A conjunction is a word that "joins". A conjunction joins two parts of a sentence.
Here are some example conjunctions:
We can consider conjunctions from three aspects.
|Coordinating Conjunctions||Subordinating Conjunctions|
|and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so||although, because, since, unless|
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.
- Subordinating conjunctions are used to join a subordinate dependent clause to a main clause, for example:
- I went swimming although it was cold.
- Coordinating conjunctions always come between the words or clauses that they join.
- Subordinating conjunctions usually come at the beginning of the subordinate clause.
In this lesson we will look in more detail at:
The short, simple conjunctions are called "coordinating conjunctions":
- and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so
- I like [tea] and [coffee].
- [Ram likes tea], but [Anthony likes coffee].
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.
- She is kind so she helps people.
- He drinks beer, whisky, wine, and rum.
- He drinks beer, whisky, wine and rum.
The 7 coordinating conjunctions are short, simple words. They have only two or three letters. There's an easy way to remember them - their initials spell:
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
|Ram went swimming||although||it was raining.|
A subordinate or dependent clause "depends" on a main or independent clause. It cannot exist alone. Imagine that somebody says to you: "Hello! Although it was raining." What do you understand? Nothing! But a main or independent clause can exist alone. You will understand very well if somebody says to you: "Hello! Ram went swimming."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.