Conjunctions in English: Grammar Rules and Examples

Conjunctions are words which join phrases, clauses and sentences ...


This article will explain a little about what conjunctions are and how they should be used. Conjunctions are words or phrases that are used to join two independent clauses together.

 

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Three Kinds of Conjunctions

There are three kinds of conjunctions: Coordinating, Subordinating and Correlative Conjunctions

1. Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are and/or/but/nor/as/for/so. When they are used to connect two independent clauses together they should be accompanied by a comma, which comes before the coordinating conjunction.

Here are some examples of coordinating conjunctions in English and what they do:

  • For – presents rationale ("They do not gamble or smoke, for they are ascetics.")
  • And – presents non-contrasting item(s) or idea(s) ("They gamble, and they smoke.")
  • Nor – presents a non-contrasting negative idea ("They do not gamble, nor do they smoke.")
  • But – presents a contrast or exception ("They gamble, but they don't smoke.")
  • Or – presents an alternative item or idea ("Every day they gamble, or they smoke.")
  • Yet – presents a contrast or exception ("They gamble, yet they don't smoke.")
  • So – presents a consequence ("He gambled well last night, so he smoked a cigar to celebrate.")

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2. Subordinating Conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction is a word that connects a main clause to a subordinate clause. A main clause is an independent clause that can stand alone by itself as a sentence. In other words, a main clause does not need any additional information to operate as a sentence.

A subordinating conjunction is a word that connects a main clause to a subordinate clause. A main clause is an independent clause that can stand alone by itself as a sentence. In other words, a main clause does not need any additional information to operate as a sentence.

For Examples:

Than, rather than, whether, as much as, whereas, that, whatever, which, whichever, after, as soon as, as long as, before, by the time, now that, once, since, till, until, when, whenever, while, though, although, even though, who, whoever, whom, whomever, whose, where, wherever, if, only if, unless, provided that, assuming that, even if, in case (that), lest, how, as though, as if, because, since, so that, in order (that), that, as ...

How to use Subordinating conjunctions in Sentences:

In English, there are lots of subordinating conjunctions, but the most common ones, along with a few examples of how subordinating conjunctions are used, are as follows:

  • He is cleverer than I am.
  • You must decide whether you will go by train or by plane.
  • I eat as much as you.
  • Elliot is tall and blond, whereas his brother is short and has dark hair.
  • She went to the school that my father went to.
  • I copied in my notebook whatever he wrote on the blackboard.
  • The car which I drive is old.
  • Bruce will wear his pink or green sweater, whichever is clean."

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3. Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions work in pairs to join words and groups of words of equal weight in a sentence. There are many different pairs of correlative conjunctions:

For Examples:

  • both…and,
  • either…or,
  • neither…nor,
  • whether…or,
  • not      only…but also,
  • such…that,
  • scarcely…when,
  • no      sooner…than

How to use Correlative conjunctions in Sentences:

  • She played both hockey and basketball when she was a student.
  • I will eat either carrots or peas for dinner.
  • Natale, likes neither milk nor cream cake.
  • Do you care whether we have noodles or rice for dinner?
  • Not only will they paint the outside of the house but also the inside.
  • He is such a bad-tempered person that no one can work with him for long.
  • Scarcely had she finished reading when she fell asleep.
  • No sooner did he enter the room than he saw a snake.

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Conjunctions in English: Grammar Rules and Examples

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