Conjunctions are English words that connect words or phrases. Sometimes we want to show a more complicated relationship between the ideas, like a relationship involving time. Some common time conjunctions are: when, after, before, until, since, while, once, as and as soon as.
- I like to have the radio on while I study.
- Before he plays football, James always does a warm-up.
In these cases, we use subordinating conjunctions. Subordinating conjunctions link an independent clause/main clause with a dependent clause of time.
|before||The main clause happens earlier in time.||She made her bed before she left the house.|
|after||The main clause happens later in time.||After I ate dinner, I went to bed.|
|until/till||The main clause happens up to the time when|
the dependent clause happens.
|I’m not leaving until you say sorry.|
|as soon as|
|The main clause happens immediately after the dependent clause.||Romeo fell in love as soon as he saw Juliet. |
Once your grandpa gets here, we’re leaving for dinner.
|while||The main clause happens at the same time|
as the dependent clause.
|While Steve cut the onions, Jean peeled the potatoes.|
|when||The main clause happens after the dependent clause, or at the same time.||When he saw her, he smiled.|
When I lived in Norway, I lived with a local family.
|since||The main clause began at the moment|
the dependent clause happened.
|We’ve been friends since the second grade.|
|as||The main clause happens while|
the dependent clause is in progress.
|We got to the party as everyone was leaving.|
|during||The main clause happens at the same time as the dependent clause.||During the Alaskan winter, the sun is hardly ever seen.|
|whenever||The main clause always happens as a result of the dependent clause.||Whenever I see her, I smile.|
Watch this video from Nick Shepherd to learn about several time conjunctions (or ‘linkers’) that are used to link clauses of time: