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Conjunctions - Glossary of Terms


Conjunctions

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.

Example:

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.

Example:

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.

Example:

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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