Conjunctions

I.  The coordinate conjunctions

Separate two words, phrases, or clauses of equal grammatical importance.

Tip:  Memorize this list.  Some people use the acronym FANBOYS (for, and, etc.).  I prefer to memorize the words in groups. Notice how short all the words are; all have only two or three letters.


  • and

  • but


  • or

  • for

  • no


  • so

  • yet

Example:  The pie was delicious, but I burned the rest of the meal. 


II. The adverbial conjunctions (or conjunctive adverbs). 

The following are adverbs that can be used as conjunctions to join two independent clauses.

The word's function:  
addition furthermore, in addition, again, also, besides, equally important, finally, first, further,  in the first place, last, moreover, next, second, still
comparison also, in the same way, likewise, similarly
concession granted, naturally, of course
contrast however, instead, still, at the same time, despite that, even so, for all that,  in contrast, in spite of,  nevertheless, notwithstanding, on the contrary, on the other hand, otherwise, regardless
emphasis certainly, indeed, in fact, of course
example or illustration after all, as an illustration, even, for example, for instance, in conclusion, indeed, in fact, in other words, in short, it is true, of course, namely, specifically, that is, to illustrate, thus, truly
summary therefore, all in all, altogether, as has been said, finally, in brief, in conclusion, in other words, in particular, in short, in simpler terms, in summary, on the whole, that is,  to put it differently, to summarize
time sequence after a while,  again, also, at last, at length, at that time, besides, earlier, eventually, finally, formerly, further, furthermore, in addition, in the first place, in the past, at last, lately, meanwhile, moreover, next, now, presently, second, shortly, simultaneously, soon, still, subsequently, then, thereafter

III. Correlative Conjunctions

Some conjunctions work in pairs, joining grammatically equal expressions. 

Polonius said, "Neither a borrower nor a lender be." 

Here's a list:

both . . . and
not only . . . but also
not . . . but 
either . . .or 
neither . . . nor
whether . . . or
as . . . as 

IV. The subordinate conjunctions

A subordinate conjunction turns an independent clause into a dependent clause, i.e. into an expression of less grammatical importance in the sentence.

Common Subordinate Conjunctions

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

Examples:

As long as you're  hone early, why don't you begin dinner?

She works hard so that she will get good grades.