Time Conjunctions in English

Hello English learners. Welcome to a new lesson. We will talk about time conjunctions.

As you probably know, we use conjunctions to join sentences. Time conjunctions tell us the time when things happen. Here is the list of 9 time conjunctions we will be discussing in today’s lesson:

  • After/before 
  • Until/by the time
  • As soon as
  • Once 
  • Since
  • When/while

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After and before as time conjunctions

We use after and before to show the order in which things happen. If things happen before, then they happen earlier than the event mentioned and if they happen after, they happen later than the event mentioned. They can go at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence.

Time conjunctions in English

  • Marta and her husband got divorced after only a year of marriage.
  • After running a marathon, Sam was exhausted.
  • Brian worked as a librarian before he started his career in a multinational company.
  • You have to shake the bottle before use.

Until and by the time as time conjunctions

We use until and by the time to tell the time up to which action happens. We use until to tell the point in time up to which time something happens and by the time to tell at what time the action is expected to be finished. 

  • The dog was sitting still until Mark came back.
  • Heat the soup until all excess water evaporates.
  • It got dark by the time we reached the house.
  • By the time they arrived at the cinema, the film had already started.

Time conjunctions in English

As soon as as time conjunction

If you do something as soon as something happens, then you do it without delay at the very moment after it happens.

  • As soon as she finished writing one email, she started writing another.
  • I will make you a cup of tea as soon as I finish cooking.
  • As soon as she opened the door, she could see that her flat had been robbed.

Once as a time conjunction

Once has a similar use as as soon as. It indicates action happening as soon as or after something else happens.

  • Once I finish writing the essay, I’ll go out and play football.
  • Once you get over the disease, you are immune for life.
  • Monica has a big problem. Once she starts eating sweets, she can’t stop.

Time conjunctions in English

Since as a time conjunction

Since as a time conjunction refers back to a moment in time. It usually goes with a time expression.

  • Laura has known Paul since they were children.
  • We haven’t heard from them since April.
  • It’s been a long time since I last had my hair cut.

When and while as time conjunctions

We use when and while as subordinate conjunctions to indicate the time when things happen, usually when they happen at the same time or one after another.

  • Pam was flabbergasted when she saw her electricity bill.
  • When he is sad, he loves listening to classical music.
  • The girls were dancing, the boys were playing football, while their parents were drinking tea.
  • They talked about politics while they were waiting.

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Time Conjunctions in English
Time Conjunctions in English

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1 Comment

Kenneth Baloyi · 23 Oct 2023 at 10:55 am

This is a very educative listen.I was informed and entertained

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