Conjunction, junction . . . what's that function? I love that song from School House Rock back in the day. But, what are conjunctions? Bascially, conjunctions are a bridge that bring two parts of a sentence together. Conjunctions have the ability to create a nice rhythm for coherent sentences. Usually, conjunctions unite clauses, in two distinct ways. There is also a third manner in which conjunctions can work within sentences known as correlative conjunctions.

1. Coordinating

In this instance, the conjunction brings together two equal clauses, usually two complete sentences which could stand on their own merit.


The baseball game was on Monday, however the rain postponed the game.


The conjunction "however" joins the two independent clauses creating one sentence. However, keep in mind, that both clauses could be a sentence on their own.


a. The baseball game was on Monday.

Subject = game

Verb = was


b. The rain postponed the game.

Subject = rain

Verb = postponed


2. Subordinating

By this manner, conjunctions can bring together two clauses which are not equal (i.e. independent and dependant clauses).


The movie was scary and exciting.


In this case, one part of the sentence is an independent clause (which can stand on its own). The other portion connected by the conjunction is dependent (for it cannot stand alone as a proper sentence).


a. The movie was scary. (Independent)

Subject = movie

Verb = was


b. and exciting (Dependent)

Subject = there is none

Verb = there is none


See the chart below for common coordinating and subordinating conjunctions.


























3. Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions need help to work together, in which they only can work properly in pairs. 

The movie was both exciting and scary.

Neither the breakfast nor the lunch were very appetizing.






































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