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Introduction to Conjunctions

We can consider conjunctions from three aspects.

1. What do Conjunctions Do?

Conjunctions have two basic functions or "jobs":

  • Coordinating conjunctions are used to join two parts of a sentence that are grammatically equal. The two parts may be single words or clauses, for example:
    - Jack and Jill went up the hill.
    - The water was warm, but I didn't go swimming.
  • Subordinating conjunctions are used to join a subordinate dependent clause to a main clause, for example:
    - I went swimming although it was cold.

Here are some example conjunctions:

Coordinating conjunctions Subordinating conjunctions
and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so although, because, since, unless

2. What do Conjunctions Look Like?

Conjunctions have three basic formats:

  1. single word
    for example: and, but, because, although
  2. compound (often ending with as or that)
    for example: provided that, as long as, in order that
  3. correlative (surrounding an adverb or adjective)
    for example: so...that

3. Where do Conjunctions Go?

  • Coordinating conjunctions always come between the words or clauses that they join.
  • Subordinating conjunctions usually come at the beginning of the subordinate clause.