What is a conjunction? A conjunction is one of the nine parts of speech that we have in the English language. A conjunction can be defined as a word that is used to join words or group of words together. Simply put, a conjunction joins one word to another or one sentence or phrase to another.
Conjunctions always join.
When conjunctions join two words together, the words are normally of the same or similar parts of speech.
- John and Joseph are brothers.
In the sentence above, the nouns ‘John’ and ‘Joseph’ are nouns that are joined together by the conjunction ‘and’. This therefore means that the word ‘and’ is an example of a conjunction.
- John studied hard but he failed the examination.
The sentence above also shows the word ‘but’ joining two sentences together. The first sentence ‘John studied hard’ is joined to the second sentence ‘he failed the examination’ by the use of the word ‘but’. This therefore gives you a clue that ‘but’ is a conjunction.
Types of conjunctions
Although many books say that there are two types of conjunctions, there are actually three types of conjunctions in the English language, namely Coordinating conjunction, Subordinating conjunction and Correlative conjunction.
What is a coordinating conjunction? A coordinating conjunction joins words or group of words that are of equal status. For example ‘boys and girls’, ‘the teacher and his students’, ‘we studied very hard and we passed the test’.
Examples of coordinating conjunctions
We have only seven coordinating conjunctions in the English language. These conjunctions are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. These words come together to form the acronym FANBOYS. Each time you think of the coordinating conjunctions just think of the acronym FANBOYS.
What is a subordinating conjunction? A subordinating conjunction is a word or group of words that joins two independent clauses together, and in doing so end up rendering one of the independent clauses a subordinate clause. It is for this reason these conjunctions are called subordinating conjunctions. When they get themselves attached to an independent clause, they automatically make that clause dependent on another clause.
The subordinating conjunctions are the most common types of conjunctions. As a matter of fact, the majority of the conjunctions in English are subordinating conjunctions.
Examples of subordinating conjunctions
There are so many examples of subordinating conjunctions; some of these examples include the following: after, as, although, before, if, once, since, though, even though till, until, when, in order that, so long as etc.
- Joe felt like a winner although he had lost the game.
- Although he was ill, he went out to play with his friends
- I went to his house even though he warned me from visiting him.
Correlative conjunctions, just like the coordinating conjunction, connect two words or phrases that are of equal grammatical weight.
Examples of the correlative conjunctions
Either….or, neither…..nor, and not only…..but also
- Either John or his brothers are coming to the party.
- Neither the farmer nor his children like the big city.
- Not only John but also his brothers are not happy about the family dispute.