Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

4.6: Conjunctions

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)


    Conjunctions can have two functions in English: (1) They can join parts of speech, and (2) they join two independent clauses (sentences).  Using conjunctions is one way to form a compound sentence.

    AND:  Joining Parts of Speech

    I have a book and a pencil.  My older and heavier brother lives in Rhode Island.  I like to eat and drink too much.  That girl is intelligent and beautiful.  My wife and I look fat and happy.  She dances beautifully and gracefully.  He drinks and smokes all the time.

    AND:  Compound Sentences

    I like to eat pizza, and my brother likes to eat pasta.  You study English, and I teach it.  We work during the day, and we relax at night.  My boys are nice kids, and they like to play with each other.  I teach English, and my wife teaches cooking classes.

    AND with no comma for simple sentences

    I swam and played at the beach during my vacation.  The man carried the woman's bags to her car and opened the door for her.

    BUT:  Compound Sentences

    I come from America, but my wife comes from Brazil.  I understand Portuguese, but I don't speak it.  The weather in Seattle is bad, but I like this city.  The girl was pretty, but her personality was bad.

    SO:  Compound Sentences

    I needed to fix my basement, so I worked there all weekend long.  You want to learn English, so you come to SSCC.  I'm hungry, so I guess I'll eat something.

    FOR:  Compound Sentences

    I must buy my friend a present, for it is her birthday this week.  My wife was angry at my son, for he had not done his homework.  I got paid on the 10th, for it was payday.  We bought a new car, for our old one had broken down.  He took a second job, for his family needed the money.  She was crying, for her dog had been hit by a car.  He had a party, for today was his birthday.

    FOR:  Preposition

    I went to the market for some butter.  He bought a present for his girlfriend.  We went there for two days.  He went to the library for a book.  He got it for her.  He knew a good place to go in the mountains for trout fishing.

    YET:  Compound Sentences

    I ate a sandwich, yet I wasn't really hungry.  He was wearing a short sleeve shirt, yet it was freezing outside.  He knew the teacher would be angry, yet he didn't care.  He saw the policeman, yet he continued to drive fast.  She loved him, yet she killed him.

    YET:  Time

    I haven't done my work yet.  They aren't married yet.  Is she awake yet?  Can the baby walk yet?  Will the boys be home from school yet?  I haven't studied the verbs yet.

    NOR: Joining Parts of Speech

    Neither I nor John will go.  I neither have nor want a new car.  It is neither hot nor cold outside.  He did it neither quickly nor accurately.  Neither he nor I care for that man.

    NOR:  Compound Sentences

    I can't speak Chinese, nor can my brother.  I have never been to the North Pole, nor do I want to go there.  He has not killed anyone, nor has he seen anyone killed.  It isn't necessary to buy a lot of books on grammar, nor is it cheap.  He isn't foolish, nor am I.  

    OR:  Joining Parts of Speech

    He wants a book or a cassette tape for his birthday.  Bob or Bill will go with you.  She is either in Europe or in Asia now.  You can either come with us or stay at home.

    OR:  Compound Sentences

    He will come, or I will stay with him.  It will either be a nice day, or it will rain.  You can help me do it, or your brother can take your place.  You have to eat, or you will get sick.  You had better do your homework, or the teacher will get angry at you.


    Exercise 15:  Use the following underlined words as directed, please.

    1.  Use and to join two sentences.

    2.  Use yet to show an action is not finished.

    3.  Use or to join two verbs.

    4.  Use so to show a result.

    5.  Use for to mean the same as because.

    6.  Use nor to mean not or in the second half of a sentences.

    7.  Use but to show how one half of a sentence the different from the other half.

    8.  Use and to join two nouns.

    9.  Use yet to mean the same as but.

    10.  Use for as an object of a preposition.

    11.  Use so that to show a reason for doing something.

    12.  Use but without a subject in front of it.

    4.6: Conjunctions is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Don Bissonnette.

    • Was this article helpful?