Subordinating Conjunctions in IELTS

Subordinating Conjunctions in IELTS

Using subordinating conjunctions in IELTS also helps your coherence and cohesion – another 25% of the IELTS band marking criteria.

Most of us know that English has become a lingua franca in most countries. To improve your English you’ll need to improve the four core skills of English reading, writing, speaking, and listening. You might have used simple sentences till now however, simple sentences will never help you to improve these four core English. Using complex sentences while speaking and writing is only the solution to progress in the English language.

If I had to explain subordinating Conjunctions in a normal language I would say conjunction that introduces a subordinating clause. Before diving into the subordinating conjunction or usage of the subordinating conjunctions in IELTS, let’s know what a conjunction is. A word or words that connects two clauses together such as although, because, when and so on are called conjunctions. A part of a sentence that adds extra information to the main clause is called a subordinating clause. Subordinating conjunctions are really simple to understand because the only purpose of it is to show a cause-and-effect relationship between a subordinate clause and the main clause.


Without subordinating conjunction: The teacher was upset, the students failed to get higher marks in the English subject.

With subordinating conjunction: The teacher was upset because the students failed to get higher marks in the English subject.

By adding because we are adding the subordinating clause "the students failed to get higher marks in the English subject" with the main clause "The teacher was upset". Or in another way, we can say that, because of the student's performance in the English subject made teacher upset.

Usage of subordinating conjunctions in IELTS to create complex sentences

So, how do you make complex sentences using subordinating conjunctions to lift your English skills? Or, how to use subordinating conjunctions in IELTS to score higher band?
Complex sentences often contain two clauses dependent and independent which are combined together with an essential ingredient called subordinating conjunctions.
Here is the list of some subordinating conjunctions:

After Once Until If
although Provided that When Though
As Rather than Wherever While
Because Since Where Why
Before So that Whereas Unless
Even if Than Whenever In order to

The two main objectives of using subordinating conjunctions in IELTS are:

Firstly, subordinating conjunctions provides a necessary transition between the two sentences. Those transitions will help you to indicate a time, place, or cause and effect in relationships.

Although it was very hot, Jonny was wearing a coat.
Jonny was wearing a coat although it was very hot.

Subordinating conjunctions in IELTS or in English usually comes at the beginning of the dependent clause (every so often followed by a comma) or after it (every so often without the comma) like in the above examples.