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  1. Newbie
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    #1

    Always as a Subordinate Conjunction

    Hello! This is my first time using this site for help. I am currently writing some college application essays but have run into a conundrum.

    Is it okay to use 'always' as a subordinate conjunction? Or does that make a fragment?

    Here's my sentence:

    Volunteering ensures I meet new people every day, always expanding my social circle.

    Thank you!

  2. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Always as a Subordinate Conjunction

    The word "always" is not a conjunction in your sentence - it's an adverb.

    Volunteering ensures I meet new people every day, and it (=volunteering) always expands my social circle.

    I'm not really sure whether this type of participial construction is allowed in your application essays, but the sentence looks fine to me.

  3. Newbie
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    #3

    Re: Always as a Subordinate Conjunction

    Ahh, I see.

    Thank you so much for your reply. I'm glad my sentence is correct and now see how it is a participle, not a subordinate conjunction.

  4. Moderator
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    #4

    Re: Always as a Subordinate Conjunction

    Your sentence looks good to me, and appropriate for its purpose.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. Member
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    #5

    Re: Always as a Subordinate Conjunction

    Volunteering ensures I meet new people every day, [always expanding my social circle].

    The bracketed element is a subordinate non-finite clause, more specifically a gerund-participial clause. "Always" may appear to be a conjunction here since it’s the first word in the clause, but in fact it is an adverb modifying the verb "expanding".

    Subordinate clauses like this one are sometimes called 'supplements' because they are not integrated into sentence structure, but set apart by punctuation and a slight pause in speech.

    Semantically, it's similar to a result adjunct, cf. "Volunteering ensures I meet new people every day, with the result that I’m always expanding my social circle".

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