Lesson twelfth

Subordinating Conjunctions

1.Although—means "in spite of the fact that":

  • Although it was raining, I ran home.
  • She showed up, although she felt sick.
  • Although my mom told me to come home early, I stayed out late.

2.After—indicates "subsequently to the time when":

  • Please text me after you arrive at the shopping mall.
  • We were forced to stop watching TV after the electricity went out.
  • I always tell my daughter that she can have dessert after she eats her dinner.

3.Before—indicates "earlier than the time that":

  • He had written a living will before he died.
  • Before he contacted me, I was going to call him.
  • I need to finish the dishes before my wife gets home.

4.Because—means "for the reason that":

  • Because he was smart and worked hard, he was able to make a lot of money.
  • They stopped building the house because it was pouring.
  • I love dogs because they are so cute.

5.How—means "the way in which":

  • I wonder how you did it.
  • He explained how he completed it in a few days.
  • Can you show me how you fixed the computer?

6.If—means "in the event that":

  • If it is sunny tomorrow, we can go to the beach.
  • If I receive a promotion, you will be the first to know.
  • You can watch TV if you finish your homework.

7.Once—indicates "at the moment when":

  • Once you see him, you will recognize him.
  • Once the light came on, we all shouted with joy.
  • Call me once you start having contractions.

8.Since—means "from the time when":

  • I’ve been a singer since I was young.
  • Since he graduated, he has been doing nothing.
  • This building has been remodeled three times since I lived here.

9.So that—means "in order to":

  • So that she could keep her position, she didn’t complain at all.
  • He finished his work as fast as possible so that he could leave early.
  • He worked harder for a raise so he could buy a nice car.

10.Until—means "up to the time that":

  • Don’t go anywhere until I come back.
  • She didn’t realize her talent in painting until her teacher mentioned it.
  • They won’t allow us to sit until everyone arrives.

11.Unless—means "except, on the condition":

  • You will not pass the exam unless you get a score of 80 or higher.
  • I will not tell you anything unless you tell me what you know first.
  • Unless you ask her, you will never know.

12.When—means "at that time":

  • When I came in the room, everyone looked at me.
  • I woke up when my baby was crying.
  • I started looking for a gas station when my gas light went on.

13.While—means "during the time":

  • Someone called you while you were at the meeting.
  • We met while we were working at the University.
  • My dog started barking while I was talking on the phone.

14.Where—indicates "in the place":

  • This is where I came from.
  • Please tell me where you are going.
  • I need to know where John hid the present.

15.Whether—means "if it is true or not":

  • We will have a picnic whether it rains or not.
  • It is time to decide whether we should take action.
  • You need to decide whether or not you are hungry.

Mari: I'm Mari from Japan and I'm here with Ron from Hawaii. Today we are going to be talking about abilities so let's start with food. Can you cook?

Ron: I can't cook well, but I do cook, so I think the reason why I can't cook well is because I can eat anything, so I don't try very hard to make it take good.

Mari: What do you like to cook?

Ron: I like to barbecue outside on the grill.

Mari: What do you put on your barbecue?

Ron: When I cook meat, I don't put much, only salt, pepper, and a little bit of seasoning.

Mari: OK. Good. Next, do you think you're a good dancer?

Ron: No, I don't think I'm a good dancer and I don't really try to be a good dancer.

Mari: Do you not like to dance?

Ron: No, I don't like to dance.

Mari: At all?

Ron: Right.

Mari: I heard that you're a good line dancer.

Ron: I would like to learn how to line dance, and I do like country music but I haven't been officially taught how to line dance.

Mari: So you don't dance at all?

Ron: No.

Mari: Next, are you a good singer?

Ron: No, I'm not a good singer but I do enjoy going to Karaoke.

Mari: What do you like to sing?

Ron: In Hawaii, when I go to Karaoke I enjoy singing Hawaiian music. If I'm in Japan I like to sing other English songs that they have, usually country music or 80's or 90's music.

Mari: Good. That's good. Do you think you're a good student?

Ron: I don't know if I'm a good student. Growing up I was not a good student but now I am trying harder to be a good student.

Mari: How were you not a good student growing up?

Ron: I didn't enjoy going to school and I didn't try very hard in school. Now I try a little harder. I make an effort.

Mari: Can you talk more about your effort? What do you do to try to be a good student?

Ron: I try to listen to the teachers now instead of doing my own thing, and I try to complete everything with good quality.

Mari: That's good. And, last do you think that you're a good athlete?

Ron: Growing up I was a good athlete. I played a few sports. Now I don't play any sports anymore because I'm old, but growing up I think I was a good athlete.

Mari: What sports did you play?

Ron: I played American football, baseball, and soccer.

Mari: Which one is your best sport?

Ron: I would say football. American football is my best sport.

Mari: How long did you play?

Ron: I played since I was eleven until age twenty-two.

Mari: So for eleven years. And you played when you were in university?

Ron: I played at the University of Hawaii.



I like to barbecue outside on the grill.

When we grill something that means we cook it on metal bars over an open fire.  Note the following:

  1. Let's cook on the grill tonight.
  2. We cooked burgers at the beach on a small grill.

at all

So you don't dance at all?

Something we don't do at all is something we never do.  Note the following:

  1. I don't speak German at all -- not even one word.
  2. You never eat vegetables at all? That is sad.


I heard that you're a good line-dancer.

In a line dance, people line up without partners and follow a pattern of steps usually to American country music. Note the following:

  1. That bar has line-dancing on Tuesday night.
  2. My sister is a good line-dancer.


I haven't been officially taught how to line-dance.

Something that is taught officially requires formal instruction and often results in certification.  Note the following:

  1. I never learned how to officially fly a plane, but I know how.
  2. To scuba dive, you really need to officially take some courses.

do my own thing

I try to listen to the teachers now instead of doing my own thing.

When we do our own thing that means we do things our own way.  Note the following:

  1. Some students hate to follow instructions. They always want to do their own thing.
  2. I used to always do my own thing. Then, I joined the Army and that changed real quickly.