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Grammar 05  - Using the Right Conjunctions
"Mustaq did not study, therefore, he failed the test." This sentence uses an inferential conjunction. Can you spot it?

Grammar 05 - Using the Right Conjunctions

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.

1.
"The baby sitter took the child inside --- the rain started pouring." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
Because
Or
For
Nor
"The baby sitter took the child inside BECAUSE the rain started pouring" is the answer which makes sense. 'Because' is a subordinating conjunction and is used as the independent clause is linked to the dependent clause
2.
"This festival --- my mother --- my father will be home." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
And... But
Neither...Nor
So... Because
But...And
"This festival NEITHER my mother NOR my father will be home" is the answer which makes sense. 'Neither...nor' is a negative addition conjunction
3.
"My son --- requires a pen --- paper to write his essay." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
Not only...But also
Either...Or
Neither...Nor
But...And
"My son NOT ONLY requires a pen, BUT ALSO paper to write his essay" is the answer which makes sense. 'Not only...But also' is a correlative conjunction
4.
"Nadal is good with the forehand, --- Federer is great with his backhand." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
While
When
Since
Unless
"Nadal is good with the forehand, WHILE Federer is great with his backhand." 'While' is a conjunction of contrast
5.
"--- you have completed the practice session, you can leave." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
Whereas
Once
Until
Whether
"Once you have completed the practice session, you can leave" is the answer which makes sense. 'Once' is a subordinating conjunction
6.
"The professor is strict --- a great teacher." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
As
Or
And
But
"The professor is strict BUT a great teacher" is the answer which makes sense. 'But' is a contrasting conjunction
7.
"You must come here at once --- you will be reported to the headmaster." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
And
Either
So
Or
"You must come here at once OR you will be reported to the headmaster" is the answer which makes sense. 'Or' is an alternative conjunction
8.
"Mustaq did not study, ---, he failed the test." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
Though
Although
Therefore
Since
"Mustaq did not study, THEREFORE, he failed the test" is the answer which makes sense. 'Therefore' is an inferential conjunction and you infer that he failed the test because he did not study
9.
"The principal was so angry that he --- reprimanded him --- suspended him." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
Neither...Nor
Either...Or
Not only...But also
And...But
"The principal was so angry that he NOT ONLY reprimanded him BUT ALSO suspended him" is the answer which makes sense. 'Not only...but also' is an addition conjunction. It works in this sentence as ideas such as inference, choice or contrast are not expressed
10.
"Saina Nehwal won gold medals in --- the singles --- doubles matches." - Fill up the blanks with the appropriate conjunction.
Both...Both
And...Both
Either...Or
Both...And
"Saina Nehwal won gold medals in BOTH the singles AND doubles matches" is the answer which makes sense. 'Both...And' is a correlative conjunction
Author:  V T Narendra

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