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Identifying Conjunctions

Conjunction
A conjunction is a word that joins two parts of a sentence. There are two kinds of conjunctions - coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.


Coordinating Conjunctions
Coordinating conjunctions join two ideas that are equally important or could be independent from each other.

In the sentences given below, and, yet, or are coordinating conjunctions.

  1. Lisa ___and___ Matt are coming with us.
  2. Mary has no money, ___yet___ she went shopping today.
  3. I don't like yellow ___or___ blue.
These are the coordinating conjunctions:
  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

A good way to remember these is by the first letter of each conjunction, which spells 'FANBOYS'.

Subordinating Conjunctions
Subordinating conjunctions establish relationships between two ideas and always come at the beginning of a subordinate or dependent clause.

In the sentences given below, until, so that & since are subordinating conjunctions.

  1. Please don't leave the room ___until___ the teacher has given you permission.
  2. Burt saved his money___so that___ he could buy a new game.
  3. He finished the work___since___ no one else wanted to.

These are some common subordinating conjunctions:

  • After
  • Although
  • As
  • Because
  • Before
  • Even though
  • If
  • Now that
  • Once
  • Rather than
  • Than
  • That
  • Unless
  • When
  • Whenever
  • While

Combining Sentences Using Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions:

Coordinating conjunctions can be used to combine two sentences. Take a look at the sentences given below and consider how we can combine the two ideas into one sentence.

  1 They made an offer.
    We accepted it.

How can we combine these two sentences into one, using the coordinating conjunction, and?

    They made an offer, and we accepted it.
  1 I can smell the skunk.
    I can't see where it is.

What coordinating conjunction would we use to combine these ideas?

    I can smell the skunk, yet I can't see where it is.


Subordinating conjunctions can be used to combine two ideas. Take a look at the sentences given below and consider how we can combine the independent and dependent clauses into one sentence.

  (A) This car is much larger.
    The one we used to have.
  This car is much larger than the one we used to have.
     
  (B) Our dog barks.
    There is someone at the door.
  Our dog barks whenever there is someone at the door.

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