This list of conjunctions will knock your socks off. 🙂 If you want to get super smart, you should see the conjunctions page.
Conjunctions are words that join two or more words, phrases, or clauses.
List of Coordinating Conjunctions
Coordinating conjunctions join sentence elements that are the same. They can join words, phrases, and clauses.
- cookies and milk (joining words)
- into the house and out the door (joining phrases)
- He came and she left. (joining clauses)
- There are only seven of these, and they're easy to memorize if you use the mnemonic device FANBOYS.
For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So
This sentence diagram shows us that coordinating conjunctions connect two or more sentence elements.
Check it out! The coordinating conjunction goes on a dotted, vertical line between the things that it connects.
That diagram shows a coordinating conjunction joining two independent clauses. Sentence diagramming rules! You can lean to diagram coordinating conjunctions here.
List of Subordinating Conjunctions
- Subordinating conjunctions are conjunctions that join dependent clauses to independent clauses.
- I will eat broccoli after I eat this cookie.
- (I will eat broccoli = independent clause, after I eat this cookie = dependent adverb clause)
There are many subordinating conjunctions, so keep in mind that this list doesn't include all of them! A WHITE BUS is a way to help you memorize some subordinating conjunctions.
- A after, although, as, as if, as long as, as much as, as soon as, as though
- B because, before, by the time
- E even if, even though
- I if, in order that, in case
- L lest
- O once, only if
- P provided that
- S since, so that
- T than, that, though, till
- U unless, until
- W when, whenever, where, wherever, while
List of Conjunctions – Correlative Conjunctions
These kinds of conjunctions do the same thing that coordinating conjunctions do except that they are always used in pairs.
This cookie contains neither chocolate nor nuts.
not only… but also
|Here's a sentence diagram of the correlative conjunction both … and.Did you notice that it's diagrammed in the same way that we diagrammed our coordinating conjunction above? I thought you would. You're so smart.|
What page about conjunctions would be complete without a link to Schoolhouse Rock's super catchy Conjunction Junction? (Did you watch this when you were a kid?)
Here are a few other lessons you might enjoy.
If you don't want to teach or learn grammar by yourself, click here to see how I can help you.
Some words are satisfied spending an evening at home, alone, eating ice-cream right out of the box, watching Seinfeld re-runs on TV, or reading a good book.
Others aren't happy unless they're out on the town, mixing it up with other words; they're joiners and they just can't help themselves.
A conjunction is a joiner, a word that connects (conjoins) parts of a sentence.
The simple, little conjunctions are called coordinating conjunctions (you can click on the words to see specific descriptions of each one):
(It may help you remember these conjunctions by recalling that they all have fewer than four letters. Also, remember the acronym FANBOYS: For-And-Nor-But-Or-Yet-So. Be careful of the words then and now; neither is a coordinating conjunction, so what we say about coordinating conjunctions' roles in a sentence and punctuation does not apply to those two words.)
|Click on “Conjunction Junction” to read and hear Bob Dorough's “Conjunction Junction” (from Scholastic Rock, 1973). Schoolhouse Rock® and its characters and other elements are trademarks and service marks of American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. Used with permission.|
When a coordinating conjunction connects two independent clauses, it is often (but not always) accompanied by a comma:
- Ulysses wants to play for UConn, but he has had trouble meeting the academic requirements.
When the two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction are nicely balanced or brief, many writers will omit the comma:
- Ulysses has a great jump shot but he isn't quick on his feet.
The comma is always correct when used to separate two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction. See Punctuation Between Two Independent Clauses for further help.
A comma is also correct when and is used to attach the last item of a serial list, although many writers (especially in newspapers) will omit that final comma:
- Ulysses spent his summer studying basic math, writing, and reading comprehension.
When a coordinating conjunction is used to connect all the elements in a series, a comma is not used:
- Presbyterians and Methodists and Baptists are the prevalent Protestant congregations in Oklahoma.
A comma is also used with but when expressing a contrast:
- This is a useful rule, but difficult to remember.
In most of their other roles as joiners (other than joining independent clauses, that is), coordinating conjunctions can join two sentence elements without the help of a comma.
- Hemingway and Fitzgerald are among the American expatriates of the between-the-wars era.
- Hemingway was renowned for his clear style and his insights into American notions of male identity.
