Conjunction is a part of speech that connects two words, sentences, phrases or clauses together.
A. Coordinate Conjuctions
Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, are conjunctions that join two or more items of equal syntactic importance, such as words, main clauses, or sentences.
Here are some examples of coordinating conjunctions in English and what they do:
- For presents a reason (“He is gambling with his health, for he has been smoking far too long.”).
- And presents non-contrasting item(s) or idea(s) (“They gamble, and they smoke.”).
- Nor presents a non-contrasting negative idea (“They do not gamble, nor do they smoke.”).
- But presents a contrast or exception (“They gamble, but they don’t smoke.”).
- Or presents an alternative item or idea (“Every day, they gamble or they smoke.”).
- Yet presents a contrast or exception (“They gamble, yet they don’t smoke.”).
- So presents a consequence (“He gambled well last night, so he smoked a cigar to celebrate.”).
B. Subordinating Conjuctions
Subordinating conjunctions, also called subordinators, are conjunctions that conjoin an independent clause and a dependent clause. The most common subordinating conjunctions in the English language include after, although, as, as far as, as if, as long as, as soon as, as though, because, before, if, in order that, since, so, so that, than, though, unless, until, when,whenever, where, whereas, wherever, and while. Complementizers can be considered to be special subordinating conjunctions that introduce complement clauses (e.g., “I wonder whetherhe’ll be late. I hope that he’ll be on time”). Some subordinating conjunctions (until and while), when used to introduce a phrase instead of a full clause, become prepositions with identical meanings.
- After she had learned to drive, Alice felt more independent.
- If the paperwork arrives on time, your cheque will be mailed on Tuesday.
- Gerald had to begin his thesis over again when his computer crashed.
- Midwifery advocates argue that home births are safer becausethe mother and baby are exposed to fewer people and fewer germs.
C. Correlative Conjunctions
Conjunctions work in pairs to join words and groups of words of equal weight in a sentence. There are six different pairs of correlative conjunctions: either…or, not only…but also, neither…nor (or increasingly neither…or, both…and, whether…or, just as…so
- You either do your work or prepare for a trip to the office.
- Not only is he handsome, but he is also brilliant.
- Neither the basketball team nor the football team is doing well.
- Both the cross country team and the swimming team are doing well.
- Whether you stay or go is your decision.
- Just as many Americans love football, so many Canadians love ice hockey.