What’s a Conjunction in English Grammar?

by | Oct 13, 2020 | English Grammar

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Conjunctions have one primary function: to connect words, phrases, and clauses. You can think of conjunctions like referees in sports games because they help keep your sentences inline or coordinate various parts of your sentence, so they make sense. Conjunctions better show your reader what parts of your sentence are related to other parts. Since conjunctions have several different uses, they can be difficult to spot, so we’ll go over each kind in more detail in this lesson.

Understanding Coordinating Conjunctions

In the most general sense, you can think of a conjunction as a single word that joins other words or groups of words together. The same way a referee coordinates a game, conjunctions help coordinate the order or your words so they make sense.

Coordinating conjunctions join words or groups of words that have equal grammatical weight in a sentence.

Ever heard of the phrase fanboys? This is an acronym for all of the words that are considered coordinating conjunctions for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.

Example: Sally baked a cake for Sue.

Example: Sally wanted to bake a cake for Sue, but she didn’t have time.

Understanding Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions work in pairs to join words and groups of words of equal weight in a sentence.

Both… and Neither… nor
Either… or Not only… but (also)
Just as… so Whether… or

 

Example: Both Raheem and Brandon graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

Example: Neither Colby nor Wendi were able to go to the movie that afternoon.

Although they are similar to coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions can make the relationship between words or groups of words clearer than coordinating conjunctions can.

Conjunctions in Grammar | Melbee Academy

Understanding Subordinating Conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction connects an independent clause to the dependent clause. An independent clause is a portion of a sentence that can stand alone as it’s own sentence, while a dependent clause adds additional information to the sentence, but can’t stand alone (more on these later!).

After As though Provided that Until
Although Because Since When
As Before As long as Whenever
As far as  Considering that So that Where
As if  If Than Whereas
As long as Inasmuch as Though Wherever
As soon as In order that Unless While

Example: As soon as I get home, I’m taking a long nap.

Example: As long as Mira got her way, she wouldn’t throw a tantrum.

Understanding Conjunctive Verbs

On occasion, adverbs will help in connecting parts of your sentence to help with clarity. When this happens, we’ll call them conjunctive adverbs. Conjunctive adverbs help clarify the relationship between phrases, clauses, and words.

Accordingly Next Further Besides
Furthermore Thereafter Meanwhile Incidentally
Moreover Certainly Subsequently otherwise

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