- It is hard to say whether Hemingway or Fitzgerald is the more interesting cultural icon of his day.
- Although Hemingway is sometimes disparaged for his unpleasant portrayal of women and for his glorification of machismo, we nonetheless find some sympathetic, even heroic, female figures in his novels and short stories.
|A frequently asked question about conjunctions is whether and or but can be used at the beginning of a sentence. This is what R.W. Burchfield has to say about this use of and: There is a persistent belief that it is improper to begin a sentence with And, but this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by standard authors from Anglo-Saxon times onwards. An initial And is a useful aid to writers as the narrative continues. from The New Fowler's Modern English Usage edited by R.W. Burchfield. Clarendon Press: Oxford, England. 1996.Used with the permission of Oxford University Press. The same is true with the conjunction but. A sentence beginning with and or but will tend to draw attention to itself and its transitional function. Writers should examine such sentences with two questions in mind: (1) would the sentence and paragraph function just as well without the initial conjunction? (2) should the sentence in question be connected to the previous sentence? If the initial conjunction still seems appropriate, use it.|
Among the coordinating conjunctions, the most common, of course, are and, but, and or. It might be helpful to explore the uses of these three little words. The examples below by no means exhaust the possible meanings of these conjunctions.
- To suggest that one idea is chronologically sequential to another: “Tashonda sent in her applications and waited by the phone for a response.”
- To suggest that one idea is the result of another: “Willie heard the weather report and promptly boarded up his house.”
- To suggest that one idea is in contrast to another (frequently replaced by but in this usage): “Juanita is brilliant and Shalimar has a pleasant personality.
- To suggest an element of surprise (sometimes replaced by yet in this usage): “Hartford is a rich city and suffers from many symptoms of urban blight.”
- To suggest that one clause is dependent upon another, conditionally (usually the first clause is an imperative): “Use your credit cards frequently and you'll soon find yourself deep in debt.”
- To suggest a kind of “comment” on the first clause: “Charlie became addicted to gambling — and that surprised no one who knew him.”
- To suggest a contrast that is unexpected in light of the first clause: “Joey lost a fortune in the stock market, but he still seems able to live quite comfortably.”
- To suggest in an affirmative sense what the first part of the sentence implied in a negative way (sometimes replaced by on the contrary): “The club never invested foolishly, but used the services of a sage investment counselor.”
- To connect two ideas with the meaning of “with the exception of” (and then the second word takes over as subject): “Everybody but Goldenbreath is trying out for the team.”
- To suggest that only one possibility can be realized, excluding one or the other: “You can study hard for this exam or you can fail.”
- To suggest the inclusive combination of alternatives: “We can broil chicken on the grill tonight, or we can just eat leftovers.
- To suggest a refinement of the first clause: “Smith College is the premier all-women's college in the country, or so it seems to most Smith College alumnae.”
- To suggest a restatement or “correction” of the first part of the sentence: “There are no rattlesnakes in this canyon, or so our guide tells us.”
- To suggest a negative condition: “The New Hampshire state motto is the rather grim “Live free or die.”
- To suggest a negative alternative without the use of an imperative (see use of and above): “They must approve his political style or they wouldn't keep electing him mayor.”
The Others . . .
The conjunction NOR is not extinct, but it is not used nearly as often as the other conjunctions, so it might feel a bit odd when nor does come up in conversation or writing. Its most common use is as the little brother in the correlative pair, neither-nor (see below):
- He is neither sane nor brilliant.
- That is neither what I said nor what I meant.
>It can be used with other negative expressions:
- That is not what I meant to say, nor should you interpret my statement as an admission of guilt.
It is possible to use nor without a preceding negative element, but it is unusual and, to an extent, rather stuffy:
- George's handshake is as good as any written contract, nor has he ever proven untrustworthy.
Use of Conjunctions: Types of Conjunctions, Examples, Videos, Questions
Conjunctions are linking or joining words that connect other words and phrases together. So there are some very important uses of conjunctions in English grammar. Let us take a look at the types and use of conjunctions.
They are of three types and each of these types joins different types or parts of the sentence:
- Coordinating Conjunctions link equal parts of a sentence including clauses and phrases. A comma is used when two a coordinating conjunction is used to join two independent clauses.
