Caleb S.
Caleb S.

Learn About Conjunction and Its Types | With Examples

13 min read

Published on: Jun 4, 2024

Last updated on: Jun 20, 2024

conjunction Part of Speech

If you have written anything, you have likely used conjunctions. However, despite common conjunctions, many students still struggle with the proper placement. 

They also struggle with understanding when to use "and," "but," or "because" in their sentences. 

But don’t worry because, in this blog, we'll break down everything you need to know. From what conjunctions are, their various types, and examples, this blog has everything you need and more. 

So, let’s get started!

How do Conjunctions Work?

Conjunction words are the parts of speech that join words, phrases, or clauses together. They act as bridges, linking different parts of a sentence to convey a complete idea. 

Without conjunctions, your writing will lack proper flow and will affect your readability and understanding. 

Take a look at this example below to have a better understanding:

Without Conjunctions:

The sun was shining. The birds were singing. I went for a walk. I saw a rainbow. I felt happy.

With Conjunctions:

The sun was shining, and the birds were singing, so I went for a walk. As I walked, I saw a rainbow, which made me feel happy.

See how much better the second part sounds? Adding conjunctions helps to connect the sentences more fluently, creating a smoother and more coherent narrative flow.

Different Types of Conjunctions

Conjunctions come in various forms, each serving a specific purpose in connecting ideas. There are three main types of conjunctions:

  • Coordinating Conjunctions: They connect words, phrases, or independent clauses of similar grammatical positions. 
  • Subordinating Conjunctions: They connect an independent clause with a dependent clause, creating complex sentences where one idea is dependent on the other.
  • Correlative Conjunctions: They come in pairs and work together to join elements within a sentence. Common pairs include "either/or," "neither/nor," "both/and," "not only/but also," and "whether/or."

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are like the glue that holds your ideas together. They can connect words, phrases, or even entire sentences. 

Common Words

Remember the acronym "FANBOYS" to recall the most common coordinating conjunctions: 

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

How to Punctuate Coordinating Conjunctions

Use a comma before a coordinating conjunction when joining two independent clauses. Here are some examples for your understanding:

  • I wanted to go to the party, but I had too much homework.
  • She is intelligent and hardworking.
  • You can have cake or ice cream for dessert.
  • I like tea and coffee.

Common Errors to Avoid

Avoid using coordinating conjunctions to join independent and dependent clauses without proper punctuation.

Remember the comma before a coordinating conjunction when joining independent clauses.

Take a look at this comparison between the correct and wrong way of using coordinating conjunctions:

Incorrect

Correct

She wanted to go to the party but she had too much work to finish.

She wanted to go to the party, but she had too much work to finish.

They went for a walk but it started raining heavily.

They went for a walk, but it started raining heavily.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions are words that join dependent clauses to independent clauses. They might seem complicated, but once you understand how to use them, you'll find them in your writing. 

Common Words

They introduce dependent clauses that cannot stand alone as complete sentences. Here are some common words:

  • After
  • Although
  • As
  • Because
  • Before
  • Even though
  • If
  • Since
  • Though
  • Unless
  • Until
  • When
  • Whenever
  • Where
  • Whereas
  • While

How to Punctuate Subordinating Conjunctions

When a subordinating conjunction introduces a dependent clause, no comma is needed unless it's at the beginning of a sentence.

Here are some examples: 

  • Because she studied hard, she aced the exam.
  • As it was raining, we decided to stay indoors.
  • I'll go to the gym if I finish my work early.
  • He'll come to the party when he finishes his assignment.

Common Errors to Avoid

Don't confuse subordinating conjunctions with coordinating conjunctions. Remember, subordinating conjunctions introduce dependent clauses while coordinating conjunctions join independent clauses.

Here is a comparison between the correct and wrong ways of using subordinating conjunctions:

Incorrect

Correct

She didn’t go to the party, but she had too much work to finish.

She didn’t go to the party because she had too much work to finish.

He couldn't attend the meeting because he was stuck in traffic.

He couldn't attend the meeting since he was stuck in traffic.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are a pair of other conjunctions that work together to join words, phrases, or clauses with similar grammatical structures. By connecting sentence elements, they provide balance and clarity to your writing.

Common Words

Here are the common words for correlative conjunctions:

  • Both...and
  • Either...or
  • Neither...nor
  • Not only...but also
  • Whether...or
  • Just as...so
  • As...as

How to Punctuate Correlative Conjunctions

Punctuate correlative conjunction pairs in the same way you would coordinate conjunctions. Here are some examples for your understanding:

  • Not only did she bring snacks, but also drinks.
  • Either we go to the beach, or we stay home and watch movies.
  • She is neither tall nor short.
  • Both my sister and I enjoy hiking.

Common Errors to Avoid

Ensure that both elements connected by correlative conjunctions are grammatically parallel.

