Position of subordinate clauses

A subordinating conjunction and its clause can go either before or after the main clause (depending on what is to be emphasized).

  • If you need money, just let me know.
  • Just let me know if you need money.
  • Although the necklace was expensive, she bought it.
  • She bought the necklace although it was expensive.
  • Because she was too angry, she tore up the letter.
  • She tore up the letter because she was too angry.
  • I went to work after I sent the kids to school.
  • After I sent the kids to school, I went to work.

When a subordinate clause begins a sentence, it is often separated by a comma, even if it is short.

Conjunctions in separate sentences
Normally a conjunction connects two clauses into one sentence. However, sometimes, a conjunction and its clause can stand alone. This usually happens in answers.

  • ‘Why are you crying?’ ‘Because John hit me.’
  • ‘When are you going to start?’ ‘When I am ready.’
  • ‘Why did you buy it?’ ‘Because I liked it.’
  • ‘Why are you leaving?’ ‘Because I’m fed up.’

Writers often separate clauses for emphasis. However, you must not overdo this.

  • Something has to be done. Before it gets too late. (Instead of ‘Something has to be done before it gets too late.’)

Afterthoughts can also be introduced by conjunctions.

  • OK, I did it – But I didn’t mean to.