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Subordinating conjunctions may introduce subject clauses, object clauses, predicative clauses, adverbial clauses, and attributive clauses.1
1 See Chapter XVII, The Complex Sentence.
Many of the subordinating conjunctions introduce different kinds of clauses. For instance that may introduce subject clauses, predicative clauses, object clauses, adverbial clauses of purpose and of result.
ThatRuth had little faith in his power as a writer did not alter her nor diminsh
her in Martin’s eyes. (London) (SUBJECT CLAUSE)
What I mean is thatyou’re the first man I ever met who’s willing to admit out
loud to a woman that he thinks she’s better than he is. (Wilson)
He looked to the south and knew thatsomewhere beyond those blue hills lay
the Great Bear Lake. (London) (OBJECT CLAUSE)
He walked into the Green Park thathe might cross to Victoria Station and
take the Underground into the City. (Galsworthy) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE
He bailed wildly at first, splashing himself and flinging the water so short a
distance thatit ran back into the pool. (London) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF
The conjunction if introduces object clauses and adverbial clauses of condition:
He was anxious to see ifshe had relapsed since the previous evening.
(Dickens) (OBJECT CLAUSE)
Ifthe man ran, he would run after him; but the man did not run. (London)
(ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF CONDITION)
The conjunction as introduces adverbial clauses of time, of cause, and of comparison:
These were the thoughts of the man as he strove onward. (London)
(ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF TIME)
As Jacob has made me captain, I must call the roll. (Dodge) (ADVERBIAL
CLAUSE OF CAUSE)
That day had decreased the distance between him and the ship by three miles;
the next day by two — for he was crawling now as Bill had crawled.
(London) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF COMPARISON)
The conjunction while may express both coordination and subordination. It may be a coordinating adversative conjunction (in this case it is translated as тогда как; a) or a subordinating conjunction of time (in this case it is translated as в то время как, пока).
Older men probably resented him while others of his own generation could
feel so inadequate when comparing their talent to his... (Wilson)
While skating along at full speed, they heard the cars from Amsterdam
coming close behind them. (Dodge) (SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTION)
Subordinating conjunctions may also be used in simple sentences. They join adverbial modifiers to the predicate of the sentence. Conjunctions of comparison, such as as if, as though are frequently used in simple sentences.
He scowled at first; then, as if recollecting something, he said... (Ch. Bronte)
He seemed faint and dizzy and put out his free hand while he reeled, as
though seeking support against the air. (London)
The subordinating conjunctions though and if are also used in simple sentences:
Though alone, he was not lost. (London)
Next, he sheered to the left, to escape the foot of the bed; but this sheer, if too
generous, brought him against the corner of the table. (London)
Subordinating conjunctions of time are rarely used in simple sentences. In that case they are mostly used with participles:
That she was one of those women — not too common in the Anglo-Saxon
race — born to be loved and to love, who whennot loving are not living, had
certainly never even occurred to him. (Galsworthy)
Only rarely does a subordinating conjunction pin homogeneous members:
He was gay thoughtired.