A conjunction is a word (e.g., as and, but, or) used to connect words or phrases and in particular, clauses. Conjunctions are described as coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, or correlative conjunctions.
A. Coordinating Conjunctions Words that join like with like, such as a noun with another noun, an adjective with another adjective, an adverb with another adverb, etc. (e.g., a fork and a knife, hot but dry, quickly but quietly, Jack and Jill), or an independent clause with an independent clause, are called coordinating conjunctions. They include and, but, for, or, and yet.
- The shoes and socks were black.
- Sonja was walking and talking.
- Frank spoke slowly and very quietly.
- James is my brother and Dorothy is my sister.
- Bill is dark, and Mary is too.
- Barbara is speaking, and Sharon is too.
- Peter takes his vacation during July, and Selena does too.
- Ronald isn't very heavy, and Helen isn't either.
- Terry cannot run very quickly, and Sabrina can't either.
- John didn't arrive on time, and Bill didn't either.
- Timothy worked quickly, but carelessly.
- Walter isn't heavy, but Michael is.
- She doesn't work there, but I do.
- Tom is short, but Susan isn't.
- Lee wasn't talking, but Frances was.
- Tom didn't bicycle to the store, but Sheila did.
- Anne went to the cottage, but I didn't go.
- I like red, but she likes blue.
- I bought a house last week, but I didn't buy any furniture.
- Louise went early, for she had an appointment.
- I am sure that she is French, for I recognize her accent.
- They are well rested, for they went to bed early lat night.
- He purchased a Toyota or a Mazda.
- He comes from Dallas or Fort Worth.
- Bill is fat, yet agile.
- They exercised daily, yet lost little weight.
- Linda worked diligently, yet she didn't receive compensation.
Note that but, yet, for, and so are preceded by a comma. And is also preceded by a comma when the clause ends with either or too.
- Tina was still angry, so she refused to attend.
- They left early, so they missed the presentation.
B. Subordinating Conjunctions Words that join subordinate clauses to main clauses are called subordinating conjunctions. They include (e.g., after, although, as, because, before, even though, if, rather than, since, so that, that, though, unless, until, when, where, whether, whether or not, while.). Here are examples:
- After she sat down, we began dinner.
- We began dinner after she sat down.
- Until he arrives, we will not begin.
- We will not begin until he arrives.
- When the sun sets, we draw the blinds.
- We draw the blinds when the sun sets.
- As you are know, we did extremely well.
- We did extremely well as you know.
- Because you like the subject, we will choose this book.
- We will choose this book because you like the subject.
- So that he can understand, I will speak slowly.
- I will speak slowly so that he can understand.
- If you leave early, you can use my car.
- You can use my car if you leave early.
- Unless you pay the full price, you cannot have this vehicle.
- You cannot have this vehicle unless you pay the full price.
- Although he was excited, he did not reveal it.
- He did not reveal it although he was excited.
- As if they weren't scared, they got on the plane.
- They got on the plane as if they weren't scared.
- Rather than create an argument, she said nothing.
- She said nothing rather than create an argument.
- Whether he arrived on time yesterday I don't know.
- I don't know whether he arrived on time yesterday.
C. Correlative Conjunctions The term describes pairs of conjunctions used to join alternatives or equal elements (e.g., either…or, neither…nor, not only…but, both…and whether…or not). Here are examples of their use:
- They want to visit either Portugal or Spain.
- They want to visit neither Portugal nor Spain.
- They want not only to visit Portugal, but also Spain.
- They want to visit both Portugal and Spain.
- They will visit Portugal whether or not they visit Spain
They will visit Portugal whether they visit Spain or not.
© G.A. Robinson 2002-2018