Syntax

What are conjunctions?

The Conjunctions in English

Conjunctions in English

Conjunctions are words that link words, groups of words or sentences and clarify the relationship between them.

For example, AND unites two parts of equal value. BUT unites two parts of equal value but that oppose. AFTER joins two parts and tells us that one comes before the other.

  • boy and girl 
  • I like apples but not bananas.
  • She left the store after seeing her ex.

WHY SHOULD I LEARN THE CONJUNCTIONS?

Conjunctions help clarify the relationship between different ideas or different parts of a sentence. The  coordinating conjunctions  are the most simple and basic to learn. Every student should master them as soon as possible. The rest of the conjunctions will help you express complex and more interesting ideas

TYPES OF CONJUNCTIONS

  • coordinating conjunctions (join words or phrases of equal grammatical importance; learn these first)
  • subordinate conjunctions (join two sentences or ideas in such a way that one depends grammatically on the other)
  • correlative conjunctions (pairs of conjunctions that join words or phrases of equal grammatical importance)
  • transition words (introduce a new idea while expressing a more precise and intense connection between the parties).

COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS

Coordinating conjunctions link words or groups of words that have equal grammatical importance in a sentence. For example:

  • I like apples and pears. 
    I like apples and pears. (no fruit is more important than the other)
  • We planted peas,  but  they did not grow.
    We planted peas, but they didn’t happen. (both situations have the same importance)

You can use the acronym FANBOYS to remember the coordinating conjunctions:

F TO N B OR Y S
for
(for)
and
(y)
nor
(nor)
but
(but)
or
(o)
yet
(but)
so
(then)

SUBORDINATE CONJUNCTIONS

These conjunctions join two phrases or ideas in such a way that one sentence depends grammatically on the other. That is, one sentence is subordinated to the other phrase.

The subordinate conjunction introduces the subordinate phrase. For example,

  • The boys were watching TV while their father was mowing the grass.
    The children watched TV while their father mowed the lawn.
  • Even if they hurried, they would not make it on time.
    Even if they hurry, they will not arrive on time.

There are several types of subordinate conjunctions:

Cause and effect Weather Opposition Condition
because, since, now that, as, so, in order that after, before, when, while, since, until although, though, even though, although if, only if, even if, unless, in case

CORRELATIVE CONJUNCTIONS

These conjunctions work in pairs to join words or groups of words with equal grammatical importance.

The most common correlative conjunctions are:

either… or
(one of the two; or… or; or)
neither … nor
(neither … nor)
both..and
(both … and)
not only… but also
(not only… but also)

But the other sets are also used as: as … as (as … as); rather … than (prefers … a); not … but (no … but), whether … or (ya … o / bien..o).

TRANSITION WORDS OR CONJUNCTIVE ADJECTIVES

Transition words (or conjunctive adverbs) are used to make clear the relationship between one situation and another. In this they are similar to the coordinating conjunctions, but they express a more precise and intense idea between the two situations that unite.

If you want to express more precision and intensity, you can replace AND and BUT with a transition word:

  • replace AND (y) with:
    also (also), besides (besides, apart), furthermore (is more), moreover (besides, above)
  • replace BUT (but) with:
    however (though), nevertheless (though), still (yet), though (though)

You can use the following words to express the outcome of a situation or the equality between two situations:

  • express a result (can be translated as in “consequence” or “therefore”)
    consequently, therefore, so, thus
  • express equality (can be translated as “equally”)
    equally, likewise, similarly

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