Clauses of contrast, purpose and reason – Grammar chart
Clauses of contrast
Although, even though
We can use although/even though at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence followed by a clause (subject + verb). We NEVER use a comma after although or even though.
- Although/Even though we had a bad game, we won.
- We won, although/even though we had a bad game.
We use however to connect two different sentences. We normally use however after a full stop (.) or a semi-colon (;). However should ALWAYS be followed by a comma.
- We didn’t like the hotel. However, we had a fantastic time.
- We went to the beach; however, the weather wasn’t perfect.
Despite/in spite of
Despite and in spite of are normally followed by a noun or a –ing verb. They can go at the beginning or in the middle of the sentence.
- Despite/In spite of the rain, we went to the concert.
- They arrived despite/in spite of leaving very early.
We can use a clause (subject + verb) after despite/in spite of + the fact that.
- We went out despite/in spite of the fact that it was raining.
Clauses of purpose
To + infinitive
The most common way to express purpose in English is to + infinitive.
- The student worked hard to pass the test.
In order to/so as to + infinitive
In order to or so as to + infinitive are more common in formal English, mainly in writing. The negative forms are in order not to and so as not to + infinitive.
- We were asked to stay in order to finish the project.
- He left home early in order not to be late.
- Use a plastic hammer so as to avoid damage.
- They walked quietly so as not to wake up the children.
So that + clause
We can also use so that + subject + verb to express purpose. We normally use a modal verb with this connector. (could, can, would, etc.)
- We left early so that we could park near the centre.
- He made some flashcards so that it would be easier for his mum to remember the instructions.
For + noun
We can also use for + noun to express purpose.
- We went to the bar for a drink.
- Would you like to go the the park for a run?
Clauses of reason
When we want to explain the reason why something happened or why someone did something, we use a clause of reason introduced by a conjunction (as, since, because) or a noun phrase introduced by because of or due to.
We use because before a clause (subject + verb). It can be used at the beginning or at the end of a sentence (at the end is more common). A comma is used when the clause of reason is at the beginning of the sentence.
- We didn’t go because it was raining heavily.
- Because the event was cancelled, they lost their deposits.
We use as and since in a very similar way to because. They are followed by subject + verb and can be used at the beginning or at the end of a sentence. However, as and since are more formal expressions, and more common in written than in spoken English.
- The government urged people to stay indoors since/as more rain is forecast for the entire weekend.
- As/Since the roads were blocked, the victims had to be rescued by helicopter.
We use because of before a noun.
- The concert was postponed because of the heavy rain.
Due to means ‘because of’ although it is more formal. We also use due to before a noun.
- The event was cancelled due to a lack of interest.
- I couldn’t enjoy the meal due to their constant arguing.