English Conjunctions

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English Conjunctions and Their Functions

English Conjunctions and Their Functions


What are conjunctions?

English conjunctions are words or sets of words that are used to join sentences or parts of sentences smoothly together. If you plan to write English essays, you need to know how to use conjunctions effectively. There are three types of conjunctions in the English language that will be explained below.

Coordinating Conjunctions

There are only seven coordinating conjunctions in English, and you can memorize them easily with the help of this simple acronym (FANBOYS) standing for: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.

Bear in mind that coordinating conjunctions join main clauses or independent sentences.


Correlative Conjunctions

In the English language, we have four correlative conjunctions as listed below:

  1. Both … and
  2. Either … or
  3. Neither … nor
  4. Not only … but also

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions like although, because, etc. join a (dependent sentence) to a (independent sentence), while coordinating conjunctions join only main clauses (independent sentences).


Addition

ConjunctionsExamplesExplanations
additionallyA new contract is in place. Additionally, staff will be offered a bonus scheme.Subordinate
alsoShe sings beautifully and also plays the flute and piano.Adverb
andShe picked up the kitten and put it in the box.
as well 
besidesDo you play any other sports besides football and basketball?

She won’t mind your being late – besides, it’s hardly your fault.

 Adverb & Preposition
both … andBoth he and his wife enjoy tennis.

Both Mike and Jim have red hair.

furthermoreHe is old and unpopular. Furthermore, he has at best only two years of political life ahead of him. Sentence Adverb
likewiseThe clams were delicious. Likewise, the eggplant was excellent. Sentence Adverb
more to the pointWhen did she leave, and, more to the point, why? Sentence Adverb
moreoverThe rent is reasonable and, moreover, the location is perfect.

The whole report is badly written. Moreover, it is inaccurate.

 Sentence Adverb
not only … but alsoThe system was not only complicated but also ineffective.

Not only did I like the film, but also I hated it.

 

Correlative Conjunction

When not only is located at the beginning of the sentence, the sentence is inverted, i.e. it takes the question form, although it is a statement.

 what is moreThe decorations were absolutely beautiful and what’s more, the children had made them themselves. Used to add something surprising or interesting to what you have just said:

Comparison

ConjunctionsExamplesExplanations
alike
  •  My mother and I are alike in many ways. (Adjective)
  • The twins were dressed alike. (Adverb)
  • I learned a lot from teachers and students alike. (Adverb – in a similar way)
 Adjective and Adverb
comparably Comparably priced products/tickets
 Adverb
comparatively
  •  A comparatively small number of people
  • Comparatively few books have been written on the subject.
  • Crime on the island is comparatively rare.
 Adverb
in comparison
  •  In comparison to other recent video games, this one isn’t very exciting.
  • He was a loud friendly man. In comparison, his brother was rather shy.
  • By comparison with other European countries, car prices in the UK are very high.
 Noun Phrase
in the same way The drugs didn’t seem to affect Anna in the same way.
 Noun Phrase
like
  •  Don’t talk to me like you talk to a child. ()
  • No one else can score goals like he can. (Subordinating Conjunction)
Subordinating Conjunction
relatively
  •  The system is relatively easy to use.
  • E-commerce is a relatively recent phenomenon.
 Adverb
similarly
  •  The cost of food and clothing has come down in recent years. Similarly, fuel prices have fallen quite considerably.
  • The first letter she wrote me was less than a page long, and her second letter was similarly brief.
 Adverb

 

Contrast

ConjunctionsExamplesExplanations
albeit
  • He accepted the job, albeit with hesitation.
  • Chris went with her, albeit reluctantly.
  • The evening was very pleasant, albeit a little quiet.
  • He tried, albeit without success.
 Subordinating Conjunction

Note that after albeit, you should use a phrase (noun phrase, adjective phrase, prepositional phrase, etc.) and not a complete sentence.

