What are the Conjunctions in English Grammar?
A Conjunction is a word or group of words that is used to join the words, phrases, clauses or sentences together. It belongs to one of the Parts of Speech in English Grammar.
Few examples of Conjunctions are and, or, but, when, because, since, unless, so, if, besides, therefore, etc.
Here are few example statements for conjunctions.
- Raju likes to read books and he never gets bored.
- I wake up early in the morning and have a cup of coffee.
- Shyam is a good boy and he likes to play with his friends in school.
- Sita wrote her exam well because she studied last night.
- He is good in mathematics but weak in science.
Now let us understand the different types of Conjunctions which are there in English Grammar.
Also Read: What is Grammar? | (Grammar definition, types & examples) | Best Guide 2021
What are the different types of Conjunctions in English Grammar?
There are three types of Conjunctions. Those are,
1) Coordinating Conjunction
2) Subordinating Conjunction
3) Correlative Conjunction
Now let us learn each of it in detail.
What is Coordinating Conjunction?
Coordinating Conjunction is a type of conjunction that is used for joining the same grammatical types like two Phrases, two Clauses, two Sentences, etc.
So, there are 7 types of Coordinating Conjunction in English Grammar and you can simply remember them by considering the word “FANBOYS”.
Now let us understand this concept with few example statements.
Coordinating Conjunction for words
Here, it is used to join the two same types of words such as nouns, verb, adjectives, etc.
- I don’t like to dance or sing.
- He is talented but lazy.
- I prepared for yesterday’s exam from the internet and assignments.
- Which colour do you prefer? Green or Blue?
Coordinating Conjunction for Phrases
It is used to join the two phrases.
- She usually studies at home or in the library.
- He went to the office and conducted a meeting.
- They played football in the morning and cricket in the evening.
- The Hotel was very expensive but not having proper maintenance.
Coordinating Conjunction for Clauses
Coordinating Conjunction is used to join the two independent clauses and these clauses can have at least one Subject and a Verb.
- Suraj likes to write stories but he is not getting any ideas.
- The match started in the morning but got interrupted due to rain.
- She can understand English but can’t speak properly.
What is Subordinating Conjunction?
Subordinating Conjunction is a type of Conjunction that is used to join dependent and independent clauses.
Here are a few examples of Subordinating Conjunction: though, if, until, unless, since, while, because, before, which, after, what, when, etc.
- Before I left school, I had completed my homework.
- When my mom is cooking, I went to play video games.
- I ate few slices of bread because I was hungry.
- Because of my mom, I learned how to make pizza.
- As I am preparing for the exam, I know that I can crack it.
Sometimes, few Adverbs like “until”, “after” and “before” function as Conjunctions.
The Subordinating Conjunction defines the relationship between the clauses. The below table shows few different types of relationships with examples.
|Type of Relationship||Subordinating Conjunction|
|Time||once, until, once, before, when|
|Cause||because, as, since|
|Condition||if, unless, else|
|Contrast||although, though, whereas|
Here are few rules of Subordinating Conjunction that you need to understand it.
Grammar Rules of Subordinating Conjunction
Rule 1: The Subordinating Conjunction has to be part of the dependent clause.
Ex: I can stay here until my friend arrives.
Here, in the above example sentence, there are two clauses that are used. That is the Independent Clause and Dependent Clause.
Sentence = I can stay here (Independent clause) + until + my friend arrives (Dependent clause)
Quick Reference: Independent Clauses are those clauses that are independent of other clauses and can be referred to as a Sentence. Whereas, Dependent Clauses depends on the other clauses and cannot be a sentence because it doesn’t have the complete message.
Rule 2: It need not necessarily be in the middle of the sentence and also can come before the independent clause.
So, the above sentence can also be written as,
Ex: Until my friend arrives, I can stay here.
Sentence = Until + my friend arrives, (Dependent clause) + I can stay here (Independent clause)
Rule 3: If the dependent clause comes first, then use a comma before the independent clause.
- Incorrect: Until my friend arrives I can stay here. (X)
- Correct: Until my friend arrives, I can stay here. (_/)
Note: The correct statement example is already given in the 2nd Rule.
What is Correlative Conjunction?
Correlative Conjunction is a pair of Conjunction (or pair of words) that joins grammatically equal elements in the sentence.
Few examples are, either – or, neither – nor, not only – but also, both – and, etc.
- He is not only good at studies but also he is good at sports.
- I want both pizza and coke.
- Neither I nor he can’t understand English.
- Either I will cook a sweet dish or a spicy dish.
- He neither prefers Coffee or Tea to drink in the morning.
Note: Correlative Conjunction should use only parallel structure which means the two elements should take the same grammatical form.
Starting a sentence with a Conjunction
Most people believe in a myth that, “A Conjunction cannot be used at the start of the sentence”. But, that is not true in all cases. You can still use the conjunctions at the beginning but there are some rules to follow.
1) A subordinating conjunction can come at the start of a sentence, but only if the dependent clause is followed by an independent clause.
Ex: Until my friend arrives, I can stay here. (from the above example)
i.e, S: Until + my friend arrives, (Dependent clause) + I can stay here (Independent clause)
2) A dependent clause on its own is also known as a sentence fragment.
Ex: I can stay here until my friend arrives.
Note: Although fragments are mostly used in speech and informal writing, they should generally be avoided in academic writing.
Quiz Time! (Test your knowledge here)
#1. He is honest, ____ everyone trusts her. Choose the right option.
#2. I visit the Taj Mahal _______ I go to Agra. Choose an appropriate option.
Answer: I visit the Taj Mahal whenever I go to Agra.
#3. I got a seat even ______ I came late. Choose the appropriate option.
Answer: I got a seat even though I came late.
#4. You won't pass the exam _____ you study. Choose the correct option.
Answer: You won’t pass the exam unless you study.
#5. Raju is _____ good at studies _____ plays sports well. Choose the correct option.
Answer: Raju is not only good at studies but also plays sports well.
#6. They are leaving this Sunday ____ or not it rains.
Answer: They are leaving this Sunday whether or not it rains.
#7. A Conjunction is a word or group of words that is used to join ___________.
Answer: A Conjunction is a word or group of words that is used to join the words, phrases, clauses or sentences together.
#8. We can go out to the park now __ later.
Answer: We can go out to the park now or later.
#9. Which of the following is not a conjunction?
Answer: Here, John is not a Conjunction. It is a Noun because it is the name of the person.
#10. John will play today __ he gets a chance. Choose the right option.
Answer: John will play today if he gets a chance.
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Summary: (What are the Conjunctions in English Grammar?)
Here are some key points of this topic that you can refer.
- A Conjunction is usually used to join the two components that can be words, phrases or clauses.
- For example and, but, for, because, etc.
- It is one of the Parts of Speech and plays a major role in forming sentences.
- There are three types of Conjunctions: Coordinating Conjunction, Subordinating Conjunction and Correlative Conjunction.
- Coordinating Conjunction is used to join the same type of components. Such as two phrases, two clauses and two words.
- Subordinating Conjunction is used to join dependent and independent clauses.
- Correlated Conjunction is a paired word that joins the same grammatical element structures.
- A Conjunction can be used at the beginning of the sentence in a speech or formal writing, but not in academic writing.
If you are interested to learn more, then you can refer to Wikipedia from here.
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