Coordinating Conjunctions

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Conjunctions are words that connect sentences or parts of sentences into one sentence. 

In this segment, we will learn about Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions. 

Kinds of Conjunctions

The three types of conjunctions are as follows.

  1. Coordinating Conjunctions

  2. Correlative Conjunctions

  3. Subordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions join single words or groups of words but they always join the elements of the same kind, i.e., subject and subject, verb phrase and verb phrase or sentence and sentence. 

These words are typically found in the middle part of a sentence with a comma ( , ) just before the conjunction, or at the beginning of the sentence. The coordinating conjunctions are:

For, and, nor, or, yet, so, still, besides, otherwise, or else, nevertheless. 

The above coordinating conjunctions are used to connect words, phrases and clauses or sentences. 

Example:

Truth and honesty is the best policy. (join two words)

He bought a wallet, shoes and a suitcase from the market. (join more than two words)

The bunch of car keys and the two files were left on the table. (two phrases)

Work hard, or else you will fail. (two clauses)

The word And is a Cumulative Coordinative Conjunction that connects non-contrasting objects or ideas. 

Example:

They arrived and hurried to the hotel.

Ramesh and Suresh are the two winners in the competition. 

Note: Other Cumulative Coordinative Conjunctions are: also, as well as, both … and, not only… but also, now, well.

The word But is an Alternative Coordinative Conjunction that connects contrasting objects and ideas. It also means ‘except’. 

Example:

He stumbled, but did not fall.

We live a simple life but not poor.

The word Yet is an Alternative Coordinative Conjunction that connects contrasting situations or exceptions.

Example:

He is rich, yet he is not happy.

I always want to talk to him, yet I never try to do that.

The word Or is an Alternative Coordinative Conjunction that presents an alternate idea or expression.

Example:

What do you want, tea or coffee?

She reads good books, or watches TV on Sundays. 

The word Nor is an Alternative Coordinative Conjunction that indicates something or someone is untrue or unaccepted.

Example:

He never drinks wine, nor does he smoke.

Note: Other Alternative Coordinative Conjunctions are: still, only, however, whereas, nevertheless.

The word So is an Illative Coordinative Conjunction that tells about the result or consequence of some action.

Example:

I was feeling very tired, so I wanted to go to bed early.

He could not sleep last night, so he is sleeping now. 

The word For is an Illative Coordinative Conjunction means because or as a consequence of.

Example:

He was scared, for he saw blood on his knees. 

Note: Other Illative Coordinative Conjunctions are: Therefore, then, so then.

 

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating Conjunctions are used in complex sentences. In other words, they join one independent or main clause with dependent or subordinate clause(s). Examples of subordinating conjunctions are as follows:

after, before, since, as soon as, while, until, as, so long as, if, whether, on condition, in order that, lest, so that, that, because, since, as, provided or provided that, supposing, unless, as, if whether, on condition, so…that, than, no less than, as…as, as much as, as, so far as, according to, as if, though, although, however, notwithstanding, as, even if, whatever, whichever.

Example:

After the school, we went to tuition.

They arrived where nobody had set foot before. 

Do it as your teacher showed you.

She speaks as fluently as she writes.

Unless you work hard, you cannot succeed

Use of some subordinating conjunctions

Because/ For/ Since

These three subordinating conjunctions are used to show the cause or reason. Among them because is most commonly used and has very great force.

Example:

I must apply today because it is the last date.

He could not come to school yesterday since he was ill.

He could not come to school yesterday, for he was ill with fever.

Note: Remember ‘since’ is also used to show point of time.

Example:

I have never seen him since he left the school.

We have never met since we left college.

If/ Unless

Both of these are used in conditional sentences. The if/ unless part is called the subordinate conditional clause and the other part is called the main clause. 

Unless means ‘if not’. So it turns the main clause into negative.

Example:

You can succeed, if you work hard.

Unless you work hard, you cannot succeed.

If you stop smoking, your health will improve.

Unless you stop eating, you will not lose weight. 


Solved Questions

1. Change the Wrong Words in the Following Sentences:

  1. He neither touched dinner or (nor) water.

  2. The old man not only lost (lost not only) his watch, but also his mobile phone.

  3. No sooner had Mita come when (than) she was off again.

  4. Scarcely had Ramesh gone than (when) a delivery man knocked at his door.

  5. Do like (as) I do.

  6. You must act like (as) I tell you.

  7. I cannot go to Misha’s house unless she invites (does not invite) me.

  8. Though he is a trust-worthy person but (yet) nobody trusts him.

  9. Suraj worked tirelessly as long as (until) it grew dark.

  10. Unless you respect (do not respect) the elders I shall not speak with you.

Solution

  1. He touched neither food nor water.

  2. The old man lost not only his watch, but also his mobile phone.

  3. No sooner had Mita come than she was off again.

  4. Scarcely had Ramesh gone when a delivery man knocked at his door.

  5. Do as I do.

  6. You must act as I tell you.

  7. I cannot go to Misha’s house unless she does not invite me.

  8. Though he is a trust-worth person yet nobody trusts him.

  9. Suraj worked tirelessly as long until it grew dark.

  10. Unless you do not respect the elders I shall not speak with you. 

2. Write the Suitable Conjunctions in the Blanks.

  1. You can go by train ___________ bus from here. (and / but/ nor/ or)

  2. Rice needs plenty of water _____________ cotton needs black soil. (as/ whereas/ since/ for)

  3. The stranger neither looked at anyone _____________ uttered a word. ( either/ as well as/ nevertheless/ nor)

  4. Swati worked hard ____________ obtained a higher first class. (or/ and/ yet/ as)

  5. Tanya had not prepared herself for the exams, _________ she sat for it. (therefore/ otherwise/ nevertheless/ and)

  6. The players withdrew from the game, _________ they weren’t sufficiently paid. (but/ because/ otherwise/ nonetheless)

  7. Either you sit here silently __________ leave the place. (nor/ since/ but/ or)

  8. _____________ he is poor, he is honest. (if/ unless/ provided/ though)

  9. ________ Manas__________ his sister can speak English. (either….or/ whether….. or/ both…. and/ none of these)

  10. I never lived in that part of the city  ______ even went there before. (and/ or/ nor/ but) 

Solutions

  1. You can go by train or bus from here.

  2. Rice needs plenty of water whereas cotton needs black soil.

  3. The stranger neither looked at anyone nor uttered a word.

  4. Swati worked hard and obtained a higher class.

  5. Tanya had not prepared herself for the exams nevertheless she sat for it.

  6. The players withdrew from the game because they weren’t sufficiently paid.

  7. Either you sit here silently or leave the place.

  8. Though he is poor, he is honest.

  9. Both Manas and his sister can speak English.

  10. I never lived in that part of the city or even went there before.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. What are the Different Kinds of Coordinating Conjunctions?

Ans. The different kinds of Coordinating Conjunctions are Cumulative, Alternative and Illative Conjunctions.

2. What Do You Understand by Coordinating Conjunctions?

Ans. Coordinating Conjunctions join single words or groups of words but they always join the elements of the same kind, i.e., subject and subject, verb phrase and verb phrase or sentence and sentence.

3. What are the Cumulative Coordinating Conjunctions?

Ans. The cumulative coordinating conjunctions used in English are and, also, as well as, both … and, not only… but also, now, well.

4. Why are the Coordinating Conjunctions Used?

Ans. The coordinating conjunctions are used to suggest that one work is sequential to another or to reflect a contrast that is unexpected in light of the first clause or to suggest that only one possibility can be realised, excluding one or the other.