Definition of Conjunction (with Examples)

Definition of Conjunction (with Examples)

A conjunction is a word used to connect words, phrases or clauses.

The words and, but, and or are the conjunctions which spring to mind when people think about conjunctions. However, these are just three very common conjunctions from one of the types of conjunction.

The Types of Conjunction

There are three types of conjunction:

Coordinate Conjunctions

Coordinate conjunctions are normally used to join like with like. (In other words they join a noun with another noun, an adjective with another adjective, and an adverb with another adverb, etc.)

The most common ones are and, but and or.

Examples of Coordinate Conjunctions

Here are some examples of coordinate conjunctions (shaded): Read more about coordinate conjunctions.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are used in pairs to join alternatives or equal elements. The most common pairs are either/or, neither/nor, and not only/but also.

Examples of Correlative Conjunctions

Here are some examples of correlative conjunctions (shaded): Read more about correlative conjunctions.

Subordinate Conjunctions

Subordinate conjunctions are used to join subordinate clauses to main clauses. Common examples are although, because, since, unless, until, and while.

Examples of Subordinate Conjunctions

Here are some examples of subordinate conjunctions (shaded): Read more about subordinate conjunctions.

A Quick Test

There is often confusion over whether to use a comma before a coordinate conjunction (e.g., and, but). When a coordinate conjunction ends a list of three or more things, it all depends on whether you're following the Oxford Comma convention. For example: When a coordinate conjunction ends a list of just two items, you should not use a comma (unless it helps your reader.) For example: However, when the conjunction joins two clauses, use a comma if both of the clauses are independent clauses. For example: .

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See Also

What are coordinate conjunctions? What are correlative conjunctions? What are subordinate conjunctions? More on conjunctions Definition of adjective Definition of adverb Definition of interjection Definition of noun Definition of preposition Definition of pronoun Definition of verb Glossary of grammatical terms