Select your language

Suggested languages for you:
Log In Start studying!
StudySmarter - The all-in-one study app.
4.8 • +11k Ratings
More than 3 Million Downloads
Free
|
|

All-in-one learning app

  • Flashcards
  • NotesNotes
  • ExplanationsExplanations
  • Study Planner
  • Textbook solutions
Start studying

Conjunction

Save Save
Print Print
Edit Edit
Sign up to use all features for free. Sign up now
English

A conjunction is a word that 'joins' or 'connects' two words, clauses, or phrases . They are an important grammatical tool as they help to form longer, more complex sentences from simple sentences. Thanks to conjunctions, the short, simple sentences' I sing ',' I play piano ', and' I don't play guitar 'can become a one longer, more complex sentence': I sing and play the piano but I don't play the guitar '. The conjunctions 'and' and 'but' connect the shorter sentences.

What are some examples of conjunctions?

There are plenty of conjunctions in the English language. We'll see if you can think of a few yourself with the following exercise.

Try to think of some words to fill the blank in the following sentence:

He is my brother __ I love him

The conjunctions such as 'and' (he is my brother and I love him), 'so' (he is my brother so I love him), and 'therefore' (he is my brother therefore I love him) can be used to connect the two shorter clauses.

Other examples of conjunctions include:

  • because

  • for

  • so

  • for this reason

  • firstly

  • such as

  • even though

  • now that

  • as soon as

Types of conjunctions

In English grammar there are three types of conjunctions used for different purposes. These are coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and correlating conjunctions.

What are coordinating conjunctions?

Coordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have equal meaning or are equal in importance . These are what a lot of people think of as conjunctions and are the easiest to spot.

For example, the sentences 'Chloe went to school' and 'Faye rode her bike' are both quite similar. They contain a subject (Chloe / Faye), a verb (went / rode), and an object (school / bike). These sentences can be joined by coordinating conjunctions eg. 'Chloe went to school and / but / so Faye rode her bike.

Coordination can also reduce the number of words in a sentence. For example, 'I like dogs' and 'I like cats' can be joined together to make the sentence 'I like dogs and cats'.

There are seven coordinating conjunctions in English. These can remember them by using the acronym 'FANBOYS'. (Forget about the term 'fangirling', 'fanboys' are the next best thing!)

conjunction coordinating conjunctions FANBOYS StudySmarterCoordinating conjunctions (StudySmarter)

What are subordinating conjunctions?

Subordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have unequal meaning or are unequal in importance as one clause / phrase depends on the other.

The more 'important' clause is the independent clause . These are clauses that can stand alone and have a subject and a verb eg. 'I don't like cake'. The less important clause is the dependent clause . Dependent clauses can't stand alone as they ' depend ' on the independent clause (they are 'subordinate'). If someone came up to you in the street and said 'unless it is chocolate fudge cake', you would have no idea what they meant. Therefore, the independent clause 'I don't like cake' and subordinating conjunction are required to complete the meaning.

conjunction coordinating conjunction StudySmarterExample of a subordinating conjunction in a sentence (StudySmarter)

Subordinating conjunctions are used to show cause and effect, a contrast, or a relationship of time / place between clauses. For example:

conjunctions coordinating conjunctions examples StudySmarterExamples of coordination conjunctions (StudySmarter)

There are also multi-word subordinating conjunctions such as:

  • assuming that

  • in case of

  • in order to

  • so that

  • provided that

  • except that

What are correlative conjunctions?

Correlative conjunctions are two conjunctions that work together in a sentence. They are like two peas in a pod that are normally seen together. They may also be called 'paired conjunctions'.

Examples of correlative conjunctions include:

  • either + or

  • neither + nor

  • not only + but (also)

  • whether + or

  • both + and

  • hardly + when

  • 'I'm going to eat either pizza or chicken nuggets for dinner'
  • 'Mia was not only rude but also quite mean'
  • 'My mum is taking both my brother and me to the beach'

Starting a sentence with a conjunction

You may have been told by parents or teachers, 'do not start a sentence with because' or 'do not start a sentence with but'. But why do we so often see writers starting their sentences with a conjunction?

Putting conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence is a great way to add emphasis. Think about the following sentence:

'Because it was Christmas, Emma put carrots out for the reindeer'.

Putting the conjunction 'because' at the beginning of the sentence emphasizes the fact that it is Christmas. It sounds a bit more exciting than the alternative, Emma put carrots out for the reindeer because it was Christmas'.

Conjunction - key takeaways

  • A conjunction is a word that connects two words, clauses, or phrases. They help to form longer, more complex sentences from simple sentences.
  • The three main types of conjunction are coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, and correlative conjunctions.
  • Coordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have equal meaning / importance. The acronym FANBOYS helps us to remember the 7 coordinating conjunctions: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So.
  • Subordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have unequal / importance as one clause / phrase depends on the other. This is mainly an independent clause and a dependent clause.
  • Correlative conjunctions are two conjunctions that work together in a sentence eg either / or.

Conjunction

Coordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have equal meaning or are equal in importance. For example, ‘I like dogs’ and ‘I like cats’ can be joined together to make the sentence ‘I like dogs and cats’. The coordinating conjunctions include: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so.

