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A BRIEF EXPLANATION OF CONJUNCTIONS
A conjunction is a word that links words, phrases, or clauses. There are three types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions may join single words, or they may join groups of words, but they must always join similar elements: e.g. subject+subject, verb phrase+verb phrase, sentence+sentence.
When a coordinating conjunction is used to join elements, the element becomes a compound element.
Correlative conjunctions also connect sentence elements of the same kind: however, unlike coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions are always used in pairs.
Subordinating conjunctions, the largest class of conjunctions, connect subordinate clauses to a main clause. These conjunctions are adverbs used as conjunctions.
The following tables show examples of the various types of conjunctions and some sample sentences using the conjunctions. Since coordinating conjunctions and correlative conjunctions are closed sets of words, all are included in the list. Subordinating conjunctions are a larger class of words; therefore, only a few of the more common ones are included in this list.
An easy way to remember these six conjunctions is to think of the word FANBOYS. Each of the letters in this somewhat unlikely word is the first letter of one of the coordinating conjunctions. Remember, when using a conjunction to join two sentences, use a comma before the conjunction.
Examples and Sentences – Coordinating Conjunctions
|Conjunction||What Is Linked||Sample Sentences|
|and||noun phrase + noun phrase||We have tickets for the symphony and the opera.|
|but||Sentence + sentence||The orchestra rehearses on Tuesday, but the chorus rehearses on Wednesday.|
|or||Verb + verb||Have you seen or heard the opera by Scott Joplin?|
|so||Sentence + sentence||I wanted to sit in the front of the balcony, so I ordered my tickets early.|
|both…and||not only…but also||either…or||neither…nor||whether…or|
Remember, correlative conjunctions are always used in pairs. They join similar elements. When joining singular and plural subjects, the subject closest to the verb determines whether the verb is singular or plural.
Examples and Sentences – Correlative Conjunctions
|Conjunctions||What Is Linked||Sample Sentence|
|both…and||Subject + subject||Both my sister and my brother play the piano.|
|either…or||Noun + noun||Tonight’s program is either Mozart or Beethoven.|
|neither…nor||Subject + subject||Neither the orchestra nor the chorus was able to overcome the terrible acoustics in the church|
|not only…but also||Sentence + sentence||Not only does Sue raise money for the symphony, but she also ushers at all of their concerts.|
|Time||Cause + Effect||Opposition||Condition|
|when||now that||even though||only if|
|while||as||whereas||whether or not|
|since||in order that||while||even if|
|until||so||in case (that)|
Subordinating conjunctions, (subordinators) are most important in creating subordinating clauses or dependent clauses. These adverbs that act like conjunctions are placed at the front of the clause. The dependent clause can come either before or after the main clause. Subordinators are usually a single word, but there are also a number of multi-word subordinators that function like a single subordinating conjunction. They can be classified according to their use in regard to time, cause and effect, opposition, or condition. Remember, put a comma at the end of the dependent phrase when it comes before the main clause.
Examples and Sentences – Subordinating Conjunctions
|after||We are going out to eat after we go to the concert.|
|since||Since we have lived in Atlanta, we have gone to every exhibit at the High Museum.|
|while||While I was waiting in line for the Matisse Exhibit, I ate my lunch.|
|although||Although the line was long and the wait over two hours, the exhibit was well worth it|
|even if||Even if you have already bought your ticket, you will still need to wait in line.|
|because||I love Matisse’s works because he uses color so brilliantly.|
How to Use Sentence Starter?
The most important tip to quickly improve your writing is to follow one rule:
Start every sentence in a paragraph with a different word. How? Here is my step-by-step guide:
Use the transition list as you write: Think about how the sentences in your paragraph relate to one another. Are you comparing and contrasting two ideas? Use “Showing Contrast” transition words below. Are you writing about steps in a process? Then use the “Adding to an Idea” transition words below. When writing about something that happened, use the “Sequence/Time” transitions I’ve provided.
Using the transition list while you are revising: Sometimes, it is easier not to worry about these words until your final draft stage, especially if you are a beginning writer. How do you do this? Use the following tips:
Go through your first draft and circle the first word in every sentence.
If you use the same word to start a sentence twice in a paragraph, then you need to choose another transition word and re-word the sentence.
Choosing the Right Word
How can you choose the right word for each sentence? What makes using transitions improve your writing is that it forces you to explain the connections between your ideas. Ask yourself:
What does the sentence before this one say?
How does this sentence relate to that one?
Scan the list for a transition that seems to fit best. You can also use these questions for help:
Does this sentence add information? Use: moreover, furthermore, additionally, not only…but also, or another addition transition.
Does the sentence contrast or contradict? Use: however, on the other hand, in contrast, yet, conversely, or another contrasting transition.
Are you writing something that happens in order? Use: next, then, in fact, similarly, or a time word like first, second, third, and finally.
Does this sentence add evidence? Use: for example, consequently, for this reason, or another adding transition.
Does the sentence emphasize an idea? Use: obviously, especially, as a rule, particularly, or another emphasizing transition.
