Conjunction | Definition, Types & Rules with Useful Examples

Conjunctions are connecting words, which form an essential component of English grammar. They connect words, clauses, and sentences and help in the construction of relevant sentences. Conjunctions are part of basic English that is taught and examined in schools. Therefore, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the various types of conjunctions, rules governing their use as well as the conjunctions list.

What is a Conjunction?

A conjunction is a word that connects other words, phrases, clauses, and even sentences. Conjunctions make it possible to construct complex, relevant sentences and skip the choppiness of numerous short sentences. It’s of the essence to ensure all the phrases linked by conjunctions share a similar structure.

For example:

Wrong: He discharges his duties precisely and swift.

Correct: He discharges his duties precisely and swiftly.

Types of Conjunctions

There are three types of conjunctions in English Grammar, namely: Coordinating, correlative, and subordinating. Let’s look at each of them in detail.

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are meant to link two words, phrases, or clauses of the same structure. Coordinating conjunctions are the most commonly used and are seven in number. They include and, nor, or, for, but, so, and yet.

To help you further understand the working of these conjunctions, let’s look at their use on the following examples:

  • Jane and Jason walked out of the meeting following a disagreement with other members. (Words with Words)
  • On the eve of the meeting, Joshua and James sent a note of reminder to the rest of the members. (Words with Words)
  • Joyce likes reading novels and cleaning utensils during her spare time on weekends. (Phrases with Phrases)
  • Jennifer took us to our favorite destination, but it turned out to be a disaster. (Clauses with Clauses)
  • Kelly will miss the much-awaited tournament, for he is battling sickness. (Clauses with Clauses)
  • Mercy suggested beef or roast meat for lunch. (Words with Words)
  • Jenny felt she had no chance of doing well in her final exam. Yet, she managed to perform exemplary in the exam. (sentences with sentences)
  • Mason was prepared to sacrifice for the team so that they could qualify for the semi-finals.
  • The team neither won the grand prize nor the league cup.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunction joins two essential parts of a sentence to compare or contrast words or ideas in sentences.

The most commonly used correlative conjunctions are neither-nor, either-or, not only-but also, both-and, and whether-or.

To help you understand correlative conjunctions in detail, read the following examples.

  • John is both candid and trustworthy
  • William and Roman couldn’t agree whether to watch the match at home or the neighboring restaurant.
  • The police did not only found the driver drunk but also in contravention of traffic rules.
  • The doctor had neither the experience nor the expertise to perform a lung transplant.
  • You either return the stolen items or face prosecution.
  • The trader is both alert and calculating when talking to potential customers.

Subordinating Conjunctions

They join two clauses of dissimilar structures or of unequal importance. This is usually the case with independent and non-independent clauses.

There are numerous subordinating conjunctions, but the most commonly used are because, since, although, before, until, unless, as if, as, so that, than, how, though, whether, while, and so on.

Examples in a sentence

  • The teacher released the students before heading to town.
  • Unless she works hard, she will never do well in mathematics.
  • Mum won’t make it to work today because of her deteriorating health.
  • Until the funds are available, the project will remain incomplete for the time being.

List of Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

  • And, but, for, nor, or, so, yet.

Correlative Conjunctions

  • Neither/nor, both/and, whether/or, either/or, not only/but also.

Subordinating Conjunctions

  • Because, before, whenever, though, until, when, unless, whereas, in case, supposing, although, as soon as, whether or not, once, only if, while, provided that, wherever, since, so, only if, even though, even if, as long as, etc.

Conjunction | Infographic

Conjunction | Definition, Types & Rules with Useful Examples

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