Introduction to Conjunctions

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Types of Conjunction with Examples

Conjunctions are ‘joining words’ which comprise a very important part of English grammar. They join words, phrases, and sentences and help to make an expression meaningful. Questions in conjunction like ‘give an example of the conjunction’ are common in all school-level examinations and NCERT syllabus puts a lot of importance on it. Depending on the class, you can expect questions on conjunctions of different difficulty levels. However, before discussing types of conjunctions with examples, let us see the conjunction definition. 

Definition of Conjunction with Example

A conjunction is a part of speech in English Grammar that is used to join clauses, phrases, and words together to construct meaningful sentences. Suitable conjunctions are used to form a link between or among words or groups of words and parts of a sentence and establish a relationship between or among them. Coordination of words is the main purpose of conjunction. Some commonly used conjunctions are “but”, “and”, “when”, “for”, “although” etc. Let us try to define conjunction with an example:

1. Rayan likes bacon and eggs for breakfast.

In this sentence, the two words i.e. bacon + eggs, are joined together by the conjunction and to show how the ideas are related to each other.

Let us look into some similar joining of clauses, phrases and words with appropriate conjunction:

2. Taniya has to finish her homework before she can go to bed.

3. Shila is hurt but she still wants to play for the team.

Types of Conjunction Definition and Examples

In English Grammar, Conjunctions are mainly categorized into four different types i.e. coordinating, subordinating, correlating and adverbial conjunctions. Let us look into these types of conjunction meaning and examples.

Coordinating Conjunction

A coordinating conjunction is the most commonly used conjunction that serves the purpose of joining two words, phrases, or independent clauses, which are parallel in structure. They are used in the middle of the sentence among or between words or groups of words and not at the beginning or the end of a sentence. In general, there are seven main coordinating conjunctions i.e. for, and, nor, or, but, yet, so. These can be easily recalled chronologically by remembering the acronym “FANBOYS”. 

Coordinating Conjunction Examples:

1. The girl fell from the see-saw or from the swing.

Here the conjunction ‘or’ joins the two phrases linking “from the see-saw” and “from the swing”.

2. I am out of tea so I went to the market to buy some.

Here the conjunction ‘so’ joins the two clauses “I am out of tea” and “ I went to the market to buy some”.

3. I ate chicken and rice for dinner.

Here the conjunction ‘and’ joins the two words “chicken” and “rice”.

Subordinating Conjunction

Subordinating conjunctions link two clauses together. They introduce a dependent clause and also explain the relationship between the dependent clause and the independent clause in the sentence. They can be used at the beginning or in the middle of a sentence to emphasize the main idea of the independent clause. 

Some of the commonly used subordinating conjunctions are as follows: since, though, unless, while, as far as, while, as soon as, although, before, even if, because, no matter how, whether, wherever, when, until, after, as if, how, if, in case, so that, now that, etc.

Subordinate Conjunction Examples:

1. While everyone else was asleep, Roger slowly sneaked out.

There should be a comma between the dependent and independent clauses. The conjunction “while” provides a transition between two ideas in the same sentence.

2. You need to finish your assignment before going to school tomorrow.

The central idea of finishing the assignment is linked by the conjunction “before” with the dependent clause that explains the transition.

Correlating Conjunction

These exist in pairs and are placed at different parts of the sentence to join equal sentence elements together to make a sensible sentence. Some of the most commonly used correlating conjunctions are: either-or, neither-nor, not only-but also, both-and, whether-or, and so-as, etc.

Correlating Conjunction Examples:

1. You can either have chocolate or ice-cream.

2. Not only did she top her class but also she won the sports trophy. 

3. Both my father and my uncle are neurosurgeons.

Adverbial Conjunction

Certain adverbs are used in sentences as conjunctions the same way coordinating conjunction i.e. joining two independent clauses. Adverbial conjunction is preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma. Some commonly used adverbs as conjunctions are: however, therefore, on the contrary, hence, in fact, otherwise, as a result, indeed, still, thus, on the other hand, furthermore, instead, incidentally, after all, finally, likewise, meanwhile, consequently etc.

Adverbial Conjunction Examples:

1. Raju got impressive marks in science; however, his mathematics performance was not up to the mark

2. My mother went grocery shopping; meanwhile, I cleaned the house.

Even though the concept of conjunctions seems to be comparatively easy, unlike tenses, adverbs etc it is important to remember the conjunction definition for each type for proper implementation in sentences. Remember to punctuate the sentences according to the rules.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. How to Identify a Conjunction in a Sentence?

Ans. It is extremely essential to have the idea about phrases, dependent, and independent clauses before one can identify conjunction in a sentence. In order to locate conjunction, one must look for the transition between two words, phrases or clauses. 

For Example:

Until I am done with my work, I am not leaving office today.

In the above sentence, there is an independent clause “I am not leaving office today” that has been joined by the conjunction “until” with a dependent clause emphasizing the main idea of the independent clause.

As the conjunction is at the beginning of the sentence joining a dependent and independent clause, it is subordinating conjunction.

2. Identify the Conjunction and Its Type from the Following Words:

  1. Mine

  2. Is

  3. Though

  4. Lovely

Ans: From the above words, the word “Though” is a conjunction. As it can be used to join the main idea with a dependent clause, it is a subordinate conjunction.

  • Mine - It is a pronoun

  • Is - It is a helping verb used for a singular person

  • Lovely – It is an adjective used to define a noun.

To identify the parts of speech correctly, it is important to practice exercises on a regular basis. There are practice tests and notes on online platforms like Vedantu to enhance your literary skills.