- Subordinating Conjunctions help to link or connect a dependent clause to an independent one. The commonly seen relationship between the two clauses is cause- and- effect or contrast but it can be any other type as well.
- Correlative Conjunctions are paired conjunctions that are generally used together.
The main job of conjunctions it to link words, clauses or phrases into one complex and interesting sentence. Let us now look at the list of conjunctions commonly used and their usage and meaning.
Conjunctions: Definitions, Types, and Examples
Types and Use of Conjunctions
Here is the use of conjunctions with respect to their types:
The most commonly used coordinating conjunctions are easily remembered by the pneumonic FANBOYS: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.
- For- It explains reason or sights purpose.
- And- It helps to add one clause or phrase to another similar one.
- Nor- It is used to add a negative idea to an already existing negative idea.
- But- Helps to show a contrast.
- Or- Helps to add an alternative to an already existing positive alternative.
- Yet- Provides a contrasting idea to an existing logical idea or point.
- So-It is used to indicate or show a result or consequence of an event.
Few sentences using the above conjunctions:
- She couldn’t make it to the meeting, so I had to take over.
- I love ice- cream but due to the flu, I couldn’t have it.
Using Conjunctions | Rules and Examples
A conjunction is a word that is used to connect words, phrases, and clauses. There are many conjunctions in the English language, but some common ones include and, or, but, because, for, if, and when.
There are three basic types of conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, and correlative.
Because the popstar caught a terrible cold, her upcoming performances in Boston and Chicago were indefinitely postponed. The tour organizers provided neither rescheduled dates nor refunds for the tickets, causing much discontent among the fans.
This type of conjunction is used to connect items that are grammatically equal: two words, two phrases, or two independent clauses.
There are seven coordinating conjunctions in English, and you can remember them using the mnemonic device FANBOYS: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
A conjunction of this type is placed between the items that it links together.
Coordinating conjunctions can join two nouns, verbs, adjectives, or other types of word.
- The data was gathered through questionnaires and interviews.
Conjunctions coordinating vs subordinating
So is primarily used in writing as a coordinating conjunction, whereas the phrase “so that” is generally used as a subordinating conjunction.
A coordinating conjunction, according to englishclub.com:
joins parts of a sentence (for example words or independent clauses) that are grammatically equal or similar. A coordinating conjunction shows that the elements it joins are similar in importance and structure
englishclub lists seven coordinating conjunctions:
and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so
Examples of a coordinating conjunction using so:
“She is kind so she helps people.”
“I want to work as an interpreter in the future, so I am studying Russian at university.”
In these cases, both parts of the sentence which are joined are grammatically equal or similar in importance and structure, and one is not necessarily dependent on the other one.
whereas a subordinating conjunction:
joins a subordinate (dependent) clause to a main (independent) clause
Here are some common subordinating conjunctions as well:
after, although, as, as if, as long as, as though, because, before, even if, even though, if, if only, in order that, now that, once, rather than, since, so that, than, that, though, till, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, while
In short, use so primarily as a coordinating conjunction, and the phrase so that as a subordinate conjunction and you'll be fine.
Some helpful sites just for good measure:
Words which connect words, phrases, clauses or sentences are called conjunctions (see “to conjoin” = join, unite). The most common ones are 'and', 'or' and 'but'. These words all have different nuances and connotations but they all help to build up meaningful relationships within a sentence.
A variety of useful English Conjunctions exists, which complete this list of the most used Cohesive Devices. Together, they can help to express a cohesive view and easy understandable and readable texts.
There are three basic types of conjunctions:
coordinating conjunctions used to connect two independent clauses subordinating conjunctions used to establish the relationship between the dependent clause and the rest of the sentence correlative conjunctions used to join various sentence elements which are grammatically equal
Comes usually in the middle of a sentence, and a comma is used before the conjunction (unless both clauses are very short). They join individual words, phrases, and independent clauses.
Whereas coordinating conjunctions join parts of a sentence, the purpose of transitional words and phrases usually is to join two 'sentences'.
Examples: We can draw lessons from the past, but we cannot live in it. [Lyndon B. Johnson]The purpose of most computer languages is to lengthen your resume by a word and a comma. [Larry Wall]
And, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet — are the seven coordinating conjunctions. To remember them, the acronym FANBOYS can be used.
F = for
A = and
N = nor
B = but
O = or
Y = yet
S = so