It won't be any easier now that the pause in use of the Johnson&Johnson vaccine has sown fresh seeds of doubt. (From The Economist)

Which type of clause is the bold one?

I don't think it is the real subject of the main sentence, in which "it" is the dummy subject.

I also won't think it's a relative clause, for no proper antecedent is preceding "that." Besides, the sentence after "that" is complete in itself, it doesn't need "that" to be a grammatical component in the sentence.

It makes more sense if the clause is relative clause though, but because "now" is a time, the relative pronoun "when" will have to be used rather than "that."

1 Answer 1


Wiktionary "now that"

Conjunction: As a consequence of the fact that; since.

Like since, the words now that work as a conjunction. They introduce an adverbial clause, "the pause ... has introduced ...". That adverbial clause conditions or modifies the main clause, "It wont be any easier...", explaining why or when it won't be easier.

One can form simpler examples to see how it works:

Now that the sun is down, the temperature will fall.
The meeting can start now that we're all here.

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