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English Grammar - Conjunctions

Conjunctions

A conjunction is a word which joins together sentences, and sometimes words.

Examples:
Barry and Sate are good bowlers.
Two and two make four.
The man is poor, but honest.

Conjunctions are of two classes: Coordinating conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions

A coordinating conjunction joins together two statements of equal importance or rank.

The chief coordinating conjunctions are:
and, but, for, or, nor, also, either...or, neither...nor

Examples:
John is good at singing and his sister is good at dancing.
He is slow, but sure.
She must weep, or she will die.
Neither a borrower, nor a lender be.
All precautions must have been neglected, for the plague spread rapidly.
Either he is mad, or he feigns madness.

Subordinating conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction joins a clause to another on which it depends for its full meaning.

The chief subordinating conjunctions are:
after, because, if, that, though, although, till, before, unless, as, when, where, while, lest.

Subordinating conjunctions may be classified according to their meaning, as follows:

1. Time
Many things have happened since I saw you.
I returned home after he had gone.

2. Cause or reason
As he was not there, I spoke to his brother.
He may enter, as he is a friend.

3. Purpose
We eat so that we may live. He held my hand lest I should fall.

4. Result or consequence
He was so tired that he could scarcely stand.

5. Condition
Bernie will go if Jane goes.
Grievances cannot be redressed unless they are known.

6. Concession
Though he hurt me, I will still love him.
A book is a book, although there is nothing in it.

7. Comparison
He is stronger than Ricardo.

Worksheet

Fill in the blanks with appropriate conjunctions.

  • I have not seen him ………….. that unfortunate event happened.
  • You may take this book ………. that one.
  • He was annoyed …………… he was contradicted.
  • He was ……..tired ………….. he could scarcely stand.
  • I am ………. tired ………….. I cannot go on.
  • I am better acquainted with the country …………… you are.
  • …………… there is life there is hope.
  • The girls sang ……………. the boys played.
  • …………. he is there, I shall see him.
  • I asked him …………… he would help me.

Answers

  • I have not seen him since that unfortunate event happened.
  • You may take this book or that one.
  • He was annoyed that he was contradicted.
  • He was so tired that he could scarcely stand.
  • I am so tired that I cannot go on.
  • I am better acquainted with the country than you are.
  • While there is life there is hope.
  • The girls sang while the boys played.
  • If he is there, I shall see him.
  • I asked him if he would help me.


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