Is there way to identify which words are Subordinating Conjunctions and which are Conjunctive adverbs, or do we need to memorize it? Both seems similar to me

Subordinating Conjunctions: Although, Because, While etc.
Conjunctive adverbs: Also, Finally, Similarly, Moreover etc.

2 Answers 2


When a conjunctive adverb begins a sentence, it uses a comma. Hence, try to start a sentence with the word. If you can pause after using it, it's a conjunctive adverb.

For example:

  • Buses are an easy form of transport in the city. Similarly, trains are convenient, but they have less stops.

However, if you use a subordinate conjunction like "although" you don't use a pause or comma.

For example:

  • Although trains are easy to catch in the city, they offer fewer stops than buses.

Look at examples on this site http://www2.estrellamountain.edu/faculty/stonebrink/ESL032/conjunction2/conjunction2.html and you will see the same thing.


Please refer to this page about "conjunctive adverb": http://www.chompchomp.com/terms/conjunctiveadverb.htm

and this about "subordinating conjunction": http://chompchomp.com/terms/subordinateconjunction.htm

I wouldn't advise you to memorize them. For me, the best way to determine them is to know and understand their function.

Let's take for example the word "after." As used in a sentence with another word or other words, it is neither just a preposition nor an adverb nor a conjunction. It depends on how it is used or how it functions when used in a sentence. To illustrate this advice, please see below:

As preposition: after eating, after today, after work

As adverb: graduated the year after, see you after

As conjunction: after she left, after I had eaten, after I attended the meeting

  • I wish I knew why my answer was voted down... so I could improve next time. Is my answer wrong?
    – Portcall
    Commented May 26, 2016 at 12:50
  • Don't know the reason. You should not add those link at the beginning; They didn't ask for the list, or you better add it at the end. It is hard to understand the example you have given; Give full sentence.
    – user223949
    Commented May 20, 2020 at 11:53

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