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What is the conjunction that indicates subordination in the sentence:

By the end of the party, she played Tarot to tell my fortune.

I'm in doubt between "by the end" and "by the end of".

What do you think?

Thanks for the help!

  • You could say that to is a subordination marker, since it introduces an infinitive purpose clause (in order (for her)) to tell my fortune. On the one hand, it's a complementizer, not a conjunction. On the other hand, would your teacher know that? – John Lawler Oct 26 '15 at 19:10
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The word by is the preposition which marks the phrase by the end of the party as an Adjunct in the sentence. The noun phrase the end of the party is the Complement of the preposition.

The preposition by is not taking a clause as a complement here (it is not behaving like a conjunctive preposition), so it wouldn't be regarded as a conjunction by grammarians who use that term.

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Conjunction is defined as:

Grammar: A word used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause (e.g. and, but, if).

[Oxford Online Dictionary]

"By" in the sentence is not a conjunction but a preposition that takes the object of "the end of the party". Therefore, there is no conjunction nor subordination in the sentence. In other words, "by the end of the party" is just a prepositional phrase that has nothing to do with subordination.

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