Subordinate clauses may begin with relative pronouns such as that, what, whatever, which, who and whom, as well as with words such as how, when, where, wherever and why. In the following examples, the subordinate clauses are underlined.
e.g. The house, which stood on a hill, could be seen for miles.
I wonder how he did that.
In addition, subordinate clauses may also begin with words which are commonly referred to as subordinate conjunctions. In the following examples, the subordinate conjunctions are printed in bold type.
e.g. Because it was cold, I wore my winter coat.
Let us wait until the rain stops.
The subordinate conjunctions below are accompanied by their meanings and examples of use.
1. because: As he is my friend, I will help him.
2. when: We watched as the plane took off.
1. later in time: After the train left, we went home.
Although or though
1. in spite of the fact that: Although it was after midnight, we did not feel tired.
1. earlier than: I arrived before the stores were open.
1. for the reason that: We had to wait, because we arrived early.
1. for, because: He is happy, for he enjoys his work.
1. on condition that: If she is here, we will see her.
1. for fear that: I watched closely, lest he make a mistake.
Note the use of the Subjunctive Mood in the clause with lest.
Providing or provided
1. on condition that: All will be well, providing you are careful.
1. from a past time: I have been here since the sun rose.
2. as, because: Since you are here, you can help me.
So or so that
1. consequently: It was raining, so we did not go out.
2. in order that: I am saving money so I can buy a bicycle.
Note: When used with the meaning in order that, so is usually followed by that in formal English.
e.g. I am saving money so that I can buy a bicycle.
1. if: Supposing that happens, what will you do?
1. used in comparisons: He is taller than you are.
1. except when, if not: Unless he helps us, we cannot succeed.
Until or till
1. up to the time when: I will wait until I hear from you.
1. because: Whereas this is a public building, it is open to everyone.
2. on the other hand: He is short, whereas you are tall.
1. if: I do not know whether she was invited.
1. at the time when: While it was snowing, we played cards.
2. on the other hand: He is rich, while his friend is poor.
3. although: While I am not an expert, I will do my best.
In addition, the following phrases are often used at the beginning of subordinate clauses.
1. in a similar way: She talks as if she knows everything.
As long as
1. if: As long as we cooperate, we can finish the work easily.
2. while: He has lived there as long as I have known him.
As soon as
1. immediately when: Write to me as soon as you can.
1. in a similar way: It looks as though there will be a storm.
1. in spite of a possibility: I am going out even if it rains.
1. because of a possibility: Take a sweater in case it gets cold.
1. otherwise: Please be careful, or else you may have an accident.
So as to
1. in order to: I hurried so as to be on time.
التوقيع لقوي ثامر