Essay On Conjunction
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- Using Conjunctions | Definition, Rules & Examples
Using Conjunctions | Definition, Rules & Examples
Published on October 23, 2022 by Amy Luo . Revised on March 8, 2023.
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.
Table of contents
Coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, starting a sentence with a conjunction, other interesting language articles.
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: f or, a nd, n or, b ut, o r, y et, s o.
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 .
- I don’t like to run or swim .
- He was clever but lazy .
They can also join different types of phrases.
- The dog wagged his tail and panted excitedly .
- The results were undeniably intriguing yet ultimately inconclusive .
- She usually studies in the library or at a cafe .
A clause is a group of words that contains at least a subject and a verb. An independent clause can stand on its own as a full sentence, expressing a complete thought.
- Today Jane Austen is one of the most widely read English novelists, but she achieved little fame during her lifetime .
In the sentence above, the coordinating conjunction but creates a relationship between two independent clauses. Therefore, you place a comma before but . Notice that the two clauses also work as sentences on their own.
- Today Jane Austen is one of the most widely read English novelists. She achieved little fame during her lifetime.
Punctuating coordinating conjunctions
When joining two words or phrases with a coordinating conjunction, do not use a comma .
In these examples, the conjunction joins two words or phrases that are connected to a single verb ( gathered and studies ), so you shouldn’t place a comma before and .
When joining two independent clauses, however, use a comma before the conjunction.
In these examples, the clauses before and after the conjunction could both stand as full sentences on their own, so a comma is required.
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This type of conjunction includes words like because , if , although , since , until , and while . A subordinating conjunction is used to introduce a dependent claus e .
In contrast to an independent clause, a dependent clause (also known as a subordinate clause) is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb but cannot stand as a complete sentence on its own. A dependent clause does not express a complete idea, so it must always be attached to an independent clause.
- Because I woke up late this morning. I went to school without eating breakfast.
- Because I woke up late this morning , I went to school without eating breakfast.
- I went to school without eating breakfast because I woke up late this morning .
I woke up late this morning is an independent clause, but the subordinating conjunction because turns it into a dependent clause: Because I woke up late this morning does not finish a complete thought. It must be joined to an independent clause to form a grammatically correct sentence.
The subordinating conjunction defines the relationship between the clauses. The table below shows some common subordinating conjunctions and the relationships they express, but note that this is not a complete list.
Punctuating subordinating conjunctions
When a subordinating conjunction follows an independent clause, a comma is often not necessary. In general, when the dependent clause contains essential information about the independent clause, don’t use a comma.
However, when the subordinating conjunction comes at the beginning of the sentence, use a comma at the end of the dependent clause.
This type of conjunction always comes in a pair and is used to join grammatically equal elements in a sentence. Common pairs include either … or , neither … nor , not only … but also , and both … and . In most cases, no comma should be used between the two elements.
- Her book on the Vietnam War drew not only from interviews with other survivors but also from her own experiences in the conflict.
Correlative conjunctions must use parallel structure , which means the two elements should take the same grammatical form.
- She planned to collect data by either using an online survey or phone interviews.
- She planned to collect data by either using an online survey or conducting phone interviews.
Beginner writers are often taught that sentences should not begin with a coordinating conjunction. However, it is not strictly incorrect to begin a sentence with a conjunction, and you may find it used effectively by skilled writers to create emphasis.
While such usage has become acceptable in popular and literary language, it is generally best avoided in academic writing where possible.
A subordinating conjunction can come at the start of a sentence, but only if the dependent clause is followed by an independent clause.
A dependent clause on its own is known as a sentence fragment.
Although fragments are often used in speech and informal writing, they should generally be avoided in academic writing.
If you want to know more about nouns , pronouns , verbs , and other parts of speech , make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations and examples.
Nouns & pronouns
- Common nouns
- Proper nouns
- Collective nouns
- Personal pronouns
- Uncountable and countable nouns
- Verb tenses
- Phrasal verbs
- Types of verbs
- Active vs passive voice
- Subject-verb agreement
Sources in this article
We strongly encourage students to use sources in their work. You can cite our article (APA Style) or take a deep dive into the articles below.
Luo, A. (2023, March 08). Using Conjunctions | Definition, Rules & Examples. Scribbr. Retrieved December 2, 2023, from https://www.scribbr.com/parts-of-speech/conjunctions/
Aarts, B. (2011). Oxford modern English grammar . Oxford University Press.
Butterfield, J. (Ed.). (2015). Fowler’s dictionary of modern English usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
Garner, B. A. (2016). Garner’s modern English usage (4th ed.). Oxford University Press.
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IELTS Grammar: Conjunctions in writing
Using conjunctions in ielts writing..
Updated April 7th 2022
For a high band score in IELTS writing, it is important to use conjunctions effectively. This shows the examiner you can use grammar precisely and helps the flow of your essay, which makes it easier for the reader. A conjunction is a word used to connect clauses or sentences. These are marked under grammar and are directly linked to coherence and cohesion in the IELTS marking criteria.
If you make mistakes with conjunctions it will affect coherence and cohesion. In fact ‘complex sentences’ can be constructed using conjunctions. Let’s take a look at some of these and how to use them correctly.
Below are some example sentences.
1. though, although, even though, nonetheless
‘Being a parent is often exhausting and stressful, but it is very rewarding.’
Now I can rewrite this sentence in 4 different ways and keep the same meaning.
1. Although being a parent is exhausting and stressful, it is very rewarding. 2. It is very rewarding being a parent. Nonetheless, it is also exhausting and stressful. 3. Being a parent is exhausting and stressful, although it is very rewarding. 4. Even though being a parent is exhausting and stressful, it is very rewarding.
