Mastering Subordinating Conjunctions in Italian Grammar

Aspiring Italian speakers and writers, this comprehensive guide to subordinating conjunctions is for you! We will delve into the intricacies of these essential elements in Italian grammar, providing examples, explanations, and helpful tips for mastering their usage. By the end of this article, you will have a solid foundation in subordinating conjunctions, empowering you to create complex, well-constructed sentences in the Italian language.

What Are Subordinating Conjunctions?

Subordinating conjunctions are words or phrases that link dependent clauses to independent clauses, creating a complex sentence. These conjunctions express a variety of relationships between the clauses, such as condition, cause, purpose, consequence, and time. They are indispensable for providing context, nuance, and coherence to your Italian writing and speech.

Common Italian Subordinating Conjunctions


  • Perché (Because): Indicates the reason or cause of an action or event. Example: Non sono uscito perché pioveva. (I didn’t go out because it was raining.)
  • Poiché (Since, As): Similar to “perché,” but more formal and often used at the beginning of a sentence. Example: Poiché pioveva, non sono uscito. (Since it was raining, I didn’t go out.)


  • Se (If): Expresses a condition that must be met for the main action to occur. Example: Se piove, resterò a casa. (If it rains, I will stay at home.)
  • A meno che (Unless): Introduces a negative condition; the main action will not occur if the condition is met. Example: Non uscirò a meno che non smetta di piovere. (I won’t go out unless it stops raining.)


  • Così (So, Therefore): Shows the result or consequence of an action or event. Example: Pioveva, così sono rimasto a casa. (It was raining, so I stayed at home.)
  • Tanto che (So much so that): Indicates an extreme consequence or result. Example: Pioveva tanto che le strade erano allagate. (It rained so much that the streets were flooded.)


  • Affinché (So that, In order that): Indicates the purpose or goal of an action. Example: Studio l’italiano affinché possa parlare con i miei amici italiani. (I study Italian so that I can speak with my Italian friends.)


  • Quando (When): Refers to the time when an action or event occurs. Example: Quando piove, mi piace leggere. (When it rains, I like to read.)
  • Finché (As long as, Until): Indicates the duration of an action or event. Example: Continuerò a studiare finché non imparerò l’italiano. (I will continue to study until I learn Italian.)

Tips for Mastering Subordinating Conjunctions

  1. Practice: Use subordinating conjunctions in your written and spoken Italian as often as possible. Incorporating them into your daily communication will help you internalize their correct usage.
  2. Read: Expose yourself to authentic Italian texts, such as books, newspapers, and online articles. This will help you see subordinating conjunctions in context and become familiar with their natural placement in sentences.
  3. Listen: Watch Italian movies, TV shows, or podcasts to hear native speakers using subordinating conjunctions in conversation.
  4. Seek Feedback: Share your Italian writing with native speakers or teachers, and ask for their feedback on your usage of subordinating conjunctions.

In conclusion, subordinating conjunctions are vital components of Italian grammar that enable you to form complex, nuanced sentences. By understanding their various functions, studying authentic Italian texts, and practicing their usage regularly, you will soon master the art of wielding subordinating conjunctions in your Italian communication. Buona fortuna!

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