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    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 20
    #1

    Definition of subordinate conjunctions = WRONG?

    The common definition of a subordinate conjunction is: a conjunction that introduces a dependent clause.

    But a dependent clause doesn't exist until a subordinate conjunction is placed infront of it??

    In a sentence like "I was late because my car broke down."
    "I was late" is an independent clause.
    "my car broke down" is also an independent clause.
    "because" is a subordinate conjunction.

    But by adding "because" infront of the independent clause "my car broke down", the clause (including the conjunction itself) is transformed into a dependent clause.

    Then shouldn't the definition of subordinate conjunction be: 'a conjunction which when placed at the front, changes an independent clause into a dependent clause'?

    I hope this makes sense? What are your thoughts on this? Thanks.

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    #2

    Re: Definition of subordinate conjunctions = WRONG?

    Others take your view:
    Subordinating conjunctions, (subordinators) are most important in creating subordinating clauses.
    Linda Bryson's List of English Conjunctions [My italics]


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #3

    Re: Definition of subordinate conjunctions = WRONG?

    But does

    The common definition of a subordinate conjunction is: a conjunction that introduces a dependent clause.

    suggest that the clause would still be considered dependant without the sub conj?

    To me, this definition and your definition indicate, fundementally, the same thing: a subordinate clause follows a sub conj.

    I am not a teacher.

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