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Conjunction Because

Conjunction Because

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Requirements

 

Conjunction - Because

 

Hello! In this lesson we will learn how to use the conjunction "because". In previous lessons, we have learned the conjunctions "and" and "but". We have also learned conjunctive adverbs such as "finally" and "however".

Conjunctions put words, phrases, and clauses together. The conjunction "because" puts clauses together. The conjunction "because" used with a clause answers the question "why". It is used with a clause which explains the reason for something.

The conjunction "because” can be used in either the first clause or the second clause, although it is by far more common in the second clause than in the first one. For example, we can say "The girl is crying because she is sad.", which is the most common way of ordering the clauses of the sentence. But we can also say "Because she is sad, she is crying." We might say "Jennifer is baking a chocolate cake because David is hungry for chocolate.", or we might say "Because David is hungry for chocolate, Jennifer is baking a chocolate cake.".

Another example of the use of the conjunction "because" might be "David is not going to play football tomorrow because it could rain.", or "Because it could rain tomorrow, David is not going to play football."

Now that we know how to use the conjunction "because", let us listen to the dialog. In this dialog, Jennifer realizes that bad weather tomorrow will cause everyone to come to their apartment for the office party, and she is not prepared.

Jennifer:  Are you going to play football tomorrow?

David: No, I am not.

Jennifer: Why not?

David: Because it is going to rain tomorrow.

Jennifer:  Oh no! (starts crying)

David:  Why are you crying?

Jennifer: I am crying because we are going to have our office party tomorrow.

David: But why are you crying, Jennifer?

Jennifer: I am crying because the party is outside.

David: I do not understand. Why are you crying?

Jennifer: I am crying because our refrigerator is full of party food, and the party is outside.

David: But why are you crying?

Jennifer: I am crying because all the workers from my office will come here for the party.

David: But why are you crying?

Jennifer:  I am crying because all the workers are coming here and we have only six plates.

Now that you have heard how the word "because" is used, let us take a look at each sentence in the dialog.

In the beginning of the conversation, Jennifer asks why David is not going to play football tomorrow. David answers "Because it is going to rain tomorrow.". The word "because" is a conjunction, which means that it joins two clauses together. In this case, the first clause is the understood statement "I am not going to play football tomorrow." The second clause "It is going to rain tomorrow." is the reason that David is not going to play football tomorrow.  So the entire thought is "I am not going to play tomorrow because it is going to rain tomorrow."

When Jennifer starts crying, David is concerned about her and asks "Why are you crying?" The question word "why" asks for a reason.

Jennifer responds "I am crying because we are going to have our office party tomorrow.". We notice that both clauses are present in Jennifer's answer. Both clauses are independent; each would stand alone and be complete. When we put them together with the conjunction "because", the "because" clause explains the reason for the other clause.

The next time David asks Jennifer why she is crying, she responds "I am crying because the party is outside." We notice that Jennifer's reason does not seem to make sense. However, in a grammatical way, the "because" clause explains the other clause. Whether or not the "because" clause  explains the other clause in a logical way, the grammar is impeccable.

David again asks Jennifer "Why are you crying?". Jennifer responds "I am crying because our refrigerator is full of party food, and the party is outside.". We notice that Jennifer repeats the clause "I am crying" which was part of David's question: "Why are you crying?". Then

Jennifer adds the "because" clause. "… because our refrigerator is full of food, and the party is outside.". We notice that Jennifer complicates her answer by including yet another conjunction. In her answer, she includes the conjunction "and". So her answer has three independent clauses, joined by the conjunctions "because" and "and". If Jennifer wanted to, she could continue her response indefinitely, adding independent clauses with the help of conjunctions.

David again asks the question "I am crying because all the workers from my office will come here for the party.". we notice that Jennifer again reformulates the question "Why are you crying" with her response "I am crying …", and then she uses the conjunction "because" to introduce the second independent clause " … all the workers from our office will come here for the party.".

David still does not understand "why" Jennifer is crying. "But why are you crying?" Note that the conversation is rife with conjunctions. In this case, the conjunction "but" joins Jennifer's last statement to David's question: "All the workers from my office will come here for the party … but … why are you crying?".

Jennifer completes the conversation and clears up the mystery by answering "I am crying because all the workers are coming here and we have only six plates." We notice that Jennifer again uses conjunctions to compound her sentences and thus complicate her response. She might have responded "I am crying because all the workers are coming here, and I am crying because we have only six plates.", but since both clauses are responses to the same question, Jennifer does not need to repeat "… and I am crying because …".

Now that we have heard how the conjunction"because" is used, let us listen to the dialog again. Listen to the way it is used with an independent clause to answer the question "why?".

Jennifer:  Are you going to play football tomorrow?

David: No, I am not.

Jennifer: Why not?

David: Because it is going to rain tomorrow.

Jennifer:  Oh no! (starts crying)

David:  Why are you crying?

Jennifer: I am crying because we are going to have our office party tomorrow.

David: But why are you crying, Jennifer?

Jennifer: I am crying because the party is outside.

David: I do not understand. Why are you crying?

Jennifer: I am crying because our refrigerator is full of party food, and the party is outside.

David: But why are you crying?

Jennifer:  I am crying because all the workers from my office will come here for the party.

David: But why are you crying?

Jennifer:  I am crying because all the workers are coming here and we have only six plates.

Good job! Your ability to express yourself in English is becoming more sophisticated. You can ask questions using the question word "why", and you can answer questions using the conjunction "because". Incorporate this skill into your English conversations. "Why are we learning English? We are learning English because we want to speak English!"