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Conjunctions are words that "join". Conjunctions join two parts of a sentence.

Some examples of conjunctions: And, or, but, for, nor, so, yet, since because, although, unless

Conjunctions can be considered from three aspects:


There are three basic forms of conjunctions:
  • Single word conjunctions like and, but, because, although
  • Compound conjunctions often end with as or that. For example: provided that, as long as, in order that
  • Correlative conjunctions surround an adverb or an adjective. for example: so... that 


A Conjunction has two basic functions or "jobs".

Coordinate conjunction is used for joining two parts of a sentence that are grammatically equal. Those two parts may be single words or they may be clauses, For example: 
  • Sean and Ron went down the road. 
  • The water was cold, but I didn't go swimming.
The subordinate conjunction is used for joining a subordinate dependent clause to a main clause, for example:
  • I went playing, although I had school.

Coordinating conjunctions always come between the clauses or words that they join.

Subordinating conjunctions normally come at the beginning of the subordinate clause.

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

The coordinating conjunctions are the short and simple conjunctions.

For example: and, or, but, nor, so, yet, for

A coordinating conjunction joins those parts of a sentence which are grammatically equal or similar. A coordinating conjunction demonstrates that the elements it joins are equal or similar in structure and importance.  Look at the following examples:
  • You like "tea" and "coffee".
  • "Peter likes tea" but "Mark likes coffee"
Coordinating conjunctions come between the clauses or words which they join.

When coordinating conjunctions join independent clauses, a comma should be placed before the conjunction.
  • I want to work as a director in the future, so I am studying cinema-tics at the university.
 However, if the independent clauses are well balanced and short, a comma is not really required.
  • They are kind so they help people.
When and is used with the last word in a list of words, a comma is optional.
  • Joseph drinks whiskey, rum, wine, and beer.
  • Joseph drinks whiskey, rum, wine and beer.

The coordinating conjunctions are simple and short words. It's easy to remember them.

F- For
A- And
N- Nor
B- But
O- Or
Y- Yet
S- So

Subordinating Conjunctions

Most of the conjunctions are subordinating conjunctions. The most common subordinating conjunctions are :
  • although, as, before, after, because, how, if, once, since, that, than, though, till, until, when, where, whether, while. 

A subordinating conjunction joins the main clause (independent clause) to the subordinate clause (dependent clause).

Look at the following sentence:

Shaun went swimming           although         it was raining.
              |                                                                           |
main or independent clause              subordinate or dependent clause

A subordinate clause depends on the main clause. The subordinate clause cannot exist alone.

Subordinating conjunctions always come at the beginning of subordinate clauses. They introduce a subordinate clause. But, a subordinate clause sometimes comes before or sometimes after the main clause.

For example:

They went swimming although it was raining.

Although it was raining, they went swimming.

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Conjunctions Exercises