Does the sentence start your conclusion: Use: finally, in conclusion, in sum, obviously, or another concluding transition.
Tips to Remember
1. Use a variety of transition words, not the same one.
2. Put a comma after the transition word.
3. Put the subject of the sentence after the comma.
Transition Word List
|Words to Show Contrast||Words to Add to an Idea||Words That Show Cause||Words That Add Emphasis|
|although||moreover||as a result||above all|
|conversely||furthermore||because||as a rule|
|in contrast||as well as||consequently||as usual|
|instead||another reason||due to||assuredly|
|in comparison||along with||for this reason||certainly|
|nevertheless||also||for this purpose||chiefly|
|on the one hand…on the other hand||for example||since||generally speaking|
|on the contrary||in addition||so then||for the most part|
|other than||indeed||subsequently||in this situation|
|outside of||in fact||therefore||no doubt (undoubtedly)|
|still||likewise||this is why||of course|
|different from||whereas||following this||singularly|
|even though||likewise||as you can see||unquestionably|
|otherwise||one other thing||for all of those reasons||usually|
2. Use a Variety of Words When Citing Examples
|especially||for one thing||in particular (particularly)||specifically|
|chiefly||as an illustration||markedly||this can be seen in|
|for/as an example||illustrated with/by||namely||such as|
|for instance||in this case||including||in fact|
Easy Ways to Improve Your Essay
3. Use Different Words to Order Events and Sequence Time
|first… second… third…||currently||with this in mind||in turn|
|generally… furthermore… finally||during||for now||later on|
|in the first place… also… lastly||earlier||immediately||meanwhile|
|to be sure… additionally… lastly||eventually||in the meantime||next|
|first… just in the same way… finally||finally||for the time being||then|
|basically… similarly… as well as||first of all||the next step||simultaneously|
|afterward||to begin with||in conclusion||soon|
|at first||in the first place||in time||while|
4. Use Interesting Words When Summarizing
|after all||in any event||in other words||on balance|
|all in all||in brief||in short||that is (that is to say)|
|all things considered||in conclusion||in brief||therefore|
|briefly||in essence||in summary||to put it differently|
|by and large||indeed||in the final analysis||to sum up|
|hence||on the whole||in the long run||to summarize|
|in any case||overall||namely||finally|
|lastly||once and for all||conclusively||at the end|
Examples of Using Transition Words
Without transition words:
Cell phones have changed our family communication for the worse. Parents complain about their teenagers spending too much time on their phones. Teenagers are annoyed that they can’t get the attention of their parents, who are always working or shopping on their phones. We need to make some changes.
Adding transition words:
Generally speaking, cell phones have changed our family communication for the worse. Obviously, parents complain about their teenagers spending too much time on their phones. Moreover, teenagers are annoyed that they can’t get the attention of their parents, who are always working or shopping on their phones. Unquestionably, we need to make some changes.
Without transition words
Liz went to the store to get some groceries. She ran into her roommate Joy in the produce section. They argued about whether they were out of blueberries and what they should buy for dinner. Joy insisted that she was better at choosing ripe avocados. Liz retorted that Joy didn’t know how to make guacamole correctly and that she was tired of Mexican food every night. They bickered for five minutes. Joy’s phone rang. It was their friend Mark inviting them over to his house for dinner. Listening, Liz smiled and nodded. Joy laughed and told him, “We are on our way!”
With transition words
After work, Liz went to the store to get some groceries. In the produce section, she ran into her roommate Joy. First of all, they argued about whether they were out of blueberries, and secondly what they should buy for dinner. Next, Joy insisted that she was better at choosing ripe avocados. Simultaneously, Liz retorted that Joy didn’t know how to make guacamole correctly and that she was tired of Mexican food every night. Subsequently, they bickered for five minutes. Finally, Joy’s phone rang. Luckily, it was their friend Mark inviting them over to his house for dinner. Listening, Liz smiled and nodded. Consequently, Joy laughed and told him, “We are on our way!”
That vs. Which ‘That’ is used as part of a clause that is restrictive, meaning that the clause is essential to the sentence and without it the meaning of the rest of the sentence would be different. ‘Which’ is used as part of a clause that may add extra information or a shade of meaning, but is not required in the same way. Fill in the blank with the best word: that or which.
1. The last movie _____ we went to see was ‘The Box Trolls’.
2. I wrote down everything important in my notebook, _____ is blue and wide-ruled.
3. This computer, _____ Mom got me last Christmas, has the horsepower to play the latest online games.
4. The table _____ the peace treaty was signed on is now in the Smithsonian.
5. The truck _____ we saw driving dangerously had California license plates.
6. I finally found my blue pen, _____ had been lost seemingly forever.
7. Typing, _____ is not formally taught in schools anymore, is still essential in certain professions.
8. There are traditionally seven colors _____ make up a rainbow.
9. On the wall, I keep the racket _____ I used to win the school’s tennis tournament.
10. That silly cartoon tie, _____ I got a few Father’s Days ago, was a hit at my presentation!
- That 2. Which 3. Which 4. That 5. That 6. Which 7. Which 8. That 9. That 10. Which
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