flesl.net grammar glossary::determiners

conjunctions

• Conjunctions make up one of the eight English word classes. They are used to create complex and compound sentences by joining two or more clauses together. For example the two simple sentences

Jack climbed up the hill.    •     Jill followed behind him.

-can be combined into one compound sentence using the conjunction and:

Jack climbed up the hill and Jill followed behind him.

To take another example, the two simple sentences

Jack climbed up the hill.    •     Jill read a book.

-can be combined into one complex sentence using the conjunction while:

While Jack climbed up the hill, Jill read a book.

• There are two main types of conjunction: coordinating conjunctions (used to create compound sentences) and subordinating conjunctions (used to create complex sentences).

• The three most important coordinating conjunctions are:

and, or, but

• The subordinating conjunctions are much more numerous. Some examples:

after, although, because, before, since, that, though, when, while

• Subordinating conjunctions can contain more than one word. Some examples (“that” in parentheses is optional):

in order that, in the event that, assuming (that), provided (that), except (that), now (that), as long as, as soon as

• teaching note: It is important when teaching writing to intermediate and advanced students to emphasize the distinction between conjunctions and conjuncts.