A conjunction is a word that joins elements in a sentence.
What is a Conjunction?
A conjunction is a special word that helps us join sentences, phrases, or words together. It's like the glue that holds our ideas in a sentence.
Examples of Conjunctions
Look at the following two sentences:
Sentence 1: "I like ice cream."
Sentence 2: "I like cake."
Now, we can use the conjunction "and" to join these sentences:
Combined: "I like ice cream and cake."
So, what is a Conjunction?
A conjunction is like a bridge that joins things together. Remember, a conjunction is like a linking word that makes our sentences more interesting and clearer by connecting different parts together!
Types of Conjunctions
In English, conjunctions are mainly categorized into three types based on their functions and usage. They are:
- Coordinating Conjunctions
- Correlative Conjunctions
- Subordinating Conjunctions
1. Coordinating Conjunctions
These conjunctions are used to join words, phrases, or clauses of equal importance. There are seven coordinating conjunctions in English: and, but, or, nor, for, so and yet.
Use of Coordinating Conjunctions
"And" joins two similar ideas.
- I like to read books, and I also enjoy travelling.
- She studied hard for the exam, and she performed exceptionally well.
- The cat is black and white.
- John and Mary went to the store together.
- I saw John, Marry, Kate, and Sara in the room.
"But" joins contrasted ideas or exception.
- I wanted to go to the party, but I was feeling unwell.
- She studied hard for the exam, but she still didn't get a good grade.
- The weather was hot, but they decided to go for a hike anyway.
- He is a talented musician, but he lacks confidence on stage.
- The car is expensive, but it is worth every penny.
"Or" Connects two choices or two options.
- Would you like tea or coffee? [In this sentence, "or" is used to present a choice between two beverages (tea and coffee).]
- You can either study for the test or go to the party. [Two alternative options (studying for the test or going to the party).]
- Do you want to stay in or go out for a walk?
- We can eat dinner at home or go out to a restaurant.
- Should I wear a blue shirt or a white shirt?
"Nor" is used in combination with "neither" to indicate that neither of the options is applicable or true. Here are some examples of how "nor" can be used:
- She neither called nor texted me to let me know she would be late. [In this sentence, "nor" is used to present the negative alternative to the action of calling (she didn't call) and texting (she didn't text).]
- He can neither sing nor dance. [Here, "nor" is used to introduce the negative alternative to both singing and dancing, indicating that the person cannot do either.]
- The company had neither the funds nor the resources to complete the project.
- She neither understood the question nor knew how to answer it.
- The book contains neither a table of contents nor an index.
"For" is used to indicate a reason or purpose.
- She went to the store, for she needed some groceries. [In this sentence, "for" is used to indicate the reason or purpose behind her visit to the store.]
- He stayed up late studying, for he wanted to pass the exam. [Here, "for" introduces the reason for his late-night studying.]
- They decided to go to the beach, for the weather was beautiful.
- She bought a new dress, for she had a special occasion coming up.
- They saved money every month, for they wanted to go on a vacation.
"Yet" is used to show a contrast or unexpected result in a sentence.
- The weather was terrible, yet they managed to have a great time. [In this sentence, "yet" introduces a contrast between the terrible weather and the unexpected outcome of still having a great time.]
- She worked long hours, yet she didn't complain. [Here, "yet" presents a contrast between the long working hours and the unexpected result of not complaining.]
- The car is old, yet it still runs smoothly.
- He was tired, yet he pushed through and finished the race.
- They had little experience, yet they tackled the project with confidence.
"So" is used to connect the cause or reason with its corresponding consequence or result, indicating a cause-and-effect relationship between the two parts of the sentence.
- The rain was pouring heavily, so we decided to stay indoors. [Here, "so" indicates the consequence or result of heavy rain, which led to the decision of staying indoors.]
- She didn't have enough money, so she couldn't buy the ticket. [In this example, "so" presents the consequence or result of not having enough money, which is the inability to purchase the ticket.]
- They practiced every day, so their performance was flawless.
- He worked hard, so he got the job.
- The movie received great reviews, so it became a box office hit.
Types of Co-ordinate Conjunctions:
Co-ordinating Conjunctions are of four kinds:
(1) Cumulative or Copulative [and]: Cumulative conjunctions add one statement to another.
- They played well and won the match.
(2) Adversative [but, yet]: Adversative conjunctions express opposition or contrast between two statements.
- They played well but could not win the match.
(3) Disjunctive or Alternative [or, nor]: Alternative conjunctions express a choice between two alternatives.
- She must weep, or she will die.
(4) Illative [for, so]: Illative conjunctions express an inference.
- Something certainly fell in for I heard a splash.
Functions of Co-ordinating Conjunctions
A Co-ordinating Conjunction joins elements of same value:
- Joining pre-fixes with pre-fixes: You did well in pre and post-tests.
- Joining words with words: She wears a red and blue skirt.
- Joining phrases with phrases: I ate an egg and an apple.
- Joining clauses with clauses: Speak more politely or I will kill you.
