Section 1.7

Conjunctions

Conjunctions link together words or groups of words. There are three main types of conjunctions: coordinating, subordinating, and correlative.

1.7.1 Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions combine sentence elements of roughly equal importance. There are seven coordinating conjunctions in all. Because punctuation rules vary according to which type of conjunction is being used, it can be helpful to memorize them:

and
but
or
nor
for
so
yet

1.7.2 Subordinating Conjunctions

Unlike their coordinating conjunction counterparts, subordinating conjunctions do not combine sentence elements of roughly equal weight; instead, they subordinate one idea to another.

Subordinating conjunctions introduce grammatical elements known as dependent clauses, which will be discussed in more detail in Chapter 2. There are dozens of subordinating conjunctions, but common examples include:

after before unless
although if until
as since when
because so that whenever

1.7.3 Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions work in pairs. Indicated below in boldface are some common examples:

Either Jane or Jim will attend the meeting.

Neither Jane nor Jim will attend the meeting.

Not only Jane but also Jim will attend the meeting.

A cautionary note: either and neither can sometimes be adjectives or pronouns, too, depending on how they are used in a sentence.

Neither as Adjective

Neither approach is acceptable.
 

Neither as Pronoun

Neither of the approaches is acceptable.