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 event 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 at the beginning of the second sentence after a full stop (.) or a semi-colon (;). However is ALWAYS 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.
We can also use however at the end of the sentence.
- We didn’t like the hotel. We had a fantastic time, however.
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.
We can also use the structure in order for someone/something to do something.
- We need to mobilize the media in order for the Government to listen to us.
- Three different surgeries were necessary in order for him to survive.
So that + clause
We can also use so that + subject + verb to express purpose. We normally use a modal verb with this connector, e.g. 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?
We can use for + –ing verb (instead of to + infinitive) to talk about the purpose of an object or action when we use the verb used or when we imply it.
- This knife is (used) for cutting plastic.
- Schools are for educating, not for entertaining.
In case + clause
To express purpose, we can also use in case + subject + verb. We use this form to talk about precautions, when we do something because something not wanted might happen.
- Take the umbrella in case it rains. (=take the umbrella so that you won’t get wet if it rains)
- I won’t tell Ann in case she tells everyone else.
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, due to, owing to, or on account of.
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/owing to/on account of
We can also use due to/owing to/on account of before a noun. They mean ‘because of’ but are more formal.
- The event was cancelled due to/owing to/on account of lack of interest.
- I couldn’t enjoy the meal due to/owing to/on account of their constant arguing.
Clauses of result
We use clauses of result to talk about the result of an action or situation.
We can use so + subject + verb at the end of a sentence to mean ‘this is why’.
- We didn’t have anything to do, so we decided to rent a film.
- I worked very hard today, so I’m exhausted.
For this reason
We normally use for this reason at the beginning of a sentence. We use a comma after it.
- Rent is very expensive in Boston. For this reason, we decided to move to Ohio.
- He threatened to commit suicide. For this reason, we kept him under surveillance.
As a result/consequently/therefore
As a result, consequently and therefore are more formal and more common in written language. They are normally used at the beginning of a sentence, followed by a comma.
- The flight was delayed due to the storm. As a result, many passengers complained.
- Animals were his only true passion. Therefore/Consequently, he decided to study biology.
We can also use consequently and therefore in mid position (before the verb, after be as the main verb, or after the first auxiliary verb).
- You have been a real asset to the company. We have therefore/consequently decided to promote you.