What's the difference between conjunctions and prepostions?
How do we use them?
Certain words, such as after, before, since and until may function either as prepositions or subordinate conjunctions. However it should be noted that in some cases different words must be used as prepositions and subordinate conjunctions, in order to express similar meanings. This is illustrated in the table below.
|for this reason||because of||because|
|in spite of this||despite||although|
|at the time when||during||while|
|in a similar way||like||as if|
In the following examples, the objects of the prepositions, and the verbs of the subordinate clauses are underlined.
Preposition: They were upset because of the delay.
Conjunction: They were upset because they were delayed.
Preposition: Despite the rain, we enjoyed ourselves.
Conjunction: Although it rained, we enjoyed ourselves.
Preposition: We stayed indoors during the storm.
Conjunction: We stayed indoors while the storm raged.
Preposition: It looks like rain.
Conjunction: It looks as if it will rain.
In the above examples, it can be seen that the prepositions because of, despite, during and like have the noun objects delay, rain and storm; whereas the subordinate conjunctions because, although, while and as ifintroduce subordinate clauses containing the verbs were delayed, rained, raged and will rain.
It should be noted that like is sometimes used as a subordinate conjunction in informal English.
e.g. It looks like it will rain.
However, this use of like is considered incorrect in formal English.
1. although 2. despite 3. because 4. like 5. while 6. during 7. as if 8. because of 9. while 10. like 11. despite 12. because 13. as if 14. during 15. Although 16. Because of
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