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Subordinating Conjunctions

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Basics on the topic Subordinating Conjunctions

Join Pip and Koko and learn about subordinating conjunctions.

Transcript Subordinating Conjunctions

"Oh Koko, I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!" "For what now Pip?" "For our sleepover with Pickles! Look, we're going to do so many activities!" "Pip I can hardly read this, it's covered in crumbs!" Let's help Koko fill in the blanks to work out Pip's plan by learning about subordinating conjunctions. A conjunction connects groups of words, ideas and sentences. Conjunctions help you form complex sentences and make your writing more interesting. One type of conjunction is called a subordinating conjunction. Subordinating conjunctions link an independent clause, or a main clause, to a dependent clause. That means they link one complete thought to one incomplete thought. They are also used to show relationships such as cause, location, condition, contrast and time. Some common subordinating conjunctions are: where, if, since, however, before,once, now that and even though. We can use the acronym WISHBONE to remember them. Let's see how subordinating conjunctions show relationships between clauses. In the sentence, 'I'm going to walk since my bike is in the repair shop,' the conjunction since expresses the cause or reason being that they will walk, because their bike is in the repair shop. Did you notice there is no comma here? When using subordinate conjunctions to link an independent clause to a dependent clause, usually no comma is needed. The next one says, 'Where there is smoke, there is fire,’ the conjunction where shows location. You may also notice there is a comma. When you start a sentence with a subordinating conjunction, you use a comma to separate each clause. In this one, 'Where there is smoke" is a dependent clause, and 'there is fire' is an independent clause. In the sentence, 'If it's sunny tomorrow, we can go to the park,' the conjunction ‘if’ shows the condition by saying they can go to the park in the event that it's sunny outside. ‘If it's sunny tomorrow' is a dependent clause and 'we can go to the park' is an independent clause. In the sentence, 'Even though they're rich, they drive old cars' the conjunction even though shows contrast. Next, 'Before football practice, he needs to warm up,' has the conjunction before which expresses time. Now that we know more about subordinating conjunctions, let's help fill in the blanks! The first sentence says,'Blank, Pickles gets here, we can get the pizza tacos ready.' Which subordinating conjunction fits best? Once, because it expresses the time they will start preparing their snack. Next it says, 'Pickles and Koko will add savoury toppings like pepperoni, blank, Pip will add sweets.' Which subordinating conjunction fits best? However, because it shows the contrast between the toppings they're adding. The next one says, 'We can eat in the living room, blank, we can see the TV,'. Which subordinating conjunction fits best? Where, because it expresses the location in which they will eat. Last it says, 'Blank, the movie is over, we can do makeovers, blank, everyone wants to.' Which subordinating conjunctions fit best? Now that, because it expresses the cause or why they can do makeovers and the other conjunction is 'if', because it expresses the condition that they will do it if everyone agrees. It looks like they're ready for the sleepover! Before we see how the makeovers came out let's summarise! Subordinating conjunctions link a dependent clause to an independent clause. They are also used to show relationships such as cause, location, condition, contrast and time. Some common subordinating conjunctions are: where, if, since, however, before, once, now that and even though. We can use the acronym WISHBONE to remember them. I guess they interrupted Koko's beauty sleep...

Subordinating Conjunctions exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Subordinating Conjunctions.
  • Which sentences have subordinating conjunctions?

    Hints

    Sentences with a subordinating conjunction will have a dependent and an independent clause in the sentence.

    Only two of these sentences contain subordinating conjunctions.

    Some common subordinating conjunctions are where, if, since, however, before, once, now that and even though.

    Solution

    The sentences with subordinating conjunctions are:

    • We visited the house where I grew up.
    • Even though it was cold, we went swimming.
    The conjunction where expresses location. It shows the house they are visiting is the place they grew up.

    The conjunction even though expresses contrast. They went swimming despite the fact the water was cold.

  • Can you find all of the subordinating conjunctions?

    Hints

    In this sentence, the subordinating conjunction is even though.

    A subordinating conjunction is a word that links an independent clause to a dependent clause.

    Some common subordinating conjunctions are where, if, since, however, before, once, now that and even though.

    There are four subordinating conjunctions to highlight.

    Solution

    The words since, once, before and if are subordinating conjunctions.

    The conjunction since shows the cause for them going to the beach.

    The conjunction once shows the time they put on sun cream.

    The conjunction before shows the time they returned home.

    The conjunction if shows the condition under which they would return to the beach tomorrow.

  • What relationship does the subordinating conjunction show?

    Hints

    To work out the relationship shown by the word before think about the dependent and independent clauses in the sentence.

    How does eating dinner relate to washing your hands?

    In this sentence, even though shows contrast. The two clauses express opposite ideas.

    Subordinating conjunctions that express condition show that something depends on or is caused by something else.

    In this sentence, if shows the weather condition that would cause a cancellation.

    Solution

    In this sentence, the subordinating conjunction before shows time.

    First, you wash your hands and then you eat dinner.

  • Which subordinating conjunction should you use?

    Hints

    Read each sentence out loud using the five different choices of subordinating conjunctions.

    Which word makes sense in each gap?

    Subordinating conjunctions show different relationships.

    If shows condition.

    Since shows cause.

    Before shows time.

    Where shows location.

    However shows contrast.

    What relationship do you see between the two clauses in each sentence?

    Solution

    The correct sentences are:

    1. He will go to the cinema if he can get his homework done. If shows the condition under which he can go to the cinema.

    2. Since she was unwell, she left school early. Since shows the cause for her leaving school.

    3. She promised to be here, however, she never arrived. However shows the contrast between these two ideas.

    4. This is the park where he plays football. Where shows the location where he plays football.

  • Which subordinating conjunction fits best?

    Hints

    Read the sentence out loud with the four different word choices.

    Which word makes sense at the start?

    This sentence starts with a subordinating conjunction that links the independent to the dependent clause.

    Under is not a subordinating conjunction, it is a preposition.

    Subordinating conjunctions show different relationships.

    Once shows time.

    However shows contrast.

    Where shows location.

    What type of relationship makes sense between the light turning green and cars going?

    Solution

    Once is the subordinating conjunction that fits best.

    The complete sentence is: Once the light turns green, the cars can go.

    Once shows the time when cars are able to go. Cars can start moving as soon as the light turns green.

  • Can you match the subordinating conjunctions to the relationships they show?

    Hints

    Some common subordinating conjunctions are where, if, since, however, before, once, now that and even though.

    Find the subordinating conjunction in each sentence and then think about what relationship it shows.

    In this sentence, once shows the relationship of time.

    They are going camping as soon as the summer holidays begin.

    Solution

    1. Once shows time. They are going camping as soon as the summer holidays begin.
    2. However shows contrast. Being tired and still playing are opposite ideas.

    3. If shows condition. In order to have friends over, she must first clean her room.

    4. Where shows location. You will find bees in places with flowers.