Conjunctions are grammatical connectors that link words, phrases
or clauses. A conjunction can indicate the relationship between
the elements that it connects in the sentence. There are three
types of conjunctions: coordinating, correlative, and
A coordinating conjunction connects words, phrases, and clauses
that have equal or the same grammatical functions, The
coordinating conjunctions include 'and', 'but', 'or', 'yet',
'nor', 'for', 'and so'. For examples:
Connecting nouns: Mary will buy a computer and a scanner.
Connecting verbs: Jack did not call nor write his teacher.
Connecting adjectives: The toy was big but weird.
Connecting dependent clauses: If the students show and the teacher
is prepared, class will be productive.
Connecting independent clauses: Two thousand students applied to
the university, but only five hundred were admitted.
A correlative conjunction is a coordinating conjunction that works
in pairs to connect elements in a sentence. The correlative
conjunctions include 'both...and', 'not...but', 'not only...but
also', 'either...or', 'neither...nor', 'although...yet', and
'whether...or'. For examples:
Connecting nouns: The name of the computer is not Dall but Dell.
Connecting adjectives: Your employer should provide both health and
Connecting prepositional phrases: Apple juice is made either by
squeezing apples or by mixing a can of frozen concentrate.
Connecting independent clauses: Not only did Jack eat the rice, but
he also ate the bread.
A subordinating conjunction connects elements with different
grammatical functions, usually a dependent and an independent
clause. The subordinating conjunctions include 'after', 'in case',
'unless', 'although', 'in that', 'until', 'as', 'now that', 'when',
'as if', 'once', 'whenever', 'as though', 'since', 'where',
'because', 'so', 'whereas', 'before', 'so that', 'whether', 'even
though', 'than', 'which', 'except that', 'that', 'while', 'however',
'though', 'who/whom', and 'if'. For examples:
Joe acts as though he has done something wrong.
Jack is not sure that the teacher will give him the good mark.
When the bell rings, the students must keep quiet.
Since the dog disappeared, the boy has been sad.
A conjunctive adverb is an adverb that connects independent
clauses. Some of the most common conjunctive adverbs are
'however', 'moreover', 'nevertheless', and 'therefore'.
Conjunctive adverbs require semicolons:
The project will probably be successful; however, I don't know
when it will be.
Conjunctive adverbs are often confused with coordinating
conjunctions such as 'and', 'but', 'for', 'nor', 'or', 'yet'
or 'while'. One difference is that coordinating conjunctions
join clauses of equal rank and conjunctive adverbs do not.
Another difference is that conjunctive adverbs are not true
linking devices themselves, as indicated by their needing
I don't have enough butter for my bread; therefore, I'll buy
butter to make my bread taste better.
The flexibility of the conjunctive adverb in the sentence also
indicates they aren't true linking devices like coordinating
conjunctions. For example, the second part of this sentence
could also be written:
...I will therefore buy some butter to make my bread taste better.
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