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Conjunctions - Glossary of Terms


A conjunction is a word used to connect words, phrases or clauses.  There are three types of conjunctions:

Co-ordinate Conjunctions:  Coordinate conjunctions are normally used to join like with like (i.e., a noun with another noun, an adjective with another adjective, an adverb with another adverb, etc.) The most common ones are and, or and but.


The claw is sharp and hooked.

Correlative Conjunctions: Correlative conjunctions are used in pairs to join alternatives or equal elements.  The most common pairs are either/or, neither/nor and not only/but also.


I could neither laugh nor cry.

Subordinate Conjunctions: Subordinate conjunctions are used to join subordinate clauses to main clauses. Common examples include although, because, since, unless, until and while.


I am not attending the meeting until the game has finished.
                 main clause                                       subordinate clause     

Interactive example:
Jack and Tim will sing until the either band or disco arrives. [show me the conjunctions]
There is often confusion over whether to use a comma before a co-ordinate conjunction (i.e., words like and and but).  When the conjunction joins two independent clauses, use a comma.

She can sing, and dance.
She can sing, and she can dance.
Associated pages:
What are conjunctions?
Conjunctions and commas
Conjunctions and semicolons
Glossary of grammatical terms

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