A conjunction used to join two statements, one of which is dependent on the other is called a Subordinating Conjunctions. (e.g. after, till, before, unless, that (not as a relative pronoun), because, although, though, (sometimes these are also adverbs) until, than, as if, if, etc.
- We continued to work although we were getting late.
In this sentence, although we were getting late is a subordinate clause, for it cannot stand on its own. Therefore, although is a subordinating conjunction. Subordinating conjunctions may be classified according to their meaning.
(A) Subordinating conjunctions introducing noun clauses
- She said that she was not very confident.
- Are you sure that you have the right address?
- I am afraid that I shall not be able to come.
- It appears that father is in a bad mood.
- She asked me if I had sufficient woolens for the winter.
- They wanted to know whether I could accept the proposal.
(B) Subordinating conjunctions introducing adverb clauses of Time: when whenever, before, after, till, since, as soon as, while, as.
- He felt sorry when he realized his mistake.
- I will give him your message whenever I see him.
- The farmers had harvested the crop before the rains set in.
- They reached the theatre after the show had begun.
- Father asked me to stay at home till he returned.
- She has not written to me since she left.
- As soon as I got the telegram, I left for Mumbai.
- He checked the accounts while I took a cup of tea.
- I came across an old friend as I was walking to the school.
'While' suggests a certain duration of time. As a conjunction, it means during the time that, for, as long as, at the same time, as;
- While there is life there is hope.
'As' can be used to mean when or while.
- I saw him as he was getting off the bus.
Place: where, wherever
- She found her bag where she had left it in the shop.
- Whenever he goes, he wins respect.
Couse or reason: because, since, as
- I prefer to live in Kolkata because the climate suits me.
- The thief could escape easily since there was no policeman on duty.
- We did not call him for an interview as we had not received his application in time.
Result or consequence: so- that, such- that.
- Her result was so poor that all of us were disappointed.
- There was such a crowd at the platform that we could not get 'into the train.
Purpose: so that, that, lest
- She is working day and night so that she may improve her result.
- We eat so that we may live.
- He is wearing a woolen coat lest he should catch cold.
So- that and so that should be clearly distinguished. 'So' in the principal clauses and that introducing a sub ordinate clause suggest result. 'So that' together suggests Purpose:
- It is raining so hard that we cannot go out. (Our not going out is the result of heavy rain.)
- We are organizing a fete so that we may raise funds for the school building.
(The purpose of organizing a fete is to raise funds for the school building.)
Lest is followed by should and the clause introduced by lest does not take a negative:
- I am taking a taxi lest I should get late.
Condition: If, unless.
- You will be turned out if you make noise again.
- You will no be allowed to enter unless you have an invitation.
Concession or contrast: thought, although, although —— yet, even if, even though.
- She is humble though she is rich.
- Although he lost heavily yet he did not lose heart.
- I shall not betray my country even if I have to sacrifice my life for it.
Comparison: as ——as, than
- He is as stupid as his brother (is)
- Anu is cleverer than her sister. (is)
Manner: as, as if
- They acted as they had been advised.
- He behaved as if he were angry.
Study the difference of usage of conjunctions:
(A) And, As well as
These two conjunctions are used to add one statements to another:
- The man is poor. The man is blind.
The man is poor and blind.
- Robinson likes tea. Robinson likes coffee.
Robinson likes tea as well as coffee.
- Rita and Twinkle are dancing.
- You as well he have lifted the box.
- Please come and sit beside me.
- Smith sells fruits and vegetables.
(B) Or, Either —— or, Neither ——— nor -
These conjunctions are used to indicate a choice between one statement and another.
Is he happy or sad?
- I will come. I will send James.
Either I will come or send James.
- Steve is no my friend. He is not my brother.
Steve is neither my friend nor my brother.
(C) But, Still, Yet
These conjunctions are used to express contrast between two statements.
- He is intelligent. He does not read.
He is intelligent but he does not read.
- The teacher was angry. He did not scold the boy.
The teacher was angry still he did not scold the boy.
- These books are costly. People buy them.
These books are costly yet people buy them.
(D) So, therefore
These conjunctions are used to join two statements where one statement is proved from the other statement.
- He did not take umbrella. He got wet.
He did not take umbrella so he got wet.
- The boy stole bread from the shop. He was arrested by the police.
The boy stole bread from the shop, therefore he was arrested by the police.
(E) When, while
These conjunctions are used to join two statements when time of an action is to show.
- The cat is away. The mice plays.
When the cat is away the mice plays.
- I met Serena. I was in London.
I met Serena while I was in London.
(F) lf, Unless
These conjunctions are used to join two statements when condition is shown.
- You give me money. I will return your pen.
If you give me money, I will return your pen.
- You make haste. You cannot reach home in time.
Unless you make haste you cannot reach home in time.
(G) As, Than
These conjunctions are used to show comparison between two persons or things.
He is as wise as!
- You are happier than I
- Smith is more curious than Steve.
- Lotus is as beautiful as Lily.
(H) Although (though)—— yet
- Although India has rich resources yet she is poor.
- Although she belongs to a rich family yet she is unhappy.
Both —— and
- I both love and admire you.
- The thief was both fined and imprisoned.
(J) Such —— as
- Such land as described here does not exist anywhere.
- He is not such a man os you would like to marry.
(K) Such — that
- Such was his love for her that he gave up the throne in order to marry her.
- Such was the intensity of her grief that she could not even weep.
(L) So — as, as — so
- He is not so brave as you think.
- As the child is, so is the man.
(M) As —— so
- As you sow, so shall you reap.
- As the child is, so is the man.
(N) So — that
- She sang 50 sweetly that the whole hall resounded with cheers.
- The speech was so moving that all eyes became wet.
(O) Scarcely (hardly) —— when
- Scarcely (hardly) had we stepped out when we got drenched.
- She had hardly recovered from malaria when she met with an accident.
(P) Not only ———but also
- She can speak not only French but German o/so.
- The soldiers not only killed people but destroyed property o/so.
(Q) No sooner —— than
- No sooner did I begin my homework than the telephone bell rang.
- No sooner do the clouds appear in the sky than the peacocks begin to dance.