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  • Clauses of contrast, purpose and reason

    Clauses of contrast, purpose and reason

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    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 to 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 are more common in written than 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. 

    Because of

    We use because of before a noun.

    • The concert was postponed because of the heavy rain. 

    Due to

    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.