Don't separate the correlative conjunction pairs with unnecessary punctuation.

Take a look at the incorrect and correct ways of using correlative conjunctions:

Incorrect

Correct

Sarah and Tom attended the meeting but nor Tom or Sarah didn't speak during the discussion.

Both Sarah and Tom attended the meeting, yet neither of them spoke during the discussion.

We go to the beach today, nor we stay home and watch a movie

Either we go to the beach today, or we stay home and watch a movie.

Comparison Between Types of Conjunctions

Now that we've covered coordinating, subordinating, and correlative conjunctions, let's summarize the key differences between them:

Type

Function

Examples

Coordinating

Joining words, phrases, or clauses of equal rank

And, but, or, nor, yet, so

Subordinating

Introducing dependent clauses

Because, although, if, when

Correlative

Joining balanced sentence elements

Either/or, neither/nor, both/and

Test Your Knowledge

Now that you know everything about conjunctions and their uses, let’s test your knowledge. 

Exercise 1

Below are some sentences with gaps. Fill in the gaps with the appropriate conjunction from the list provided and guess the type of conjunction used as well. 

Sentence

Conjunction

Conjunction Type

She wants to go to the beach _____ she has to finish her homework.



I enjoy reading _____ I also love watching movies.



Neither John _____ Peter could attend the meeting.



He wanted to buy a new car _____ he couldn't afford it.



Whether you choose to go to the party _____ stay home, it's up to you.



She studied hard _____ she failed the exam.



Not only does she speak French _____ she also speaks Spanish.



He likes both tea _____ coffee.



We can either go to the zoo _____ visit the museum.



Although it was raining, _____ they decided to have a picnic.



Solution to Exercise 1

Sentence

Conjunction

Conjunction Type

She wants to go to the beach _____ she has to finish her homework.

but

Coordinating

I enjoy reading _____ I also love watching movies.

and

Coordinating

Neither John _____ Peter could attend the meeting.

nor

Correlative

He wanted to buy a new car _____ he couldn't afford it.

but

Coordinating

Whether you choose to go to the party _____ stay home, it's up to you.

or

Correlative

She studied hard _____ she failed the exam.

yet

Coordinating

Not only does she speak French _____ she also speaks Spanish.

but 

Correlative

He likes both tea _____ coffee.

and

Correlative

We can either go to the zoo _____ visit the museum.

or

Correlative

Although it was raining, _____ they decided to have a picnic.

yet

Subordinating

So there you have it!

Conjunctions may seem like small words, but they play a crucial role in the structure and coherence of our language. 

By learning various types of conjunctions and their proper uses in sentences, your writing skills will improve. 

So, the next time you sit down to write and get confused with the correct conjunction to use, revisit this blog. 

Are You Having Grammar Errors in Your Writing?

Say goodbye to typos, grammatical mistakes, and awkward phrasing with MyEssayWriter.ai’s grammar checker tool. 

This grammar checker is here to ensure your writing is polished and professional. 

Don’t let the lack of writing skills hold you back. Try out our AI writer free online with no sign-up to generate an essay within 90 seconds. 

Continue Learning

If you want to learn more about academic writing, grammar, and related concepts, check out these blogs. 

Grammar


Writing


Citation

Dangling Modifiers

Essay Writing

APA format

Homophones

Paraphrasing

MLA format

Infinitives

Thesis Statement

Chicago Style

Analogy

Paragraph

Harvard Style

Participle

Summary

IEEE Citation

Articles in Grammar

Plagiarism

Oxford Referencing

Frequently Asked Questions

What are conjunction adverbs

Conjunction adverbs, also known as conjunctive adverbs, are words that join clauses or sentences together. Common examples include "however," "therefore," "moreover," "nevertheless," "consequently," and "meanwhile."

Can we start a sentence with a conjunction?

Yes, starting a sentence with a conjunction is grammatically acceptable in English. Starting sentences with conjunctions can be effective for creating flow and emphasis in writing. For example: However, I was not convinced by his argument.

Caleb S.

WRITTEN BY

Caleb S. (Mass Literature and Linguistics, Masters)

Caleb S. is an accomplished author with over five years of experience and a Master's degree from Oxford University. He excels in various writing forms, including articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As a valued author at MyEssayWriter.ai, Caleb assists students and professionals by providing practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style enhancement.

Caleb S. is an accomplished author with over five years of experience and a Master's degree from Oxford University. He excels in various writing forms, including articles, press releases, blog posts, and whitepapers. As a valued author at MyEssayWriter.ai, Caleb assists students and professionals by providing practical tips on research, citation, sentence structure, and style enhancement.

On This Page On This Page

Keep reading

Close Icon

Get started for free

Close Icon

Log In

Verify Your Account

Code sent to aimen@gmail.com

Send again in seconds

Send again Send Again Icon

Code sent to +1 302 385 6690