- Joining sentences with sentences: I paid the bill in time. But I forgot to collect the receipt.
Conjunctions ‘and’, ‘but’ and ‘or’ often make sentences more compact.
Original Sentence: I paid the bill, and I took my groceries.
Compact: I paid the bill and took my groceries.
Original Sentence: The man is poor, but he is honest.
Compact: The man is poor but honest.
Original Sentence: You do, or you will die.
Compact: Do or die.
2. Subordinating Conjunctions
Subordinating conjunctions join an independent clause with a dependent clause.
The most common subordinating conjunctions are after, although, as, as far as, as if, as long as, as soon as, as though, as well as, because, before, even if, even though, if, in order that, inasmuch as, on condition that, provided that, since, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, while, etc.
Subordinating conjunctions introduce noun clause, adjective clause and adverbial clause. They indicate various relationships such as time, cause and effect, condition, contrast, etc.
- When you sleep, you cannot see.
- He is happy because he got a gift.
Use of Subordinate Conjunctions
The subordinate conjunction "as" is commonly used to introduce a subordinate clause that specifies the manner in which something happens. Here are a few examples of how "as" can be used in sentences:
- I couldn't hear what he said as the music was too loud. [In this sentence, "as" introduces a subordinate clause ("the music was too loud") that explains why the speaker couldn't hear what someone said.]
- "As she grew older, her interests expanded." [Here, "as" introduces a subordinate clause ("she grew older") that shows the time frame during which the subject's interests expanded.]
- She studied hard as she wanted to achieve her goals.
- As he was ill, he did not attend school.
The subordinate conjunction "since" is commonly used to indicate the cause or time of an action or event. Here are a few examples of how "since" can be used in sentences:
- "Since it's raining, we should take an umbrella." [Here, "since" introduces a subordinate clause ("it's raining") that provides the reason or cause for the suggestion to take an umbrella.]
- "She has been feeling better since she started taking the medication."
- He did not attend school since he was ill.
- It is a week since I came here.
- A week has passed since I came here.
- Since you are ill, you cannot go there.
"Since" can be used as prepositions also. Look at the following sentences.
- She has been reading since morning.
- They have been absent since Monday.
The subordinate conjunction "because" is commonly used to introduce a subordinate clause that provides a reason or cause for the main clause. Here are a few examples of how "because" can be used in sentences:
- "She didn't eat dinner because she wasn't hungry." [Here, "because" introduces a subordinate clause ("she wasn't hungry") that provides the reason why she didn't eat dinner.]
- "The flight was delayed because of bad weather."
- "They canceled the event because of low attendance."
- He did not attend school because he was ill.
4. Although / Though
The subordinate conjunction "although" is commonly used to introduce a subordinate clause that presents a contrasting or contradictory idea to the main clause. Here are a few examples of how "although" can be used in sentences:
- "Although I was sick, I attended the meeting." [In this sentence, "although" introduces a subordinate clause ("I was sick") that contrasts with the main clause.]
- "She managed to finish the project on time, although she faced many obstacles."
- "Although he is talented, he lacks confidence."
- "Although it was late at night, he insisted on making the phone call."
- Though he is poor, he is honest.
The subordinate conjunction "after" is commonly used to indicate a time relationship between the main clause and a subordinate clause. It suggests that the action or event in the subordinate clause occurs subsequent to the action or event in the main clause. Here are a few examples of how "after" can be used in sentences:
- "She closed the door after she entered the room." [In this sentence, "after" introduces a subordinate clause ("she entered the room") that specifies the time when the action of closing the door occurred.]
- "We can go for a walk after the rain stops."
- The patient died after the doctor had come.
- I shall come out after finishing my work.
- I shall come out after dinner.
The subordinate conjunction "before" is commonly used to indicate a time relationship between the main clause and a subordinate clause. It suggests that the action or event in the subordinate clause occurs prior to the action or event in the main clause. Here are a few examples of how "before" can be used in sentences:
- "I will finish my work before I go to bed." [In this sentence, "before" introduces a subordinate clause ("I go to bed") that specifies the time when the action of finishing work will be completed.
- "Please clean your room before you go out."
- "Before the storm arrived, they secured all the windows."
- "Before she made a decision, she carefully considered all the options."
- The patient had died before the doctor came.
- I shall come out before finishing my work.
The subordinate conjunction "when" is commonly used to indicate a specific time or situation in which the action or event in the main clause occurs. Here are a few examples of how "when" can be used in sentences:
- "I will call you when I arrive at the airport." [In this sentence, "when" introduces a subordinate clause ("I arrive at the airport") that specifies the time at which the action of calling will take place.]
- "She always smiles when she sees her best friend." [Here, "when" introduces a subordinate clause ("she sees her best friend") that denotes the situation in which the action of smiling occurs.]
- "He apologized when he realized his mistake."
- "I was reading a book when the power went out."
- "The alarm clock rang when it was time to wake up."
- He wanted to know when I would go.
- You should not run in the field while it rains.
