Writers Workshop: Writer Resources
Grammar Handbook: Conjunctions
Conjunctions are grammatical connectors that link words, phrases, or clauses. A conjunction can indicate the relationship between the elements that it connects in the sentence. Without these, we would not see the relationship. There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating, correlative, and subordinating.
A coordinating conjunction connects words, phrases, and clauses that have equal or the same grammatical functions. The coordinating conjunctions include: and, but, or, yet, nor, for, and so.
- Connecting nouns: I will buy a coat and a hat.
- Connecting verbs: I did not call nor write my mother.
- Connecting adjectives: The boy was nice but weird.
- Connecting dependent clauses: If the students show up and the teacher is prepared, class will be productive.
- Connecting independent clauses: Ten thousand students applied to the college, but only six thousand were admitted.
A correlative conjunction is a coordinating conjunction that works in pairs to connect elements in a sentence. The correlative conjunctions include: both...and, not...but, not only...but also, either...or, neither...nor, although...yet, whether...or.
- Connecting nouns: The name of the store is not Food World but Food Land.
- Connecting adjectives: The place of employment shall provide both health and life insurance.
- Connecting prepositional phrases: Orange juice is made either by squeezing oranges or by mixing a can of frozen concentrate.
- Connecting independent clauses: Not only did the cat jump over the fence, but he also scratched the paint.
A subordinating conjunction connects elements with different grammatical functions, usually a dependent and an independent clause. The subordinating conjunctions include: after, in case, unless, although, in that, until, as, now that, when, as if, once, whenever, as though, since, where, because, so, whereas, before, so that, whether, even though, than, which, except that, that, while, however, though, who/whom, if.
- He acts as though he has done something wrong.
- I am sure that the teacher will let class out early.
- When the bell rings, the students must sit down.
- Since the cat ran away, the girl has been sad.