A conjunction is a word that connects two words, clauses, or phrases. They help to form longer, more complex sentences from simple sentences.

A2. Examples of conjunctions include ‘and’ (he is my brother and I love him), ‘so’ (he is my brother so I love him), and ‘therefore’ (he is my brother therefore I love him).

The three main types of conjunctions are: coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions.

Subordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have unequal meaning or are unequal in importance as one clause/phrase depends on the other. This is mainly an independent clause and a dependent clause. For example, in the sentence ‘Peter didn’t leave the house due to the tiger in his front garden’, the subordinating conjunction ‘due to’ connects the independent clause to the dependent clause. Examples of subordinating conjunctions include: unless, until, although, whereas, since, and because.

Coordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have equal importance eg. ‘I like dogs but I don't like cats’, whereas subordinating conjunctions join an independent clause to a dependent clause eg. ‘I don’t like cake unless it is chocolate fudge cake’.

Final Conjunction Quiz

Question

What is a conjunction?

Show answer

Answer

A conjunction is a word that connects two words, clauses, or phrases. They help to form longer, more complex sentences from simple sentences.

Show question

Question

Which of the following are examples of conjunctions?

  • Beautiful

  • After

  • Always

  • None

  • But

  • Either/ or

Show answer

Answer

After, but, and either/ or are examples of conjunctions. They can be used to connect two parts of a sentence together.

Show question

Question

Connect the following sentences with a conjunction: ‘I like gardening’ ‘I like flowers’


Show answer

Answer

‘I like gardening and flowers’/ ‘I like gardening so I like flowers’/ ‘I like gardening because I like flowers’.

Show question

Question

What are the three main types of conjunctions? 


Show answer

Answer

The three main types of conjunctions are; coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions.

Show question

Question

________ conjunctions connect two parts of a sentence that have equal meaning/importance. Fill in the blanks.


Show answer

Answer

Coordinating conjunctions connect two parts of a sentence that have equal meaning/ importance.

Show question

Question

What acronym helps us to remember the 7 coordinating conjunctions?


Show answer

Answer

The acronym FANBOYS helps us to remember the 7 coordinating conjunctions.

Show question

Question

Which of the following are examples of coordinating conjunctions?

  • Instead

  • Yet

  • But

  • However

Show answer

Answer

The words ‘yet’ and ‘but’ are examples of coordinating conjunctions. They are part of the acronym FANBOYS.

Show question

Question

Subordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have ________ meaning/importance as one clause/ phrase _______ on the other. 


Show answer

Answer

Subordinating conjunctions join two parts of a sentence that have unequal meaning/importance as one clause/phrase depends on the other.

Show question

Question

What is the more ‘important’ clause called that can stand on its own?


Show answer

Answer

The more ‘important’ clause with the most meaning in a sentence is called the independent clause.

Show question

Question

The subordinate/’less important’ clause is called the _________. These can’t stand alone in a sentence. Fill in the blank.


Show answer

Answer

The subordinate/’less important’ clause is called the dependent clause. These can’t stand alone in a sentence.

Show question

Question

Which type of conjunction connects the following sentence?: ‘Tomorrow we are going to the cinema or to the park’.


Show answer

Answer

The conjunction ‘or’ is a coordinating conjunction. It connects two parts of a sentence that have equal importance and is part of the acronym ‘FANBOYS’.

Show question

Question

Which type of conjunction connects the following sentence?: ‘Lisa was still hungry, even though she’d eaten a giant burger’.


Show answer

Answer

The conjunction ‘even though’ is a subordinating conjunction. It connects an independent clause (Mia was still hungry) with a dependent clause (even though she’d eaten a giant burger).

Show question

Question

What are correlative conjunctions?


Show answer

Answer

Correlative conjunctions are two conjunctions that work together in a sentence.

Show question

Question

Find the correlative conjunctions in the following sentence: ‘I’m going to eat either fish and chips or steak pie for lunch’.


Show answer

Answer

The correlative conjunctions are ‘either’ and ‘or’. These are conjunctions that work together in a sentence.

Show question

Question

We can put a conjunction at the start of a sentence for what effect?


Show answer

Answer

Putting conjunctions at the beginning of a sentence is a great way to add emphasis.

Show question

More about English Grammar
60%

of the users don't pass the Conjunction quiz! Will you pass the quiz?

Start Quiz

Discover the right content for your subjects

No need to cheat if you have everything you need to succeed! Packed into one app!

Study Plan

Be perfectly prepared on time with an individual plan.

Quizzes

Test your knowledge with gamified quizzes.

Flashcards

Create and find flashcards in record time.

Notes

Create beautiful notes faster than ever before.

Study Sets

Have all your study materials in one place.

Documents

Upload unlimited documents and save them online.

Study Analytics

Identify your study strength and weaknesses.

Weekly Goals

Set individual study goals and earn points reaching them.

Smart Reminders

Stop procrastinating with our study reminders.

Rewards

Earn points, unlock badges and level up while studying.

Magic Marker

Create flashcards in notes completely automatically.

Smart Formatting

Create the most beautiful study materials using our templates.

Sign up to highlight and take notes. It’s 100% free.