Conjunction Practice and Usage

What is a Conjunction?

Definition: A conjunction is a word that is used to connect other words, clauses or phrases in a sentence. Use of conjunctions makes it possible to express thoughts or ideas that are related to each other, in an efficient and interesting way. Conjunctions add flow to your sentences and make sentences sound more natural. They also help provide valuable information to the reader.

There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions and correlative conjunctions. Let's take a look at the three types of conjunctions below.

Please note, there are different punctuation rules for the three different types of punctuations; therefore, pay attention to such rules described in the sections below.

Types Of Conjunction:

Types of conjunction

1. Coordinating Conjunction:

A coordinating conjunction joins words, clauses or phrases together that are equal in importance. In English, the words used as coordinating conjunctions are: “for”, “and”, “nor”, “but”, “or”, “yet” and “so”. Coordinating conjunctions "and" and "or" are often used for writing lists.

The following are some examples where we use coordinating conjunctions.

  • She likes tea and coffee.

  • Are you going or staying?

  • Mary bought a table and a chair.

  • Alice and James went to the party.

  • It looked dirty, so I did not touch it.

  • The weather was good, but I did not go shopping.

Here are some important conjunction rules:

  1. If a coordinating conjunction joins two dependent clauses, do not use a comma.

  2. When a coordinating conjunction joins two independent clauses, a comma comes before the conjunction.

  3. If you write two independent clauses with only a coordinating conjunction between them (without adding a comma), it is called a run-on sentence.

  4. In contrast, if you write two independent clauses with only a comma between them (without a coordinating conjunction), it is called a comma splice.

2. Subordinating Conjunction:

A subordinating conjunction joins the subordinate clause to the main clause. They are used at the beginning of the subordinate clause (or dependent clause). Therefore, writing complex sentences, using subordinate clauses, will not be possible without using subordinating conjunctions.

Some commonly used subordinating conjunctions are: “although”, “because”, “if”, “until”, “while”, “when” etc. Please see the list below for more examples.

The following are a few examples of sentences where we use subordinating conjunctions:

  • Although it was raining, they played golf.

  • She will stay here until the snow stops.

  • I will call you after I finish my work.

  • I bought some chocolate while I was coming from work.

3. Correlative Conjunction:

These conjunctions are always used in pairs. They connect sentence elements which are grammatically equal.

The following are some examples: both...and, either...or, neither...nor, not only...but also, etc.

  • Both, Jack and Mille are happy.

  • This is not only fun but also very good for health.

  • This biscuit contains neither chocolate nor nuts.

List of Conjunctions:

Coordinating Conjunctions

  • for

  • and

  • nor

  • but

  • or

  • yet

  • so

Subordinating Conjunctions

  • although

  • until

  • after

  • before

  • as

  • as if

  • since

  • while

  • so that

  • when

  • as long as

  • as soon as

  • after

  • even if

  • as though

  • because

  • if

  • that

  • than

  • unless

  • whenever

  • wherever

  • till

  • even though

Correlative Conjunctions

  • both...and

  • neither...nor

  • either...or

  • not only...but also

  • whether...or