Conjunction

A conjunction is used for the connection of various sentence elements.

It’s important that you understand how to use conjunctions. Let’s get started.

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The transcript is provided for your convenience.

Conjunction is connecting smaller elements of writing, for example, phrases and words, but it can be used as well for the connection of separate sentences, or some independent clauses, to produce more complex bigger sentences.

We know three (3) main types of conjunctions. These are coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs.

Coordinating conjunctions

We refer to coordinating conjunctions often by using the acronym FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Coordinating conjunction connects different words, clauses, or phrases by allowing each element to function together while at the same time maintaining the elements’ potential independence.

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Tip: When coordinating conjunctions are used for the connection of two (2) independent sentences or clauses, the coordinating conjunction must be preceded by a comma. This is creating a compound sentence.

For example:

We were up very late last night, so we are very tired today.

Subordinating conjunctions

Subordinating conjunction comes at the beginning of a subordinate clause and is used for the connection of the subordinate clause with the rest of that sentence, also called the independent clause. Common subordinating conjunctions are after, although, as, because, if, before, once, even though, rather than, that, since, though, until, unless, when, while, whenever, whereas.

Subordinating conjunction may be moved around or (at the very least), the attached clauses may be. If subordinating conjunctions come at the beginning of a sentence, we need to use a comma at the place the subordinate clauses end.  If the subordinating conjunction is placed in a sentence’s middle, we don’t need a comma.

For example:

Because we were up very late last night, we are very tired today.

Or: We are very tired today because we were up very late last night.

Do you notice that in the above example, you can organize it either way and that it still is making sense? With subordinating conjunctions, you can do that. The key issue is that we need to punctuate either option appropriately.

Conjunctive adverbs

A conjunctive adverb is a transitional word used for the connection of one sentence with another. Common conjunctive adverbs are moreover, in addition, also, additionally, consequently, otherwise, furthermore, instead, for example, for instance, however, conversely, on the other hand, nevertheless, therefore, accordingly, generally, in other words, in fact, finally, in conclusion. Unlike subordinating conjunction, we cannot move the conjunctive adverb around because it shows how the second sentence or clause is connected to the first one.

When we use a conjunctive adverb between sentences, we should generally place a semicolon in front of the conjunctive adverb and we should place a comma after it.

For example:

We were up very late last night; consequently, we are very tired today.

Correlative conjunctions

A correlative conjunction is a combination of coordinating conjunction together with another word.

For example:

In this sentence: “Both John and I have a hard time with our homework”, the words “both” and “and” are the correlative conjunctions.

If we use conjunctions, we’re making our writing more interesting as we give it variety. So writers need to use a variety of conjunctions if they want to make this happen.  It is key, of course, to use a conjunction variety and to use appropriate punctuation.

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