alternatively
  •  You can relax on the beach, or alternatively try the bustling town center.
  • We could go to the Indian restaurant, or alternatively, we could try that new Italian place.
 Adverb
although
  •  Although I can’t help admitting the man’s courage, I do not approve of his methods.
  • You can copy down my answers, although I’m not sure they’re right.
  • No, this is my responsibility, although I appreciate your offer.
 Subordinating Conjunction
but
  •  It’s an old car, but it’s very reliable.
  • They rushed to the hospital, but they were too late.
  • We’ve invited the boss, but she may decide not to come.
Coordinating Conjunction
contrariwise American consumers prefer white eggs; contrariwise, British buyers like brown eggs.
 Adverb which means conversely
conversely In real life, nobody was all bad, nor, conversely, all good.
 Adverb
despite
  •  Despite all our efforts to save the school, the authorities decided to close it.
  • She went to Spain despite the fact that her doctor had told her to rest.
 Subordinating Conjunction
even though Even though he left school at 16, he still managed to become prime minister.
 Subordinating Conjunction
however
  •  You can do it however you like. (in any way you like)
  • If we win the match, we’ll be delighted, however it happens.
  • This is a cheap and simple process. However, there are dangers.
  • An extremely unpleasant disease that is, however, easy to treat
 Conjunction
in contrast
  •  The stock lost 60 cents a share, in contrast to last year, when it gained 21 cents.
  • The spirited mood on Friday was in sharp contrast to the tense atmosphere last week.
 Conjunction
in spite of
  •  We went out in spite of the rain.
  • Kelly loved her husband in spite of the fact that he drank too much.
  • In spite of his injury, Ricardo will play in Saturday’s match.
 Subordinating Conjunction
instead
  •  Geoff didn’t study law. Instead, he decided to become an actor.
  • You probably picked up my keys instead of yours.
  • If Jo can’t attend the meeting, I could go instead.
 Adverb
neverthelessWhat you said was true. It was, nevertheless, a little unkind.
 Adverb – FORMAL
nonetheless
  • The region was extremely beautiful. Nonetheless, Gerald could not imaging spending the rest of his life there.
  • The paintings are complex, but have plenty of appeal nonetheless.
 Adverb – FORMAL
notwithstanding
  •  Notwithstanding differences, there are clear similarities in all of the world’s religions.
  • Fame and fortune notwithstanding, Donna never forgot her hometown.
  • Notwithstanding some members’ objections, I think we must go ahead with the plan.
 Adverb, Preposition – FORMAL
on the contrary
  •  It wasn’t a good thing. On the contrary, it was a huge mistake.
 Adverb & Conjunction
on the other handI’d like to eat out, but on the other hand, I should be trying to save money.
 Adverb & Conjunction
stillThe hotel was terrible. Still, we were lucky with the weather. (in spite of what has just been said or done)
 Adverb
then again I like to travel but, then again, I’m very fond of my home.
Conjunction – used when you have had a new thought that is different or opposite to what you have just said
though
  •  Though she is almost 40, she still plans to compete.
  • Pascal went ahead with the experiment even though he knew it was dangerous.
  • They are coming next week, though I don’t know which day. (but)
  • We were at school together. I haven’t seen her for years though. (despite this)
 Conjunction – Adverb
whereas
  •  The old system was fairly complicated, whereas the new system is really very simple.
  • Whereas the city spent over $1 billion on its museums and stadium, it failed to look after its schools.
 Conjunction
while
  •  They arrived while we were having dinner. (coincidence)
  • He gets 50 thousand pounds a year, while I get a meager twenty! (contrast)
  • Tom is very extrovert and confident, while Katy’s shy and quiet. (contrast)
 Subordinating Conjunction
yet
  •  Kelly was a convicted criminal, yet many people admired him.
  • She does not speak our language and yet she seems to understand what we say.
Coordinating Conjunction


Deduction

ConjunctionsExamplesExplanations
above all Max is hard-working, cheerful, and above all honest.
 Conjunction – Adverb
accordingly Some of the laws were contradictory. Accordingly, measures were taken to clarify them.
 Adverb
as a consequence / in consequence
  • Animals have died as a consequence of coming into contact with this chemical.
  • She was over the age limit and, in consequence, her application was rejected.
 Conjunction
as a matter of fact I knew him when we were in college. As a matter of fact, we were on the same course.
Adverb or Conjunction – Used when adding more details about what you have just said.
as a result
  •  As a result of the pilots’ strike, all flights have had to be cancelled.
  • Sarah wasn’t at school last week. As a result, she missed an important test.
 Conjunction
as it is clear/evident/etc.All of the students in this semester worked so hard. As it is clear/evident, all of them will pass the course.
 Conjunction
beyond a doubt The poor animal was so sick. The vet said that it will soon die beyond a doubt.
 Adverb – Conjunction
briefly speaking He is disorganized, inefficient, never there when you need him – briefly speaking, the man’s hopeless.
 Conjunction
by far They are by far the best students in the class.
 By a great amount – Adverb
consequently
  • Most computer users have never received any formal keyboard training. Consequently, their keyboard skills are inefficient.
  • The molecules are absorbed into the bloodstream and consequently affect the organs.
 Conjunction
for that reasonI was robbed on the trip. For that reason, I had to change my mind and come back home.
 Conjunction
hence
  •  The cost of transport is a major expense for an industry. Hence, factory location is an important consideration.
  • Her grandmother was Polish, hence her interest in Polish culture.
 Adverb – FORMAL

