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Conjunction

A conjunction is either an action or an instance of two or more events (or things) occurring at the same point in time or space. Common examples are "and", "but", and "or".  Their basic function is to join words or clauses together.

The purpose of conjunctions

Conjunction are words used to connect words, phrases or clauses. They most often are used to connect two independent clauses together to form a compound sentence. Other usages include lists or stringing words together. Conjunctions also are used to clarify confusing elements in a sentence. Understanding compound sentences will help you to understand conjunctions. The words and, but, and or are the most common conjunctions.

Conjunctions are grouped into three categories: coordinating, correlating, and subordinating. These three categories distinguish the meaning, form, and type of words or clauses being separated. They also are used to ensure each sentence is complete.

Three types of conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions join individual words together to form a list or pattern. For example, “Jamie, Adam, and Lee arranged to meet by the restuarant at 7 o'clock.” Here, the coordinating conjunction “and” is used to show the relationship between the three people. They include and, but, or, nor, for, so, and yet. Coordinating conjunctions are used to join individual words, phrases, and independent clauses. 

For example, coordinating conjunctions may also be used to connect phrases in addition to words:

  • “The finance manager or his new deputy from Holland will notify you when the report is ready to send.”

Coordinating conjunctions also connect two independent clauses together to form one complete sentence.

  • “John loves apple pie, but he detests peach pie.”
  • “The stylist can work with dyes, but she is allergic to perm solutions.”

The next category is made up of the correlative conjunctions, which always appear in pairs and are never alone. For example, “either...or”, “neither...nor”, “whether...or”, and “not only...but also” are the most popular correlating conjunctions in English. These conjunctions also show a connection, similar to coordinating conjunctions. However, correlative conjunctions show connections between one part of the sentence with another.

  • “This man is either dead or my watch has stopped.”

  • “My father either likes rye bread or he doesn’t.”

The third type are subordinating conjunctions. These are used to connect an independent clause with a dependent clause in order to form a complex sentence. These conjunctions include the following words: after, although, as, because, before, if, once, since, than, that, though, till, until, when, where, whether, and while. This type of conjunction helps demonstrate the relationship between an independent clause a dependent clause.

Subordinating conjunctions are used to connect an independent clause with a dependent clause to form a complex sentence. These conjunctions include: after, although, as, because, before, if, once, since, than, that, though, till, until, when, where, whether, and while. They are used to show the relationship between an independent clause and a dependent clause.

  • "Keep your hand on the wound until the nurse asks you to take it off." 
  • “Personally I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught.”
  • “We can't all be heroes because somebody has to sit on the curb and clap." 

Conclusion

The primary function of conjunctions is to join words or groups of words together. They are commonly used in English and the examples show how to use each of the three types. Learning about conjunctions, their forms and their structure, will help prevent sentence fragments and run-on sentences.

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