What Are Conjunctions?

Conjunctions are words that link related parts of a sentence.

Conjunctions That Introduce Subordinate Clauses
There are two kinds of words that introduce subordinate clauses:

1. Subordinating conjunctions
after because in order that than whenever
although before now that though where
as even if once till whereas
as if even though rather than unless wherever
as long as if since until while
as though if only so that when


2. Relative pronouns
which what who (whose, whom)
that whatever whoever (whomever)


Conjunctions That Create Compound Sentences
There are two kinds of conjunctions that create compound sentences:

  1. Coordinating conjunctions
    There are only seven words in English that can join two sentences together:
    but        (Just remember "FANBOYS")

    Note: When one of these coordinating conjunctions joins two sentences, a comma must precede the conjunction.

  2. Correlative conjunctions
         Ex: Both Tylenol and massage therapy can relieve stress headaches.
         Ex: The procedure requires neither heat application nor a cold compress.
    Not only...but also
         Ex: The migraine sufferer learns not only to recognize the causes of headaches but also to control those causes.
         Ex: Either the safety kit in the bathroom or the one in the kitchen will have the medicine you need.
         Ex: It is not a sales invoice but a shipping invoice.
         (Note: sage is divided on whether or not one should place a comma before but in structures such as this one. We will use a comma before but only when but joins two independent clauses.)
         Ex: Whether you attend the meeting or not will determine your participation in the program.
         Ex: She is as bright as her older sister.

Conjunctions are words that introduce subordinate clauses or create compound sentences.

Page last updated June 26, 2023.