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Free Grammar HelpWordsConjunctions

Conjunctions are words used to connect words, phrases and clauses. See the page on conjunctions and clauses for the rules on using commas, semicolons, coordinating conjunctions, and conjunctive adverbs to join clauses.

Common conjunctions are “and,” “but,” “or,” nor,” “for,” etc. These are called coordinating conjunctions and they join phrases of equal grammatical value.

Here are some examples:

I went to the store and I bought some Lady Gaga CDs.

I went to the gas station, but I didn’t buy gas.

Subordinating conjunctions such as “after,” “as,” “because,” “if,” etc join clauses of different grammatical value.

Here are some examples:

I went to the bank after I went to the store.

I went to the bank because I needed to deposit my pay.

What do I mean by “grammatical value”? You see that in the first case each side of the conjunction could stand as an independent sentence. But for the subordinating conjunctions, there is a logical relationship between the two phrases that makes it important to link the two.

Correlative conjunctions always occur in pairs. These include either/or; not only/but also; and whether/or.

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