Japanese Grammar: Subordinating Conjunctions

Written byIchika Yamamoto

Definition: These are conjunctions that connect two clauses of unequal standing: a main caluse with a dependent clause. When the ideas in two independent clauses are not of equal importance, you can use a subordinating conjuntion or relative pronoun to join the clauses into one complex sentence, placing the less important idea in the independ clause. The subordinating conjuction one chooses indicates how the clauses are related.

Chinese people don't use frecuently subordinating conjunctions, but if they do, these are the most common:

English Kanji Katakana/ Hiragana Romaji
when とき toki
before まえ mae
afterあと ato
while あいだ aida
because から kara
sinceので node
butのに noni
whenねがら negara
until まで made


  • My friend usually goes golfing when he is not at work

  • 彼が仕事でいないときに私の友人は通常のプレーを行く

  • Kare ga shigoto de inai toki ni watashi no yūjin wa tsūjō no purē o iku.

  • I always read the newspaper before work.

  • 私はいつも仕事前新聞を読んで.

  • Watashi wa itsumo shigoto no mae ni shinbun o yonde.

  • I take a walk after the meal.

  • 私は食事あとに散歩する.

  • Watashi wa shokuji ato ni sanpo suru.

  • The room is quiet while this child is sleeping.

  • この子が寝ている間に部屋は静かです.

  • Kono ko ga nete iru aida heya wa shizukadesu.

  • I went to see a movie because I was free yesterday.

  • 私昨日ので殻私は映画を見に行った.

  • Watashi kinōnode kara watashi wa eiga o mi ni itta.

  • My friend and I often talk about when we are eating.

  • 私の友人と私はしばしば私たちが食べているねがらの話.

  • Watashi no yūjin to watashi wa shibashiba watashi-tachi ga tabete iru negara no hanashi.

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