Though, although and even though have the same meaning. Usually ‘though’ is at the end of the sentence.
Punctuation is important here, check the position of the commas in the sentences. ‘Nonetheless’ usually starts a sentence and there is a comma straight after it.
2. in spite of, despite, although
‘Studying overseas is expensive, but it is important for our career.’
1. Although studying overseas is expensive , it is important for our career. 2. In spite of the cost, studying overseas is important for our career. 3. Despite the cost , studying overseas is important for our career.
All the sentences above have the same meaning, after ‘in spite of ‘or ‘despite’ we need to use a noun or a pronoun . So I changed the word ‘expensive’ to ‘the cost’ , also notice the position of the comma. Punctuation is a key point here too.
3. unless, providing, as long as
‘The government should take steps to tackle pollution or the environment will not be able to recover’
1. Unless the government takes steps to stop pollution, the environment will not be able to recover. 2. Providing that the government takes steps to stop pollution, the environment will recover. 3. As long as the government takes steps to stop pollution, the environment will recover. 4. The environment will recover, as long as the government takes steps to stop pollution.
In the first example using ‘unless’ the second part of the sentence is negative. Unless is quite often used to give a warning. Usually unless is used to mean ‘except if’ ..for example: ‘ You can’t use this gym unless you have membership.’
Again, punctuation is important and the position of the commas.
4. while, whereas, on the other hand
(very useful in an overview in IELTS writing task 1)
The number of people who ate fast food once a month accounted for the highest percentage. The everyday category showed the lowest figure s
1. The number of people who ate fast food once a month accounted for the highest percentage, whereas the everyday category showed the lowest figure s 2. The number of people who ate fast food once a month accounted for the highest percentage. On the other hand, the everyday category showed the lowest figure s 3. The number of people who ate fast food once a month accounted for the highest percentage, while the everyday category showed the lowest figure s
This sentence was taken from a task 1 academic bar chart to show contrast. These conjunctions are important to use in the overview in task 1 to compare high and low figures. Notice that I use a comma with ‘whereas’ and ‘while’
Using conjunctions for opinions and conclusions
When writing your essay, it is a very good idea to contrast your own opinion with a conjunction. These examples below are taken from various essays such as crime, health, and technology.
- Even though long prison terms are considered the best way to tackle crime, I think that there are other alternatives to bringing the crime rate down.
- Many people would say that obesity is caused by fast food. However, I believe that it is caused mainly by lack of exercise.
- Recently there is a concern that robots will take people’s jobs. In my opinion, as long as people update their skills, such as learning something that can only be done by humans, then this should not be a major cause for concern
Conjunctions in the conclusion
Here are 2 examples of conclusions that have the same meaning taken from a technology essay.
- To conclude, even though there are concerns that people will lose jobs in the future to robots, I hold the view that as long as people can update their skills and offer a service that robots cannot do, then there should not be a cause for concern.
- To sum up, despite concerns that people will lose their jobs in the future to robots, I believe that as long as people can update their skills and offer a service that robots cannot do, then there should not be a cause for concern.
Now it’s your turn to practice.
Can you add some conjunctions to these sentences? the words you need are in the brackets. You may need to add words and make changes to the sentence structure too.
a) Studying IELTS can be stressful but it opens up career opportunities worldwide. (Even though)
b) I occasionally go to the movies but I prefer to download movies from the internet. (although)
c) My city is really overcrowded and expensive to live in but it has some great restaurants and bars. (Nonetheless)
d) Pollution in developing countries is a serious issue. If action is taken to sort the problem out then this can be solved. (Providing)
e) Pollution in big cities is a serious issue these days. If the problem is not tackled soon it will get out of control. (unless)
f) Obesity is a growing issue in developed countries but there is also a growing awareness of healthy eating. (despite)
g) Overall, Bobs Bakery saw upward trends in yearly income earned. Johns Bakery, which had started with the highest revenue, ended with the lowest earnings by the end of the period. (whereas)
a) Even though studying IELTS can be stressful, it opens up career opportunities worldwide.
b) I occasionally go to the movies; although I prefer to download movies from the internet.
c) My city is really overcrowded and expensive to live in. Nonetheless, it has some great restaurants and bars.
d) Pollution in developing countries is a serious issue. Providing action is taken to tackle the problem, then this can be solved.
e) Pollution in big cities is a serious issue these days. Unless the problem is tackled soon, it will get out of control.
f) Obesity is a growing issue in developed countries. Despite this , there is also a growing awareness of healthy eating.
g) Overall, Bobs Bakery saw upward trends in yearly income earned, whereas Johns Bakery, which had started with the highest revenue, ended with the lowest earnings by the end of the period.
In example c the word Nonetheless starts a new sentence. In example f I added this to despite. In example g I used whereas in a writing task 1 overview to show contrast
Conclusions practice: fill in the gaps with conjunctions you have learned in this lesson and then finish the conclusion with your own opinion.
a) In conclusion, ____________ many people say that living in the countryside is boring, my view is that…….
b) To sum up, it is clear that longer prison sentences are appropriate for serious criminals. ___________ I believe that…
c) To conclude, ________ the downsides to using the internet to communicate and develop relationships, I think that….
These are just possible answers, your answer may vary.
a) In conclusion, even though many people say that living in the countryside is boring, my view is that it is far less stressful than living in a big city.
b) To sum up, it is obvious that longer prison sentences are appropriate for serious criminals. Nonetheless, I believe that there are other alternatives to bringing the crime rate down.
c) To conclude, despite the downsides of using the internet to communicate and develop relationships, I think that the chance to interact with others worldwide can lead to positive outcomes for most people.
In each case, I have used a conjunction and then given my opinion.
Any comments?, leave them below.
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