What Is a Conjunction?

What Is a Conjunction?
Conjunctions are words that are used in joining two or more grammatical items (it could be words, phrases and clauses).

Types of Conjunction
In English language, we have three types of conjunctions: Coordinating Conjunction, Subordinating Conjunction and Correlating Conjunction.

1. Coordinating Conjunction
Coordinating conjunctions are conjunctions that link or join two grammatical entities that are of equal status. Coordinating conjunctions are 'linkers' and are also called 'main' or 'primary' conjunctions. There are three main Coordinating conjunctions in English: 'and', 'or', 'but’.

'And' joins two things that are of equal grammatical status, and from the semantic point of view, it means addition.
1. Union Bank is big, strong and reliable.
2. Mary and John are my friends.

'And' can also mean result, e.g., He drove recklessly and crashed into the river.

It can also mean contrast, e.g., Mary is tall and John is short.

'Or' suggests alternative, e.g., You can study English or History.

It also means restatement, e.g., He is clever or so he thinks he is.

It can join two clauses, e.g., You can study history or can go to school of Nursing.

'But', as a coordinating conjunction, is contrastive. It shows or means contrast.

1. John is young but he is lazy.
2. The man is very rich but he is very miserable.

2. Subordinating Conjunction
Subordinating conjunctions are also called binders. They bind two things that are of unequal grammatical status. Subordinating conjunctions bind a main/independent clause and a subordinating/dependent clause.
1. If it rains tonight, I will not go out.
2. There will not be peace until men and women love themselves.
3. Whereas he walked out, his sister spent her time parking.

The underlined words are the subordinating conjunctions. Other Examples of subordinating conjunctions are if, as, while, whilst, before, although, though, where, until, whereas, because etc.

3. Correlating Conjunction
This type of conjunction involves the use of two conjunctions in linking or joining words, phrases or clauses together. The correlating conjunctions we have are: 'either or' and 'neither nor.'
1. Neither you nor Emeka gave her the money.
2. Either Joy or her sister brought the book.

Tamuno Reuben

Those who seek knowledge seek power because the pen is mightier than the sword.

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