A conjunction is a word that "joins". A conjunction joins two parts of a sentence.
Here are some example conjunctions:
|Coordinating Conjunctions||Subordinating Conjunctions|
|and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so||although, 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:
|Ram went swimming||although||it 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.