Conjunctions - Parts of Speech

Conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses together.  If you know your roots, you can understand the meaning of the word.  “Con” means “with.”  “Junction” means “joining.” 

Categories

  1. Co-ordinate
  2. Subordinate
  3. Correlative


Co-ordinate Conjunctions

1 - CO-ORDINATE.  Very common.  Examples include “and,” “but,” “or,” “nor,” “yet,” “for”

They join two or more similar items

  • Two or more similar words
  • Two or more similar clauses
  • Two or more similar phrases
  • Two or more similar sentences

Examples:

  • John works at the Dairy Queen.  He is often late arriving home.
  • John works at the Dairy Queen, and he is often late arriving home.
  • John works at the Dairy Queen, but he is never late arriving home.




Subordinate

2 - SUBORDINATE.  Find these words at the beginning of a subordinate or dependent clause.   Some examples are:

  • When 
  • Whenever 
  • Before
  • After
  • Because…

…but there are many others that could be listed.  These are just a few.


If you want to make your writing flow comfortably and easily, join your simple and short sentences into longer ones.  Combine them:

  • John works at the Dairy Queen after school.  Often he is late arriving home.
  • The two short sentences above can be joined in a number of ways. See examples below:


(a) Equality – two independent clauses (a compound sentence)

John works at the Dairy Queen after school, and he is often late arriving home.

  • “and” is a co-ordinate conjunction
  • “John works at the Dairy Queen after school” is an independent clause.
  • “He is often late arriving home” is an independent clause
  • Both are joined by the  “and.”


OR





(b) One dependent and one independent clause (a complex sentence)

Because John works at the Dairy Queen after school, he is often late arriving home.

  • “because” falls into the category "subordinate."
  • “Because John works at the Dairy Queen after school” is a dependent clause
  • “He is often late arriving home” is an independent clause
  • Together, they make up a complete complex sentence.


Correlative

3 - CORRELATIVE.  These words must be kept in pairs.  Some of the more common are:

  • “not only” and “but also”
  • “whether” … “or”
  • “either” …  “or”


Take care to include the above correctly in your writing.  Particularly with “not only” … “but also…” you can make errors in parallel construction.

These pairs must join items of similar structure.

     I am not only an excellent student, but also a very hard worker. (correct)

OR this second one which is incorrect:

     I am not only an excellent student, but also I am a very hard worker. (incorrect)

Why is the second one incorrect?

  • In the first part, "an excellent student" follows not only.  (A noun)
  • In the second part, "I am a very hard worker" follows but also. (A complete clause)

Clearly, the two parts of the sentence associated with "not only - but also" are not the same structure. 

With a clear understanding of this part of speech,  you can excel at your business writing.


LINK - Click here to find an excellent course in business writing.

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