The subordinate conjunction "where" is commonly used to indicate a location or place in which the action or event in the main clause occurs. It introduces a subordinate clause that provides information about the location or setting of the main clause. Here are a few examples of how "where" can be used in sentences:
- He wanted to know where I would go.
"Where" can also be used as a relative pronoun.
- "She visited the museum where she saw beautiful paintings." [In this sentence, "where" introduces a subordinate clause ("she saw beautiful paintings") that specifies the location or place where the action of visiting the museum took place.]
- "I want to go to the beach where we can relax and enjoy the sun."
- "The café where we had lunch was cozy and inviting."
- "They went to the park where they played soccer."
The subordinate conjunction "why" is commonly used to introduce a subordinate clause that provides the reason or cause for the action or event in the main clause. It helps to explain or clarify the motivation behind the main clause. Here are a few examples of how "why" can be used in sentences:
- "I want to know why you are always late." [In this example, "why" introduces a subordinate clause ("you are always late") that expresses the desire to understand the reason or cause behind the person's being late.]
- "She didn't answer my calls, so I wonder why she's avoiding me."
- "I can't figure out why he didn't accept the job offer."
The subordinate conjunction "how" is commonly used to introduce a subordinate clause that provides information about the manner, method, or way in which the action or event in the main clause occurs. It helps to describe or explain the process or means behind the main clause. Here are a few examples of how "how" can be used in sentences:
- Everything depends on how they behave. [In this sentence, "how" introduces a subordinate clause ("they behave") that describes the manner in which they behave.]
- "I'm impressed with how she handled the difficult situation."
- "He explained to us how the engine works."
- He wanted to know how I would go.
- I am glad that you have passed.
- He knows that you will come again.
- We eat that we may live.
- That he will come is certain.
- Who is the man that can do it?
13. Who, Which, What
Who, Which, What are relative pronouns.
- I know the man who came here.
- This is the book which is now out of print.
- I do not know what they want.
- Karim is very hard working, whereas his brother is lazy.
15. That = so that = in order that
- We eat so that we may/can live.
- We eat in order that we may/can live.
- We eat that we may/can live.
16. If, Whether
- If you read, you will learn
- Stay here if he does not come.
- I do not know whether he came.
17. Unless, Until, Till
- Unless you work hard, you cannot shine in life.
- Wait here until I return.
- They worked in the field till the sun set.
- Whoever you may be, I do not care for you.
- You can stay here, provided (on condition that) you will not speak.
- Let him do whatever he likes.
21. So long
- God will bless us so long our purpose is honest.
- Walk fast lest you should miss the train.
23. As if/ As though
- He talks as if / as though he were a mad.
- He talks as if / as though he knew everything.
24. As soon as
- As soon as the teacher came, the students became quiet.
Types of Sub-ordinate Conjunctions:
Subordinating Conjunctions may be classified according to their meaning.
- The patient had come round before the doctor arrived.
- Many things have happened since I saw you.
(2) Cause or Reason
- As he is honest, everybody loves him.
- Everybody loves him because he is honest.
- Walk slowly lest you should fall down.
- We eat so that we can live.
- He works hard in order that he can prosper in life.
(4) Result or Consequence
- I’m so tired that I cannot walk.
- If you read, you will learn.
- They will miss the train unless they hurry up.
- He got a prize although he played badly.
- Though they were late, they were fully paid.
- A train runs faster than a bus [is].
- You are older than I [am].
3. Correlative Conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions are pairs of words that work together to join sentence elements of equal importance. The most common corelative conjunctions are as both...and; either...or; neither...nor; not only...but also; whether...or.
Examples of Correlative conjunctions:
- Either...or: You can either go to the party or stay home and relax.
- Neither...nor: Neither the cat nor the dog wanted to go outside in the rain.
- Both...and: She is both intelligent and hardworking.
- Not only...but also: The concert was not only entertaining but also inspiring.
- Whether...or: I'm unsure whether I should take the bus or walk to work.
- Such...that: He was such a talented musician that everyone admired him.
Correlative conjunctions are used to establish a relationship between two parts of a sentence and are often used to create parallel structures.
Conjunctive adverbs are used to connect independent clauses and show relationships between ideas. They are typically used to express transitions, contrast, cause and effect, or continuity. Common conjunctive adverbs include however, therefore, moreover, consequently, nevertheless, meanwhile.
Examples of Conjunctive Adverbs:
- However: She studied hard; however, she didn't perform well on the test.
- Therefore: The car broke down; therefore, we had to call a tow truck.
- Meanwhile: He was cooking dinner; meanwhile, I was setting the table.
- Furthermore: The project is challenging; furthermore, it requires a lot of time and effort.
- Nonetheless: The weather was hot; nonetheless, we decided to go hiking.
- Consequently: He missed his flight; consequently, he had to reschedule his trip.
- Moreover: The book was informative; moreover, it was beautifully written.
These conjunctive adverbs are used to indicate relationships and transitions between independent clauses, adding clarity and coherence to the overall meaning of the sentence.
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