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 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.
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
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:
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.