What’s a Conjunction in English Grammar?

by | Oct 13, 2020 | English Grammar

Share to help us keep writing!

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

Still have questions? Subscribe to our YouTube channel to learn more about grammar.

Share to help us keep writing!

Top Articles in this Category

The 8 Parts of Speech Plus Articles

The 8 Parts of Speech Plus Articles

Every single word we use in a sentence belongs to a larger grouping in the English language called parts of speech. In simpler terms, it’s safe to think of the parts of speech in English grammar as a moderately-sized puzzle and all of its elements the pieces. Just like any puzzle, the picture just isn’t clear without all its parts.

read more
What’s an Adjective in English Grammar?

What’s an Adjective in English Grammar?

Adjectives are descriptor words that modify nouns. Any word you use to describe a particular person, place, or thing qualifies as an adjective. It’s always a great idea to add detail to your writing, and adjectives help you do just that.

read more
What’s an Adverb in English Grammar?

What’s an Adverb in English Grammar?

An adverb is a modifying word that can modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs by making their meanings more specific. Adverbs indicate when, where, how, and to what degree. You can think of an adverb as a more descriptive word that spruces up the main word or words in a sentence.

read more