Hence means ‘therefore’.

in effect I believe that human beings are, in effect, good.
 Adverb

basically, essentially

in general In general, men are taller than women.
 Adverb

generally, as a general rule, usually

in point of fact We were assured that the prisoners were being well-treated, when, in point of fact, they were living in terrible conditions.
 Adverb

in reality, as a matter of fact

in short He’s disorganized, inefficient, never there when you need him – in short, the man’s hopeless.
 Adverb

in brief, briefly, in a word

in so doing Focus on informative content to learn English. In so doing, you will learn English to live better.
 Conjunction

in this manner, by this means

in truth In truth, we feared for her safety, although we didn’t let it be known.
 FORMAL

Used to show that something is true

on the whole On the whole, I thought the film was pretty good.
 used to say that something is generally true

generally

overall
  •  Overall, prices are still rising. (generally)
  • What will it cost, overall? (altogether)
 Adverb

in general rather than in particular

soI was feeling hungry. So, I made myself a sandwich.
 Coordinating Conjunction

therefore

that is I’ll meet you in the city, that is, I will if the trains are running.
said when you want to give further details or be more exact about something
that is to say Languages are taught by the direct method, that is to say, without using the student’s own native language.
said when you want to give further details or be more exact about something
that is why Simon loves you – that’s why he wants to be with you.
Adverb

this is the reason for something

then
  •  If you won’t tell him, then I will.
  • Start off early, then you won’t have to rush.
 Adverb

used when saying what the result of a situation or action will be

therefore
  •  Their car was bigger, and therefore, more comfortable.
  • Progress so far has been very good. We are, therefore, confident that the work will be completed on time.
Adverb

as a result of something that has just been mentioned

thus
  •  Most of the evidence was destroyed in the fire. Thus it would be almost impossible to prove him guilty.
  • They planned to reduce staff and thus to cut costs.
 as a result of something that you have just mentioned
to be more accurate/exact/precise Our machines are not advanced enough. To be more accurate, it is impossible to predict the weather with these machines.
 Adverb

accurately, precisely

to put it in a nutshell
  •  OK. That’s our proposal in a nutshell. Any questions?
  • Well, to put it in a nutshell, we are lost.
 Adverb

using as few words as possible


Examples

ConjunctionsExamplesExplanations
e.g. Citrus fruits, e.g. oranges and grapefruit
 Latin: exempli gratia

Meaning: for example

  
for example Offices can easily become more environmentally-friendly by, for example, using recycled paper.
 used when giving an example of the type of thing you mean
 especially I never liked long walks, especially in winter.
Adverb

used to emphasize that something is more important or happens more with one particular thing than with others – particularly

explicitly I told you quite explicitly to be home by midnight.
 Adverb – clearly
for instance In the electronics industry, for instance, 5000 jobs are being lost.
  for example, e.g.
i.e. The hotel is closed during low season, i.e. from October to March.
from Latin “id est” which means: that is

used especially in writing before a piece of information that makes the meaning of something clearer or shows its true meaning

in particular What in particular did you like about the last apartment that we saw?
 especially, particularly
let’s say Try and finish the work by, let’s say, Friday.
 used to introduce a suggestion or possible example of something
like Don’t talk to me like you talk to a child.
 in the same way as
namely Three students were mentioned, namely John, Sarah and Sylvia.
 used when saying the names of the people or things you are referring to
particularlyWe are particularly interested to hear from people who speak two or more European languages. in particular, especially
specifically I specifically asked you not to do that.
in a detailed or exact way, especially, particularly
such as That sum of money is to cover costs such as travel and accommodation.
 for example
to be (more) precise/exact/accurate Our company is facing some problems, to be more precise, financial problems.
 specifically, in particular

Sequence

ConjunctionsExamplesExplanations
afterward(s) Adverb – after an event or time that has already been mentioned
finallyAfter several delays, we finally took off at six o’clock.
 Adverb – eventually, after a long time
first First of all, we’d better make sure we’ve got everything we need.
 Adverb – before anything or anyone else
firstly Firstly, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to this success.
 Adverb – used to say that the fact or reason that you are going to mention is the first one and will be followed by others
next Next, put it in the oven for 20 minutes.
 Adverb – immediately afterwards
previously Almost half the group had previously been heavy smokers.
 Adverb – before now or before a particular time
second Tea is the most popular drink, while coffee ranks / comes second.
 Adverb – next after the first one
secondly Firstly, they are not efficient, and secondly, they are expensive to make.
 Adverb – used when you want to give a second point or fact or give a second reason for something
then Mix the flour and butter, then add the eggs.
 Adverb – used to say what happens next or what you do next

 

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