Conjunctions join words, sentences and clauses.
Conjunctions are of two types. There are either co-ordinate conjunctions or subordinate conjunctions.
Co-ordinate conjunctions: and, but, either – or, neither – nor
Co-ordinate conjunctions are used to bring together two equally significant sentences or clauses. As the name suggests these help sentences to co-ordinate with each other. The sentences make full sense when read individually and are bought together to convey more than already mentioned.
- He woke up early in the morning.
- He woke up early in the morning and was able to catch the train on time.
- He woke up early in the morning but missed the train.
- Either he wakes up early in the morning or he will miss the train.
- Neither he woke up early in the morning nor he boarded the train.
Subordinate conjunctions: that, as, after, before, when, where, if
Subordinate conjunctions are used to connect a less significant sentence to a more significant one. The main sentence or clause here makes complete sentence but the subordinate sentence is insignificant if read individually.
- I want to wear the dress.
- I want to wear the dress that has white flowers on it.
- I want to wear the dress as it has white flowers on it.
- I want to wear the dress since it has white flowers on it.
- I don’t want to wear the dress unless it has white flowers on it.
- I want to wear the dress if it has white flowers on it.
Relative pronouns: who, whom, which
Relative pronouns are also used as conjunctions. These words connect the sentences with clauses that support the main clause.
- He is the one who won the prize.
- He is the one whom you are looking for.
- This is the pencil which you are looking for.
So now you know that every conjunction has a specific usage and how easy it is to confuse them. Use this as your guide when in doubt and get good at building correct sentence connections.