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Introduction to Conjunctions

Conjunctions are the words or phrases that join other words, other phrases, clauses or sentences. These words or phrases act as connectors or bridges.

For example:

Conjunctions can be broadly classified as coordinating, subordinating and correlative.

These conjunctions join words, phrases or sentences of equal importance.

For example:

Joseph reached the station on time, but the train was late.

Here, ‘but’ is the coordinating conjunction connecting ‘Joseph reached the station on time’ with ‘the train was late’. The sentence can be broken up into two separate sentences as follows:

Joseph reached the station on time.

The train was late.

Both these sentences convey separate meanings individually. Neither depends on the other to convey its meaning. Hence, it can be said that they are sentences of equal rank or importance.

Take another example:

I want to drink pineapple juice and orange juice.

Here, ‘and’ connects ‘pineapple juice’ with ‘orange juice’. Here, both ‘pineapple juice’ and ‘orange juice’ have the same importance. Breaking down this sentence, one can very well write as follows:

I want to drink pineapple juice.

I want to drink orange juice.

Hence, we can say that a coordinating conjunction is used in a sentence when the grammatical units (i.e., words, phrases, sentences) which are joined by the conjunction are given the same importance or emphasis in the sentence.

There are seven basic coordinating conjunctions—For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.


Sethu must have been sick, for he was looking very pale.

Here, ‘for’ joins ‘Sethu must have been sick’ with ‘he was looking very pale’. Both the joined parts have the same importance.

This conjunction expresses inference. It shows the reasoning involved (‘he was looking pale’) in drawing the conclusion (‘Seth…

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