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# 9. Expressing Subordinate Relationships

As a writer, you will often find ideas which are clearly related but are not equal in importance. Instead of using a coordinating conjunction which joins ideas of equal importance, you will need to use a conjunction which joins the ideas but expresses the subordinate relationship.

 

The listing below groups the subordinating conjunctions by the relationship they establish. We've also included an example of each type of relationship.

 

Subordinating Conjunctions

Cause:  because, since.

 

Many students live off campus. They often form car pools.

 

Since (cause) many students live off campus, they often form car pools.

 

Condition:  if, even if, unless.

 

We can provide realistic football training. We must coordinate with other teams.

 

We can provide realistic football training if (condition) we coordinate with other teams.

 

We cannot provide realistic football training unless (condition) we coordinate with other teams.

 

Concession:  although, though, even though.

 

We have better equipment than the schools of the 1970's. We have less funding.

 

We have better equipment than the schools of the 1970's even though (concession) we have less funding.

 

Purpose:  in order that, so that.

 

The boss canceled most of the vacations for May. The company will hold a training session for junior executives.

 

The boss canceled most of the vacations for May so that (purpose) the company can hold a training session for junior executives

 

Time:  as long as, after, when while, before, until.

 

There will be plenty of parking space. The contractor will finish the new parking garage by June.

 

There will be plenty of parking space as long as (time) the contractor finishes the new parking garage by June.

 

Location:  where, wherever.

 

The new company headquarters building stands on treeless land. The company picnic area used to be there.

 

The new company headquarters building stands on treeless land where (location) the company picnic area once was.

 

As you can see by the examples above, using subordinating conjunctions generally makes the sentences longer. The relationship between the ideas, however, is clearer. Having some longer sentences is a good tradeoff for clarity.

 


 

Last Reviewed: December 19, 2013

 
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