CONJUNCTIONS

Apples, grapes and bananas are good for health.

A conjunction is a word which joins words, phrases or clauses. Conjunctions may also be called joining words.

Two and two makes four.

He will pass if he works hard.

Did you know that she has won the competition?

I cannot see how she can win.

TYPES OF CONJUNCTIONS

Conjunctions are mainly of two types:

  1. Coordinating conjunctions
  2. Subordinating conjunctions

The third subtype is Correlative conjunctions.

COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS

Coordinating conjunctions are words which connect units of equal status and function (ie. Coordinate or independent clauses)

{Independent clause – a part of a sentence that makes complete sense}

Kamal and Dave are good friends.

She reached the station in time but the train was late.

[for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (Fanboys)]are the main coordinating conjunctions. Some other  conjunctions are [ therefore, too,  either, , neither, however, nevertheless, so, then]

Coordinating conjunctions can be sub divided into four types.

  1. Cumulative orCopulative –   and, also, too, as well as, both…and

(These words merely add one statement to another)

I worked for a long time and did not rest.

  1. Alternative or  Disjunctiveeither…or, neither…nor.

(These words express a choice between two alternatives)

Either he is crazy or he is a genius.

  1. Adversative or Conjunctive Adverbsstill, yet, only, but, however, nevertheless, moreover, furthermore, otherwise, finally, consequently

(These words express opposition or contrast between two statements)

The tortoise was slow; however, he won the race.

  1. Illative  – therefore, for , so, then, so…then

(These words express an inference)

He must have neglected his studies; for he failed.

SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS

Subordinating conjunctions connect subordinate or dependent clauses in a sentence.

{ Dependent clause – part of a sentence that does not make complete sense on its own. It depends on the main clause to complete its sense.}

He failed to catch the train because he was late.

I cannot leave the shop until he comes.

[after, although, as , as if, as soon as, because, before, ere, if, how, like,  since, so that, that, than, till, though, unless, until, where, when , while, whither, why,] are subordinating conjunctions.

Subordinating conjunctions may be divided into different groups according to their meaning.

  1. Cause or Reasonbecause, as, since

As she was not at home, I came back.

  1. Conditionprovided, supposing, unless, as, if, whether

I will stay at home if it rains.

  1. Comparisonthat, as…as

He is as tall as his father.

  1. Contrastthough, although, however, even if

She may kill me, yet I will trust her.

  • Purposein order that, so that, that, lest

Oly practises hard so that she could win the prize.

  • Result or effect so…that

Sam sings so loudly that he never needs a microphone.

  • Time  – after , before, as soon as, as long as, since, till, until, while

He completed his work before he left.

CORRELATIVE CONJUNCTIONS

Correlative conjunctions are conjunctions used in pairs.

As (so)….as  –  He is as brave as a lion.

 Both… and  –  She is both a writer and a soldier.

Either…or Either you word hard or fail.

Neither…norNeither Ron nor Rick agreed to do the shopping.

No sooner… than –  No sooner did she go out than it began to rain.

Such…as Such teachers as those inspiring students deserve respect.

Scarcely/ Hardly…when  –  I had scarcely began to read when the lights went off.

The same… as – Robert gets the same amount as his friend Bob.

IDENTIFICATION OF CONJUNCTIONS

Conjunctions, which merely join two parts of sentences must be distinguished from Relative Pronouns, Relative Adverbs and Prepositions, which also connect words and act as linkers but do more than merely joining sentences.

This is the masterpiece that Picasso painted. (Relative Pronoun)

Here that refers to the masterpiece and acts as a pronoun.

This is the place where Shakespeare was born. (Relative Adverb)

Here where modifies the verb was born and joins the two parts of the sentence.

Dina and Mina went to the market. (Conjunction)

Here and simply joins two parts of the sentence and does no other work.

RULES REGARDING PUNCTUATING CONJUNCTIONS.

Rule 1. In case of sentences having more than two words or phrases put comma after each item except the last one.

I like fish, meat, eggs and sweet.

Rule2. In case of only two words or phrases no comma.

He often visits orphanages and old age homes.

Rule 3. I case of two coordinating clauses joined by a conjunction, put comma after the first independent clause just before the conjunction.

Independent clause, conjunction independent clause.

I’m not very hungry, so I will not eat now.

Rule 4. In case of subordinating conjunctions put comma after the dependent clause only if it is followed by the independent clause.

Dependent clause,subordinating conjunction independent clause.

Independent clause subordinating conjunction dependent clause.

After her results, she joined the army. { She joined the army after her results.(no comma)}

Rule 5. In case of conjunctive adverbs, put semi colon (;) after the first independent clause and a comma (,) after the conjunction, just before the second independent clause.  

Independent clause; conjunctive adverb, independent clause.

He went to the station; however, he failed to catch the train.

Make hay while the sun shines.

Comments regarding improvements and modifications would be highly appreciated.

References : High school English Grammar; New Madhyamik Grammar and composition.

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