Conjunctions light up the English language with their capacity to join words, phrases, clauses or even sentences. You have read thousands of paragraphs containing hundreds of words and you would probably have not noticed some very simple words such as AND, FOR, NOR, SO, YET, OR and BUT. What about pairs of words such as NEITHER…NOR, EITHER…OR, NOT ONLY…BUT ALSO and BOTH…AND? Do you recall words such as WHILE, WHEN, SINCE, THOUGH, ALTHOUGH, THEREFORE and UNLESS? All these words are grouped together under the name conjunctions.
Conjunctions are parts of speech that form the fundamental bases for the English language. Conjunctions are basically grouped under three heads namely, coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions and correlative conjunctions. The coordinating conjunctions are seven in number and they are AND, FOR, NOR, SO, YET, OR and BUT and these join two words or two phrases or two independent clauses. Correlative conjunctions such as NEITHER…NOR, EITHER…OR, NOT ONLY…BUT ALSO and BOTH…AND join clauses that are similar. Correlative conjunctions are similar to coordinating conjunctions. Subordinating conjunctions such as WHILE, WHEN, SINCE, THOUGH, ALTHOUGH, THEREFORE and UNLESS join an independent clause with a dependent clause.
Conjunctions are very tricky words and they can be used in several different ways to give meaning to sentences. Conjunctions help to show contrast, choose alternatives, draw inferences and add new meaning to sentences. Take the second quiz on conjunctions and see for yourself the versatility of this type of word.