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A conjunction joins words or groups of words in a sentence.

  • I ate lunch with Kate and Derma.
  • Because it is rainy today, the trip is canceled.
  • She didn't press the bell, but I did.
  • There are three types of conjunctions:

1. Coordinating Conjunctions
a. Connect words, phrases, or clauses that are independent or equal
b. and, but, or, so, for, yet, and not

2. Correlative Conjunctions
a. Used in pairs
b. both/and, either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also

3. Subordinating Conjunctions
a. Used at the beginning of subordinate clauses
b. although, after, before, because, how, if, once, since, so that, until, unless, when, while, where, whether, etc.

 

Coordinating Conjunctions

1. 'And' means "in addition to":
We are going to a zoo and an aquarium on the same day.

2. 'But' connects two different things that are not in agreement:
I am a night owl, but she is an early bird.

3. 'Or' indicates a choice between two things:
Do you want a red one or a blue one?

4. 'So' illustrates a result of the first thing:
This song has been very popular, so I downloaded it.

5. 'For' means "because":
I want to go there again, for it was a wonderful trip.

6. 'Yet' indicates contrast with something:
He performed very well, yet he didn't make the final cut.

 

Correlative Conjunctions

1. Both/and
She won gold medals from both the single and group races.
Both TV and television are correct words.

2. Either/or
I am fine with either Monday or Wednesday.
You can have either apples or pears.

3. Neither/nor
He enjoys neither drinking nor gambling.
Neither you nor I will get off early today.

4. Not only/but also
Not only red but also green looks good on you.
She got the perfect score in not only English but also math.

 

Quiz

Write the correct conjunction in each sentence.

1) ___ friend ___ I are taking the geography class.
2) Do you want to go swimming ___ golfing?
3) I studied grammar for a long time, ___ I still make mistakes.
4) ___ wood ___ bricks can be used as homebuilding materials.
5) I wasn't feeling well this morning, ___ I had to go to work.

 

 

Subordinating Conjunctions

1. 'Although' means "in spite of the fact that":
Although it was raining, I ran home.
She showed up, although she felt sick.
Although my mom told me to come home early, I stayed out late.

2. 'After' indicates "subsequently to the time when":
Please text me after you arrive at the shopping mall.
We were forced to stop watching TV after the electricity went out.
I always tell my daughter that she can have dessert after she eats her dinner.

3. 'Before' indicates "earlier than the time that":
He had written a living will before he died.
Before he contacted me, I was going to call him.
I need to finish the dishes before my wife gets home.

4. 'Because' means "for the reason that":
Because he was smart and worked hard, he was able to make a lot of money.
They stopped building the house because it was pouring.
I love dogs because they are so cute.

5. 'How' means "the way in which":
I wonder how you did it.
He explained how he completed it in a few days.
Can you show me how you fixed the computer?

6. 'If' means "in the event that":
If it is sunny tomorrow, we can go to the beach.
If I receive a promotion, you will be the first to know.
You can watch TV if you finish your homework.

7. 'Once' indicates "at the moment when":
Once you see him, you will recognize him.
Once the light came on, we all shouted with joy.
Call me once you start having contractions.

8. 'Since' means "from the time when":
I've been a singer since I was young.
Since he graduated, he has been doing nothing.
This building has been remodeled three times since I lived here.

9. 'So that' means "in order to":
So that she could keep her position, she didn't complain at all.
He finished his work as fast as possible so that he could leave early.
He worked harder for a raise so he could buy a nice car.

10. 'Until' means "up to the time that":
Don't go anywhere until I come back.
She didn't realize her talent in painting until her teacher mentioned it.
They won't allow us to sit until everyone arrives.

11. 'Unless' means "except, on the condition":
You will not pass the exam unless you get a score of 80 or higher.
I will not tell you anything unless you tell me what you know first.
Unless you ask her, you will never know.

12. 'When' means "at that time":
When I came in the room, everyone looked at me.
I woke up when my baby was crying.
I started looking for a gas station when my gas light went on.

13. 'While' means "during the time":
Someone called you while you were at the meeting.
We met while we were working at the University.
My dog started barking while I was talking on the phone.

14. 'Where' indicates "in the place":
This is where I came from.
Please tell me where you are going.
I need to know where John hid the present.

15. 'Whether' means "if it is true or not":
We will have a picnic whether it rains or not.
It is time to decide whether we should take action.
You need to decide whether or not you are hungry.

 

Quiz

Fill in the blanks with an appropriate conjunction.

1) Could you email me ___ you receive the offer?
2) I want to buy it ___ it is expensive or not.
3) Don't do that ___ I allow it.
4) ___ you are confident with it, you should go for it.
5) I didn't enroll this semester ___ I could go backpacking in Europe.
6) My neighbor's cat has been missing ___ last Friday.
7) ___ I own a house, I am required to pay property taxes.

 

 

Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs are words that join independent clauses into one sentence. A conjunctive adverb helps you create a shorter sentence.

When you use a conjunctive adverb, put a semicolon (;) before it and a comma (,) after it.

  • We have many different sizes of this shirt; however, it comes in only one color.

Some examples of conjunctive adverbs are: accordingly, also, besides, consequently, finally, however, indeed, instead, likewise, meanwhile, moreover, nevertheless, next, otherwise, still, therefore, then, etc.

  • The due date for the final paper has passed; therefore, I could not submit mine on time.
  • There are many history books; however, none of them may be accurate.
  • It rained hard; moreover, lightening flashed and thunder boomed.
  • The baby fell asleep; then, the doorbell rang.
  • The law does not permit drinking and driving anytime; otherwise, there would be many more accidents.

Conjunctive adverbs look like coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, so, for, yet, nor) ; however, they are not as strong as coordinating conjunctions and they are punctuated differently.

A conjunctive adverb is also used in a single main clause. In this case, a comma (,) is used to separate the conjunctive adverb from the sentence.

  • I woke up very late this morning. Nevertheless, I wasn't late to school.
  • She didn't take a bus to work today. Instead, she drove her car.
  • Jack wants a toy car for his birthday. Meanwhile, Jill wants a dollhouse for her birthday.
  • They returned home. Likewise, I went home.

 

Quiz

Choose the right conjunctive adverb for the sentence.

1) Hurry up; ___ , you will be late for the train.
2) I studied hard for the exam; ___ , I failed.
3) Tom is a sportsman; ___ , his brother Tom is athletic.
4) He didn't go to college. ___ , he started his own business.
5) He is not good-looking. ___ , he is popular among girls.

 

 

Basic English Grammar Lessons:

  1. Parts of Speech
  2. Vocabulary
  3. Nouns
  4. Pronouns
  5. Verbs
  6. Adjectives
  1. Adverbs
  2. Prepositions
  3. Conjunctions
  4. Articles
  5. Tense
  6. Gerunds
  1. Infinitives
  2. Passive Voice
  3. Mood
  4. Interjections
  5. Capitalization
  6. Punctuation

Learning Conversational English

 

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