Monday, 11 April 2011


A conjunction is a word that "joins". A conjunction joins two parts of a sentence.
Here are some example conjunctions:
Coordinating ConjunctionsSubordinating Conjunctions
and, but, or, nor, for, yet, soalthough, because, since, unless
We can consider conjunctions from three aspects.


Conjunctions have three basic forms:
  • Single Word
    for example: and, but, because, although
  • Compound (often ending with as or that)
    for example: provided that, as long as, in order that
  • Correlative (surrounding an adverb or adjective)
    for example: so...that


Conjunctions have two basic functions or "jobs":
  • Coordinating conjunctions are used to join two parts of a sentence that are grammatically equal. The two parts may be single words or clauses, for example:
    - Jack
    and Jill went up the hill.
    - The water was warm,
    but I didn't go swimming.
    The short, simple conjunctions are called "coordinating conjunctions": and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so
A coordinating conjunction joins parts of a sentence (for example words or independent clauses) that are grammatically equal or similar. A coordinating conjunction shows that the elements it joins are similar in importance and structure:
Look at these examples - the two elements that the coordinating conjunction joins are shown in square brackets [ ]:
  • I like [tea] and [coffee].
  • [Ram likes tea], but [Anthony likes coffee].
Coordinating conjunctions always come between the words or clauses that they join.
When a coordinating conjunction joins independent clauses, it is always correct to place a comma before the conjunction:
  • I want to work as an interpreter in the future, so I am studying Russian at university.
However, if the independent clauses are short and well-balanced, a comma is not really essential:
  • She is kind so she helps people.
When "and" is used with the last word of a list, a comma is optional:
  • He drinks beer, whisky, wine, and rum.
  • He drinks beer, whisky, wine and rum.
  • Subordinating conjunctions are used to join a subordinate dependent clause to a main clause, for example:
    - I went swimming
    although it was cold.
    The majority of conjunctions are "subordinating conjunctions". Common subordinating conjunctions are:
  • after, although, as, because, before, how, if, once, since, than, that, though, till, until, when, where, whether, while
A subordinating conjunction joins a subordinate (dependent) clause to a main (independent) clause:
Look at this example:
main or
independent clause
subordinate or
dependent clause
Ram went swimmingalthoughit was raining.


A subordinating conjunction always comes at the beginning of a subordinate clause. It "introduces" a subordinate clause. However, a subordinate clause can sometimes come after and sometimes before a main clause. Thus, two structures are possible:
Ram went swimming although it was raining.

Although it was raining, Ram went swimming


  • Coordinating conjunctions always come between the words or clauses that they join.
  • Subordinating conjunctions usually come at the beginning of the subordinate clause.

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