Subordinating Conjunctions and How They Link Dependent Clauses

💭Subordinating conjunctions

These serve to link or connect dependent clauses with each other. Dependent clauses are sentences that depend on each other to make sense in the sentence. Es decir, utilizamos estas palabras para unir dos frases y sin la conjunction, las frases no tendrían sentido.

If we remove one of the parts they may no longer make sense alone, making it difficult to understand the sentence. There are several subordinate conjunctions.

The most common are: after, although, as, as if, because, before, how, if, since, than, though, unless, until, when, where and while.

Abajo miramos como funcionan estas palabras.

Types of Subordinate Conjunctions

Cause & Effect
“Because” is a conjunction that demonstrates a cause-and-effect relationship between a subordinate clause and an independent clause. On its own, a clause beginning with “because” is incomplete:

Because he didn’t go to school. (This is a fragment. There is something missing.)
George was in trouble. (This is a clause.)

Now we will combine the two together to form a a complex sentence:

George was in trouble because he didn’t go to school. (George tenía problemas porque no iba al colegio)

Other subordinating conjunctions that typically show cause-and-effect are for, as, as a result, due to, because of, unless, as a result of, since, and so.

As – un sinónimo de because. Sí, tiene otros significados, pero se puede utilizarlo perfectamente para decir porque, y para no repetir because.

Since – Otro sinónimo de because. Es verdad, solemos utilizarlo como desde, pero también significa because!

As a result – como resultado

Due to – debido a

Because of – debido a

Unless – A no ser que

So – Así que

👉Another type of subordinating conjunction is one that relates two clauses by a time or place.

Some examples of these subordinating conjunctions are once, until, while, when, whenever, where, wherever, before, and after.

Once – Una vez

Until – Hasta

While – Mientras

Whenever – Cuando sea / Cada vez que

Wherever – Donde sea

Before – Antes

After РDespu̩s

While George was in trouble, he didn’t go to school. – Mientras George tenía problemas, no iba al colegio

Just ask me whenever if you have a problem with your computer. РSimplemente preg̼ntame cuando sea si tienes un problema con tu ordenador.

We looked in the jar, where Alison often hides her candy. – Miramos en el tarro, donde Alison suele esconder sus chuches.

Commas and Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions in the middle of a complex sentence generally do not come before a comma. Es decir, no se pone una coma en estas frases

I will pay her once she completes her work. (le pagaré una vez que finalice su trabajo)

I do not go to work when I am sick. (no voy al trabajo cuando estoy enfermo)

I won’t be back in Madrid until next week. (no volveré a Madrid hasta la semana que viene)

Robin drove the Batmobile whenever Batman was away. (Robin condujo el Batmobile cada vez que Batman no estaba)


The above rule about comma use with subordinating conjunctions is the opposite of coordinating conjunctions! When a subordinate clause begins a sentence, the whole clause (but not the subordinating conjunction itself) is followed by a comma. Es decir, si empezamos la frase con nuestro conjunction, la frase llevará una coma para separar las dos frases. Mira estos ejemplos:

Whenever Batman was away, Robin drove the Batmobile.
When I am sick, I do not go to work.