Some conjunctions are coordinating (i.e. joining elements of the same kind) like ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’, etc.
It stands on the hill and overlooks the plain.
I say this but she says that.
Other conjunctions are subordinating (i.e. joining a subordinate clause to a main clause) like when, because, since, as
Since it stands on the hill it overlooks the plain.
Although I say this she says that.
When Gawain saw the Green Knight he did not show that he was afraid.
Uses of Conjunction
Since as conjunction means:
A) From and after the time when:
a) Many things have happened since I left the school.
b) I have never seen him since that unfortunate event happened.
B) Since that
For example :
a) Since you wish it, it shall be done.
b) Since that is the case, I shall excuse you.
Or is used:
A) To introduce an alternative.
a) You must work or starve.
b) You may take this book or that one.
c) He may study law or medicine or engineering or he may enter into trade.
B) To introduce an alternative name or synonym.
The violin or fiddle has become the leading instrument of the modern orchestra.
C) To mean otherwise.
We must hasten or night will overtake us.
If is used to mean:
A) On the condition or supposition that
a) If he is here, I shall see him.
b) If that is so, I am content.
B) Admitting that
If I am blunt, I am at least honest.
For example: I asked him if he would help me.
For example: If I feel any doubt I enquire.
That is used:
A) To express a reason or cause
a) Not that I loved Caesar less but that I loved Rome more
b) He was annoyed that he was contradicted.
B) To express a purpose and is equivalent to in order that.
For example : He kept quiet that the dispute might cease.
C) To express a consequence, result or effect.
For example: He bled so profusely that he died
Lest is used to express a negative purpose and is equivalent to ‘in order that… not’, ‘for fear that’.
a) He lied lest he should be killed.
b) I was alarmed lest we should be wrecked.
While is used to mean:
A) During that time, as long as
For example: while there is life there is hope.
B) At the same time that.
For example: While he found fault, he also praised.
Only means except that, but, were it not that:
a) A ‘very pretty woman, only she squints a little.
b) The day is pleasant, only rather cold.
after, before, as soon as, until
The conjunctions after, before, as soon as, until are not followed by clause in the future tense. Present simple or present perfect tense is used to express a future event.
a) I will phone you after I arrive here.
b) I will phone you after I have arrived here.
As if used in the sense of as it would be is generally followed by a subject + were + complement.
a) He loves you as if you were his own child.
b) Sometimes she weeps and sometimes she laughs as if she were mad.
The clause that begins with as if should be put into the past simple tense, if the preceding clause expresses a past action. But if it expresses a past action it should be followed by the past perfect tense.
a) He behaves as if he were a lord.
b) He behaved as if he had been a lord
as long as
While as long as is used to express time in sense of how long, Until is used to express time in sense of before.
a) Until you work hard you will improve. (Wrong)
b) As long as you work hard you will improve. (right)
c) He learnt little as long as he was 15 years old. (Wrong)
d) He learnt little until he was 15 years old. (Right)
No sooner should be followed by verb + subject and than should begin another clause.
a) No sooner had I reached the station than the train left.
b) No sooner did the bell ring than all the students rushed in.
as well as
When as well as is used, finite verb should agree in number and person with the first subject.
For example: He as well as us is innocent.
As well as should never be used in place of and if the first subject is preceded by the word ‘both’.
a) Both Rani as well as Kajol came. (Wrong)
b) Both Rani and Kajol came. (Right)
Because is generally used when the reason is the most important part of a sentence.
For example: Some people like him because he is honest and hard working.
Since is used when the reason is already known or is less important than the chief statement.
For example : Since you refuse to cooperate, I shall have to take legal steps.
For is used when reason given is an afterthought.
For example: The servant must have opened the box, for no one else had the key.
For never comes at the beginning of the sentence and for is always preceded by a comma.
Scarcely should be followed by when and not by than,
a) Scarcely had he arrived than he had to leave again. (Wrong)
b) Scarcely had he arrived when he had to leave again. (Right)
either..or, neither.. nor, not only.. but also, both.. and, whether, or
Conjunctions such as either..or, neither.. nor, not only..but also, both..and, whether, or etc. always join two words or phrases belonging to the same parts of speech.
a) Either he will ask me or you. (Wrong)
b) He will ask either me or you. (Right)
c) Neither he reads nor write English (Wrong)
d) He neither reads nor writes English. (Right)
e) Either you shall have to go home or stay here. (Wrong)
f) You shall have either to go home or stay here. (Right)
neither.. nor, either.. or
Conjunctions like neither.. nor, either.. or, should be followed by the same part of speech.
a) He neither agreed to my proposal nor to his. (Wrong)
b) He agreed neither to my proposal nor to his. (Right)
Conjunction is not used before an interrogative adverb or interrogative pronoun in the indirect narration.
a) He asked me that where I stayed. (Wrong)
b) He asked me where I stayed. (right)
Although goes with yet or a comma in the other clause.
a) Although Manohar is hardworking but he does not get a job. (Wrong)
b) Although Manohar is hard working, yet he does not get a job. (Right)
Nothing else should be followed by but not by than,
a) Mr. Bureaucrat! This is nothing else than red-tapism. (Wrong)
b) Mr. Bureaucrat! This is nothing else but red-tapism. (Right)
The correlative conjunctions indeed… but are used to emphasise the contrast between the first and the second parts of the statement.
a) I am indeed happy with my school but it produces famous men. (Wrong)
b) I am indeed happy with my school but it does not produce famous men. (Right)
c) I am indeed happy with my school that it produces famous men. (Right)
“not only… but also…”
In a “not only … but also…” sentence, the verb should agree with the noun or pronoun mentioned second, that is; the one after ‘but also’, because this is the part being emphasised.
a) Not only the students but also the teacher were responsible for what happened in the class. (Wrong)
b) Not only the students but also the teacher was responsible for what happened in the class. (Right)
Such … as
Such … as is used to denote a category whereas such … that emphasises the degree of something by mentioning its consequence.
a) Each member of the alliance agrees to take such action that it deems necessary. (Wrong)
b) Each member of the alliance agrees to take such action as it deems necessary. (Right)
Here “it seems necessary” is not a consequence of “such action”. The sentence wants to imply that the action belongs to the category “as it deems necessary” In other words, what kind of action? Such action as it deems necessary.
a) She looked at him in such distress as he had to look away. (Wrong)
b) She looked at him in such distress that he had to look away. (Right)
Here, “he had to look away” is a consequence of “she looked at him in such distress.” In other words, the degree of the distress of looking at him was such that (not as) he had to look away.