Subordinating Conjunctions

Conjonctions de subordination

Subordinating conjunctions connect two unequal clauses: a main clause and a dependent or subordinate clause.

  A main clause is a group of words that can stand alone, grammatically speaking, because it has a subject, verb, and possibly an object. In contrast, a dependent clause cannot stand alone: it begins with a subordinating conjunction and therefore needs a main clause to prop it up.

Par exemple…

J’espère que tu vas mieux. – I hope you’re feeling better.

> J’espère is the main clause, que is the conjunction, and que tu vas mieux is the dependent clause.

Quand tu seras prêt, on commencera. – When you’re ready, we’ll start.

> On commencera is the main clause, quand is the conjunction, and quand tu seras prêt is the dependent clause.

Je peux t’accompagner, si tu veux. – I can go with you, if you like.

> Je peux t’accompagner is the main clause, si is the conjunction, and si tu veux is the dependent clause.

French subordinating conjunctions

        Notes about the verb form that follows
comme   as, since    
lorsque   when   May require the future
pourquoi   why    
puisque   since, as    
quand   when   May require the future
que   that   May require the subjunctive
quoique   even though   Requires the subjunctive
si   if   See si clauses

  Subordinating conjunctions with more than one word are called conjunctive phrases.

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French subordinating conjunctions


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