Punctuation and Dependent Clauses: but and although


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Is this a sentence?

Although I am poor, but I am happy.

 Follow below as we discuss sentence fragments and complex sentences.

To view the prior lesson, Sentence Fragments and Dependent Clauses beginning with but, click here.


Using but and although together


One frequent error of learners of English is to use although and but in the same sentence.
Both but and although are subordinating conjunctions and introduce subordinating clauses.  When somebody uses both in the same sentence, as in the example before, there is no main or independent clause. This is a serious writing error.

How can you repair this?

Subordinate Clause Fragments That Begin with 'when'

The easiest way to repair this is either:

  • by eliminating the subordinating conjunction but or

  • by eliminating the subordinating conjunction although.


The main clause is bolded in each sentence below.

  • Although I am poor, I am happy.

  • I am poor, but I am happy.


Sentence Structure

How to Repair Dependent Clause Sentence Fragments

Do the two sentences above have the same meaning?

Both but and although signal concession.

Click here to learn more about concession and sentence structure.



You may begin the sentence with the main clause or with the when clause.

When the sentence begins with the main clause, do not use a comma to separate it from the subordinate clause. 

  • My brother and I would go home and turn the money over to our parents after we had sold all the pastries.


When it begins with the subordinate clause and the subordinate conjunctions before or after, use a comma after the subordinate clause.

  • After working all day, my brother and I would go home and turn the money we had earned over to our parents.

  • After a while, we started going out again.


Next lesson...


In our NEXT LESSON:  Fragments and Complex Sentences beginning with

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