A conjunction may be used to indicate the relationship between the ideas expressed in a clause and the ideas expressed in the rest of a sentence. The conjunctions in the following examples are printed in bold type.
e.g. We could go to the library, or we could go to the park.
He neither finished his homework nor studied for the test.
I went outbecause the sun was shining.
1. Coordinate conjunctions
Coordinate conjunctions are used to join two similar grammatical constructions; for instance, two words, two phrases or two clauses.
e.g. My friend and I will attend the meeting.
Austria is famous for the beauty of its landscape and the hospitality of its people.
The sun rose and the birds began to sing.
In these examples,the coordinate conjunction and is used to join the two words friend and I, the two phrases the beauty of its landscape and the hospitality of its people, and the two clauses the sun rose and the birds began to sing.
The most commonly used coordinate conjunctions are and, but and or. In addition, the words nor and yet may be used as coordinate conjunctions. In the following table, eachcoordinate conjunction is followed by its meaning and an example of its use. Note the use of inverted word order in the clause beginning with nor.
|and: in addition | She tried and succeeded. |
|but: however | They tried but did not succeed.|
|or: alternatively | Did you go out or stay at home? |
|nor: and neither | I did not see it, nor did they. |
|yet: however | The sun is warm, yetthe air is cool. |
As illustrated above, when a coordinate conjunction joins two verbs which have the same subject, the subject need not be repeated. For instance, in the example she tried and succeeded, the pronoun she acts as the subject for both the verb tried and the verb succeeded. It should also be noted that when a coordinate conjunctionjoins two verbs which do not have the same subject, the two coordinate clauses may be separated by a comma or semicolon, in order to make the meaning clear.
See Exercise 1 – Page 9
2. Correlative conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions are used in pairs, in order to show the relationship between the ideas expressed in different parts of a sentence. For instance, in the followingexample, the expression either ... or is used to indicate that the ideas expressed in the two clauses represent two alternative choices of action.
e.g. Either you should study harder, or you should take a different course.
The most commonly used correlative conjunctions are both ... and, either ... or and neither ... nor. In the table below, each pair of correlative conjunctions is accompanied by anexample of its use. Note that in the construction if ... then, the word then can usually be omitted.
|both ... and |He is both intelligent and good-natured. |
|either ... or |I will either go for a walk or read a book.|
|neither ... nor |He is neither rich nor famous. |
|hardly ... when |He had hardly begun to work, when he was interrupted. |
|if ... then |If that is true, then what happened is...