Conjunctions – what is a conjunction


This is last post of this mini-series on the basic elements of English. Next week I have an epic I have been working on about the dark arts of driving traffic to your WordPress site.


Conjunctions allow us to create complex sentences.

Without conjunctions. Our sentences. Would be short, jarring affairs.

As we have come to expect from this series of post on different parts of speech, conjunctions have a few different categories. These are, coordinating, correlative and subordinating conjunctions.

FANBOYS – coordinating conjunctions

This is the mnemonic you should remember for the coordinating conjunctions. For, And, Nor, But, Yet and So.

Coordinating conjunctions connect two or more independent clauses of equal grammatical rank.

By equal grammatical rank I mean that both sides of the coordinating conjunction should be main clauses (can stand alone). For more information on this look here.

If the conjunction separates two main clauses there should be a comma before the conjunction.

If the conjunction separates two items there is no need for a comma.

Incorrect: A, and B.

Correct: A and B.

I think you can come up with your own example sentences, so I shall move on to the next classification of conjunctions.

Correlative conjunctions

correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions that work together.

I am writing, but I’m also listening to music.

He writes not only a blog but also a newspaper column

Subordinating conjunctions

subordinating conjunctions connect independent and dependent clauses (a clause that can stand alone and one that can’t).

I feel tired because I did not sleep well last night.

I fell hungry as I skipped breakfast.

subordinating conjunctions do not have a comma separating them unless the subordinating clause comes first.

Correct: I feel tired because I did not sleep well last night.

(Independent clause) (conjunction) (dependent clause)

Correct: As I did not sleep well last night, I feel tired.

(dependent clause) (comma) (independent clause)

look here for a full list of conjunctions

Bonus category!

Compound conjunctions

Compound conjunctions are several conjunctions that act together.

I will keep writing so long as you keep reading.

Published by Louis

Spend less than you earn, Invest the surplus, avoid debt. Eat food, not too much, mostly plants

10 thoughts on “Conjunctions – what is a conjunction

  1. About sixteen years ago, when I first started living in Madrid (I now live in Seattle) and immersed myself in learning Spanish, I also found myself returning to English grammar, and in essence, learning English, my first language, all over again. I will never forget the experience, and my writing won’t either.


    1. Funny you should say that. I had a spell learning Spanish and still use a grammar book which has Spanish on one side, and English on the other. When we learn a foreign language we realise how little we know about the structure of our own.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this. I can write different languages but sadly I can’t speak them. I understand language as if it were a math test. The sounds have levels of emotions and effect. I am just good at understanding those things because I had to learn earlier in my life how to speak so others can understand me. I found it frustrating and horrible. Now I am a poet who can’t stop writing and talking. Hahaha! That’s to my mom who cared for me and taught me how to communicate. She passed away from cancer four years ago. I will never forget what she gave me, knowledge and understanding.

    Oh and I have been known to over use words like the, and, also if I like a word I will use it more than once in my poetry but no more than that. I don’t like cluttering up my work so I try to not over use words like I use to.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. oetry is something I don’t understand. It seems like there is a big community for it here on WordPress. With regards to the overuse of words I find it depends what mood I am in as a reader as to how recpetive i am to it

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This is great! Thank you for sharing all of this information in such good detail. I will definitely be sure to send my online ESL students to your blog to review in the future. Thank you!


  5. As to your first post regarding writing… it is generally regarded as prudent to learn the rules and go by them (in almost any activity). After this stage it is customary to begin to break the rules for good reason. This is how the creative process works in art, business, and everything… even academia. Good luck with your studies.


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