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Types of Conjunctions

In the parts of speech lesson, you learned that conjunctions are one of the nine parts of speech. Now it’s time to look at the different types of conjunctions.

Coordinating Conjunctions: Your Top Fans

The seven coordinating conjunctions can go between words, phrases, and clauses.

Using the acronym FANBOYS makes it easy to remember which conjunctions are coordinating:

For

And

Nor

But

Or

Yet

So

Example: Arthur likes hockey but not baseball.

Example: Would you rather go hiking on the coast or in the mountains?

Example: Yolanda went to the midnight premier of the movie, so she was tired the next morning.

Correlative Conjunctions: They Come in Pairs

Correlative conjunctions link parts of a sentence together. The correlative conjunctions include:

  • as…as
  • both…and
  • either…or
  • not only…but also

When using them, you need to follow parallel construction.

Wrong: I’ve both been to Paris and London.

Right: I’ve been to both Paris and London.

Right: I’ve both been to Paris and been to London.

Wrong: Felix loves not only Chinese food, but also loves Thai food.

Right: Felix not only loves Chinese food, but also loves Thai food.

Right: Felix loves not only Chinese food, but also Thai food.

Subordinate Conjunctions: Making a Clause Less Important

Subordinate conjunctions make clauses dependent, so an independent clause is needed as well.

The list of subordinate conjunctions includes:

  • Although
  • Because
  • Since
  • Unless
  • When
  • While

Example: Unless I get over my nausea, I will never be an astronaut.

Example: Marina is excited because it’s her birthday.

Subordinate conjunctions are also covered in the lesson on sentences.

Conjunctive Adverbs: In Disguise

As their name indicates, conjunctive adverbs are actually adverbs, but they act as connectors, so they’re included here. Conjunctive adverbs include:

  • after all
  • besides
  • finally
  • however
  • nevertheless
  • then
  • therefore

Conjunctive adverbs need a semicolon or period before them and a comma after them.

Example: Walter is an excellent pianist; however, he rarely practices.

Example: Caroline loves the sweater; after all, purple is her favourite colour.

Example: The experiment’s findings were groundbreaking. Therefore, the scientists published a paper.

Example: I never take any vitamins. Nevertheless, I force my kids to take them.

Summary

Now you know the four types of conjunctions (coordinating, correlative, subordinate, and adverbial), and the punctuation that those conjunctions take.

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