How Conjunctions Work
A conjunction joins words or groups of words. There are three main types: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, and subordinating conjunctions.
Coordinating conjunctions join related words, word groups, and independent clauses. Use the acronym FANBOYS to remember the seven coordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
Joins two or more words
- The concert at the park was loud and crowded.
- After Jimmy drove away, I realized I left my shopping bag and umbrella in the backseat.
Joins word groups
- At school today, we colored with crayons and played board games.
- I plan to have my party at the restaurant or on the beach.
Joins independent clauses
- The weather was bad, so we decided to stay in.
- They got to the airport on time, but their flight was cancelled.
Correlative conjunctions also join related words or word groups; but unlike coordinating conjunctions, they work in pairs. Some common ones:
- Both Olivia and Jared are graduating this year.
- I will buy either the sandals or the sneakers for my trip.
- Neither the animal clinic nor pet store has my cat's favorite food.
Subordinating conjunctions join a dependent clause with an independent clause. They often involve a cause-effect relationship or a contrasting relationship. Some common subordinating conjunctions: because, since, although, when, while, and unless.
- Mr. Smith visited the dentist because he had a terrible toothache.
- Since I quit my job, I've been sleeping till noon.
- Although Mary was busy with work, she made time to help volunteer at the food pantry.
- I will get out of bed when the alarm clock rings.
- While Anna’s work history is impressive, she lacks the educational requirements for the job.
- My baby refuses to fall asleep unless I sing to her.