Using subordinating conjunctions

Home learning focus

To add extra information to a sentence using subordinating conjunctions.

This lesson includes:

  • two videos to help you understand subordinating conjunctions and how to use them

  • four activities

Learn

A conjunction is a word, or words, used to connect two clauses (parts of a sentence) together.

Watch this fun Super Movers video to remind yourself about all the different types of conjunctions and when they are used.

Dance along with Laura Bubble as she explains how conjunctions work.

Laura sings about conjunctions like 'because', 'if', 'while' and 'until'. These are called subordinating conjunctions because they link a main clause and a subordinate clause together in a sentence.

Subordinating conjunctions help to add the extra information that tells us when, why or where something happens.

For example: Laura smiled because dancing was fun!

  • 'Laura smiled' is the main clause. It makes sense all on it's own.

  • 'Because dancing was fun' is the subordinate clause. It adds additional information to the main clause and wouldn't make sense on its own.

  • 'Because' is the subordinating conjunction. It helps to add the extra information to explain why Laura was smiling.

Watch the following clip to learn more about how subordinating conjunctions work.

Find out how to join sentences together using subordinating conjunctions like 'because' and 'when'.

Let's look at another example.

I found it hard to get out of bed this morning as I had a very late night.

  • 'I found it hard to get out of bed this morning' is the main clause. It makes sense on its own.

  • 'As I had a very late night' is the subordinate clause. It adds information to the main clause and needs the main clause to make sense.

  • 'As' is the subordinating conjunction. It helps to add the information to explain why it was so hard to get out of bed.

Top tip!

Subordinating conjunctions can also go at the start of sentences. When this happens, the whole subordinate clause moves too and is followed by a comma. For example:

After she ate her ice-cream, Claudia got tummy ache.

  • ‘After’ is the subordinating conjunction. It helps to add the information to explain when Claudia had tummy ache.

  • ‘After she ate her ice-cream’ is the subordinate clause.

  • ‘Claudia got tummy ache’ is the main clause.

Practise

You may need paper and a pen or pencil for some of these activities.

Activity 1

Highlight the subordinating conjunction in each sentence.

Activity 2

Complete the ‘Subordinating Conjunction Jigsaws’ activity sheet.

You need to add a subordinating conjunction to the centre jigsaw piece and then finish the sentence with a clause.

For example: I felt sick because I had eaten too much cake.

Either print the sheet off or write out your new, completed sentences on a separate piece of paper.

Top tip!

You could use some of these subordinating conjunctions.

if, since, as, when, although, while, after, before, until, because

Subordinating Conjunctions Jigsaw activity sheet
activity

Activity 3

Copy and complete these sentences. This time, start each sentence with a subordinating conjunction and follow it with a subordinate clause.

For example: Because he had fallen over, the boy was crying.

Top tip!

  • Think about the jigsaw pieces from the first activity. The middle and last pieces move to the front this time.

  • Read the main clause first because the rest of your sentence needs to link to it.

  • You could use some of these subordinating conjunctions.

    if, since, as, when, although, while, after, before, until, because

Subordinating conjunctionSubordinate clauseMain clause
, the dog barked loudly.
, I was eager to wake up today.
, Sarah received a certificate.
, I gulped down the whole cup of water.
, the children played football.

Activity 4

Finally, write two complete sentences of your own that start with a subordinating conjunction.

For example: Although it was raining, the scenery was beautiful.

Where next?

In this lesson you have learnt about subordinating conjunctions.

There are other useful articles on Bitesize to help you improve your writing skills.

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