In your city, town or village you must have seen trains run by on tracks with an engine in front and many compartments behind. You would have seen at the station an engine being separated from the compartments and joining with another set of compartments. There is a message in this for our English classes - conjunctions are very similar to trains!
Conjunctions are also called joining words and they perform the task of joining words or sentences together. Just as many compartments are joined to one another through a coupling mechanism so also we join words or sentences through conjunctions - they are joining words.
Take a look at these two sentences:
"She stood up AND waited to see what he wanted."
"He lost his money in gambling, BUT he still seems to live comfortably."
Here we see the conjunctions AND and BUT being used to join two shorter sentences together.
There are many types of conjunctions and the primary ones are FOR, AND, NOR, BUT, OR, YET and SO. These are what are known as coordinating conjunctions and can be easily remembered by memorising FANBOYS, where each letter stands for the appropriate conjunction.
Conjunctions can also be categorised on the basis of their usage in a context of the sentences or clauses. Conjunctions of reason, contrast, purpose, concession and consequence are used most often. Here are some examples:
'Because' is a conjunction of reason and it can also be used as a conjunction in other instances.
'Yet' is a conjunction of contrast.
'So' is a conjunction of purpose as well as a conjunction of consequence.
'Although' is a conjunction of concession.
Please remember that many conjunctions can fall under more than one type! The quiz that follows exposes you to the different ways in which conjunctions can be used.