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. 


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 the 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 toowing 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. 


because of

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 oftheir 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, 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 and 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 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.