Intro to Subordinating Conjunctions

Intro to Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions (conjunções subordinativas) join an independent clause to a dependent clause.
The conjunction is always found in the dependent part of the sentence, or dependent clause (oração subordinada). This is the part that could not stand on its own as a complete sentence.
The independent clause (oração subordinante) is the part of the sentence that does not contain the conjunction and would still be a complete idea if the dependent part of the sentence were removed.
Subordinating conjunctions are always invariable words, meaning that they don’t have gender or number agreement (unlike adjectives, for example).

Coordinating vs. Subordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions (conjunções coordenativas)

  • Used to link clauses (parts of the sentence) that have equal importance
  • Both parts of the sentence could be separated without changing the meaning.
  • Examples:

Eu vou ao cinema e ela vai ao teatro I go to the cinema and she goes to the theatre.
O limão é azedo, mas eu gosto The lemon is sour, but I like it

Subordinating Conjunctions (conjunções subordinadas)

  • Connects a dependent clause to an independent one (making one subordinate and dependent on the other).
  • Notice in this example that the conjunction porque tells you that the second clause is the reason for the first clause:
    Não espero por ela porque ela demora muito tempoI don't wait for her because she takes a lot of time

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Note: The following sections will break down each group of these conjunctions. These sections will also show up throughout the individual lessons of the Subordinating Conjunctions unit, so don’t worry about memorizing them all now. You can just treat this as a preview:

Subordinating Conjunctions: Temporal

Conjunções subordinativas temporais tell us when the action or event described in the independent clause has occurred or is occurring.
quando when
enquanto while
sempre que whenever
assim que as soon as


Subordinating Conjunctions: Causal

Conjunções subordinativas causais introduce the reason or cause for what was said in the independent clause.
porque because
visto que since
como as

Examples:

Não tens dinheiro, porque gastas muito. You have no money because you spend a lot.
Visto que choveu, não precisamos de regar as plantas. Since it rained, we don't need to water the plants.
In all of the examples above, the comma separates the two different parts of each sentence. Note that the dependent clause has no fixed order in the sentence; it can appear either before or after the main clause, as long as it’s properly introduced by the conjunction.

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Subordinating Conjunctions: Final

Conjunções subordinativas finais describe the purpose for the event or action described in the independent clause.
para to
a fim de in order to

Examples:

Eu vou ao escritório, para falar com ela. I go to the office to speak with her.
Vou à empresa, a fim de me candidatar ao emprego. I go to the company, in order to apply for the job.

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