Types of Conjunctions: English Grammar Rules and Examples

This list of conjunctions gives you examples of the three types of conjunctions in English


1. Coordinating conjunctions

The English language has seven coordinating conjunctions, and they’re easy to remember if you can just remember FANBOYS:

For

 Explains reason or purpose (just like “because”)

  • I go to the park every Sunday, for I love to watch the ducks on the lake.

And

 Adds one thing to another

  • She sat next him and listened quietly.

Nor

Used to present an alternative negative idea to an already stated negative idea

  • Tom neither confirmed nor denied the rumors.

But

Shows contrast

  • She wants to buy a car, but she can’t afford to.

Or

Presents an alternative or a choice

  • Which do you like better, apples or bananas?

Yet  

Introduces a contrasting idea that follows the preceding idea logically

  • I always take a book to read, yet I never to turn a single page.

So

Indicates effect, result or consequence

  • I’m hungry, so I’m going to get something to eat.


2. Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunction show the relationship between two parts of a sentence

Than

  • He is cleverer than I am.

Rather than

  • I will have tea rather than coffee.

Whether

  • You must decide whether you will go by train or by plane.

As much as

  • I eat as much as you.

Whereas

  • Elliot is tall and blond, whereas his brother is short and has dark hair.

That

  • She went to the school that my father went to.

Whatever

  • I copied in my notebook whatever he wrote on the blackboard.

Which

  • The car which I drive is old.

Whichever

  • Bruce will wear his pink or green sweater, whichever is clean.

After

  • Mary closed his diary after writing about that day's events.

As soon as

  • A baby deer can stand as soon as it is born.

As long as

  • You can use my car as long as you drive carefully.

Before

He always feeds the dogs before he goes to school.

By the time

  • By the time ambulancemen arrived he was unconscious.

Now that

  • You can go and play now that you have finished your homework.

Once

  • Once you learn it, you never forget.

Since

  • Mary has danced since she was five.

Till

  • James lived with his parents till he was twenty - five.

Until

  • You can stay on the bus until you reach London.

When

  • Tom's parents cheered for him when he crossed the finished line.

Whenever

  • Whenever we go abroad, we take as many pictures as possible.

While

  • While I was walking to the market, I met Jenny.

Though

  • Though it was raining, she went out.

Although

  • Although the kitchen is small, it is well designed.

Even though

  • Even though he's a millionaire, he lives in a very small flat.

Who

  • The person who made the mess needs to clean it.

Whoever

  • Whoever leaves last should turn off the light.

Whom

  • She's the man whom I met in Greece.

Whomever

  • He was free to marry whomever he chose.

Whose

  • She's the student whose handwriting is the best in my class.

Where

  • This is the park where we played.

Wherever

  • Wherever you go in the world, you'll always find someone who speaks English.

If

  • If you leave, I will be lonely.

Only if

  • Only if a teacher has given permission is a student allowed to leave the room.

Unless

  • You won't succeed unless you work hard.

Provided that

  • I was allowed to go off by myself provided that I promised to be careful.

Assuming that

  • I hope to go to college next year, assuming that I pass my exams.

Even if

  • Even if you have already bought your ticket, you will still need to wait in line.

In case (that)

  • I have my umbrella with me in case it rains.

Lest

  • Study hard lest you should fail.

How

  • She taught him how to play the piano.

As though

  • They look as though they're heading for divorce.

As if

  • At sunset, the sun looks as if it is going down.

Because

  • I love Matisse's work because he uses color so brilliantly.

Since

  • Since we've got a few minutes to wait for the train, let's have a cup of coffee.

So that

  • I’ll go by car so that I can take more luggage.

In order (that)

  • Do exercises in order that your health may improve.

That

  • We eat that we may live.

As

  • We played chess all evening as we had nothing better to do.

...

3. Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions Join similar words, but are always used in pairs

Both…and

  • She played both hockey and basketball when she was a student.

Either…or

  • I will eat either carrots or peas for dinner.

Neither…nor

  • Natalie, likes neither milk nor cream cake.

Whether…or

  • Do you care whether we have noodles or rice for dinner?

Not only…but also

  • Not only will they paint the outside of the house but also the inside.

Such…that

  • He is such a bad-tempered person that no one can work with him for long.

Scarcely…when

  • Scarcely had she finished reading when she fell asleep.

No sooner…than

  • No sooner did he enter the room than he saw a snake.

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Types of Conjunctions: English Grammar Rules and Examples

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