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.
Conjunction – Definition, Types & Rules with Useful Examples
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.
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 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 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.
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
- And, but, for, nor, or, so, yet.
- Neither/nor, both/and, whether/or, either/or, not only/but also.
- 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.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Conjunctions
Common mistakes to avoid when using conjunctions include using them incorrectly or unnecessarily, using them in the wrong order, and failing to punctuate them properly.
For example, using “and” to connect two independent clauses without a comma can result in a run-on sentence. Similarly, using “but” to connect two independent clauses without a comma can create a sentence fragment.
Additionally, using too many conjunctions can make a sentence awkward and difficult to read. It is important to use conjunctions judiciously and correctly in order to effectively convey your intended meaning.
Tips for Improving Your Conjunction Usage
Improving your conjunction usage can greatly enhance the clarity and cohesiveness of your writing.
- One tip is to use conjunctions to connect related ideas, instead of using them haphazardly.
- Additionally, using a variety of conjunctions can make your writing more interesting and engaging.
- Another tip is to use conjunctions to create contrast or emphasis, such as using “but” to introduce a contradictory idea.
- It is also important to use conjunctions correctly, such as using “and” to connect two independent clauses, and “but” to connect two contrasting ideas.
Practicing and reviewing conjunction usage can help improve your writing and communication skills.
Exercise 1: Combine each pair of sentences below using the appropriate conjunction (and, but, or, so, although, because).
- I wanted to go to the party. I had a headache.
- She is a great singer. She is not very confident.
- I have to finish this report. I can’t go to the movie.
- He is very busy. He always finds time to exercise.
- I like pizza. I don’t like hamburgers.
- It’s too late to go out. I’ll just stay home.
- He is very tall. He is not very good at basketball.
- She studied hard for the test. She got an A.
- He loves to read. He loves to write.
- She is allergic to nuts. She can’t eat peanut butter.
- I wanted to go to the party, but I had a headache.
- Although she is a great singer, she is not very confident.
- I have to finish this report, so I can’t go to the movie.
- He is very busy, but he always finds time to exercise.
- I like pizza, but I don’t like hamburgers.
- It’s too late to go out, so I’ll just stay home.
- He is very tall, but he is not very good at basketball.
- She studied hard for the test, so she got an A.
- He loves to read and write.
- She is allergic to nuts, so she can’t eat peanut butter.
Exercise 2: Use conjunctions to combine two or more sentences:
- Sarah went to the store. She bought some milk.
- (Sarah went to the store and bought some milk.)
- Jack is very tired. He still has to finish his homework.
- (Jack is very tired but he still has to finish his homework.)
- I want to go to the concert. I can’t afford the tickets.
- (I want to go to the concert, but I can’t afford the tickets.)
- The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day.
- (The sun was shining and it was a beautiful day.)
- Mary is allergic to peanuts. She can’t eat peanut butter.
- (Mary is allergic to peanuts, so she can’t eat peanut butter.)
- I need to buy some groceries. I’m going to the supermarket.
- (I need to buy some groceries, so I’m going to the supermarket.)
- Mark loves pizza. He also loves hamburgers.
- (Mark loves pizza and hamburgers.)
- She woke up late. She missed her bus.
- (She woke up late, and she missed her bus.)
- He studied very hard. He passed the test.
- (He studied very hard, and he passed the test.)
- The party was loud. I couldn’t hear myself think.
- (The party was loud, so I couldn’t hear myself think.)
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