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A conjunction is a part of speech that is used to connect words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. They can be one word or a few words. They glue words, phrases and clauses together and are made to convey two ideas in one sentence.

      1. Ramu lives in the hostel.
      2. Syamu lives in the hostel.

Ramu and Syamu live in the hostel.

The word and has glued the two ideas together in one sentence.

Conjunctions are mainly used to join actions, ideas and thoughts. They are categorised into three main types:

    • Co-ordinating
    • Subordinating
    • Correlative

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions allow you to join words, phrases, and clauses of equal grammatical rank in a sentence.

for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
They can be remembered by using the mnemonic device FANBOYS.

    • You can eat your cake with a spoon or fork.
    • My dog enjoys being bathed but hates getting his nails trimmed.
    • Jai refuses to eat peas, nor will he touch carrots.
    • I hate to waste a drop of petrol, for it is very expensive these days.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions join independent and dependent clauses. A subordinating conjunction can signal a cause-and-effect relationship, a contrast, or some other kind of relationship between the clauses.

after, although, as, as if, as long as, as much as, as soon as, as though, because, before, by the time, even if, even though, if, in order that, in case, in the event that, lest , now that, once, only, only if, provided that, since, so, supposing, that, than, though, till, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, whether or not, while

    • As Sruthi blew out the candles atop her birthday cake, she caught her hair on fire.
    • Saina begins to sneeze whenever she opens the window to get a breath of fresh air.
    • When the doorbell rang, my dog Tony barked loudly.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions correlate, working in pairs to join phrases or words that carry equal importance within a sentence.

both/and, as/as, whether/or, neither/nor, either/or, not only/but also, such/that, scarcely/when, as many/as, no sooner/than, rather/than

    • She is both intelligent and beautiful.
    • I will either go for a hike or stay home and watch TV.
    • Jerry is neither rich nor famous.
    • He is not only intelligent, but also very funny.
    • Would you rather go shopping or spend the day at the beach?
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Devika Panikar
δάσκαλος (dáskalos) means the teacher in Greek. Devika Panikar has been teaching English Language and Literature since 2006. She is an Assistant Professor with the Directorate of Collegiate Education under the Government of Kerala. She teaches at the Government Colleges under this directorate and is now posted at the Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram. This website is a collection of lecture notes she prepared by referencing various sources for her students’ perusal. It has been compiled here for the sake of future generations.