ate a candy bar before I ate lunch.

subordinating conjunction


I haven't eaten since yesterday.


I haven't seen him since we went to the beach.

subordinating conjunction


You will have to wait till tomorrow.


I won't be happy till you come back.

subordinating conjunction


The pond stays frozen until March.


I stayed until he arrived.

subordinating conjunction



Don’t confuse because, which is a subordinating conjunction, with because of, which is a preposition.

She got the job because of her experience.


We stopped for lunch because I was hungry.

subordinating conjunction

Instructions for the Quiz

Identify the underlined word.