A Conjunction is a word which joins words, phrases, clauses and sentences.
1. Raheel and Shakeel are brother.
2. I know that she is your sister.
3. Work hard or you will fail.
Kinds of Conjunctions:
Conjunctions are divided into two classes.
(a) Co-ordinate Conjunctions, and
(b) Sub-ordinate Conjunctions
Co-ordinate Conjunctions join words, phrases, clauses and sentences of equal rank or grammatical units of the same kind:
(c) Go and bring me a book.
(d) Give me milk or coffee.
(e) He is rich but not happy.
There are four types of Co-ordinate Conjunctions in which coordinating clauses are combined.
i. Cumulative Conjunctions add one statement or a fact with another. Such conjunctions are:
Both ... and, too, now, also, not less than, not only ... but also, as well. Example:
She is both beautiful and intelligent.
He is not only rich but also clever.
Mohan is reading and his sister is cooking.
Herculus was tall and strong too.
He as well as his parents is illiterate.
ii. Adversative Conjunctions (wherever, but, still, yet, nevertheless, only, however, while etc.) join two sentences and show contrast between them:
Do what you like, only do not sit near me.
My uncle is rich, while (whereas) my father is poor.
I felt angry, but I kept quiet.
He worked hard, yet he failed.
He worked hard, nevertheless he failed.
iii. Alternative Conjunctions express a choice between two statements. Such conjunctions are:
Either ... or, neither... nor, otherwise, or, else. Examples Either you or Mohan is at fault.
He has neither a scooter nor a car.
Hurry or (else) you will miss the train.
Work hard, otherwise you will fail.
iv Illative Conjunctions show that one fact or statement is inferred, or proved from another. They, therefore, express inference. They are:
Therefore, so, for, then.
He worked hard, so (therefore) he passed.
The bus is about to go, let us get in then.
The days are short, for it is December.
Correct use of some conjunctions
(i) Still, yet
‘Still’ is used to express the continuity of some activity or situation from the past upto the present. Similarly, ‘yet’ is used to express the continuity of some activity or situation from the present to the future.
Is your son still at the University ?
I. know he was there at one time. Has he left yet ?)
The train is not due yet. (i.e., it is due later.)
Occasionally ‘still’ and ‘yet’ seem equally suitable, e.g.,
We have still 5 miles to go. (‘Still’ here shows ‘distance’)
We have yet 5. miles to go.
‘Yet’ here refers to ‘time’. But both the sentences have some difference in meaning.
(ii) Either, neither, nor and so
When we repeat a negative verb with some new subject, ‘either’ is put at the end of the sentence; as -
She didn’t go and he didn’t go either.
This is the non-assertive form of ‘too’, which is used only in a negative sentence,
But this can be more clearly expressed by using neither/nor + auxiliary verb (affirmative) + subject. For example :
They didn’t go and neither did she.
We can use the same construction in the affirmative with so:
Mohan went and she went also = Mohan went and so did she.
As a conjunction ‘only’ means ‘additional to that’ or ‘but’. It is used (put) after the word with which it is related and is placed before verbs, adjectives or adverbs or after the nouns and pronouns; as—
I have only 4 apples (i.e., not more than four).
He only lent his scooter (i.e., he didn’t give it).
He lent the car to me only (i.e., not to any one else).
She is intelligent, only she does not read (i.e., she does other things but does not read).
I only want to see her (i.e., want nothing else).
I want only to see her (i.e., do nothing else).
I want to see only him (i.e., none else expect him);
I want to see him only today (i.e., no other day).
Only she can help me (i.e., none else).
(iv) Like and as
We place like before nouns/pronouns in the simpler types of comparison. For example :
Your brother fought like a mad man.
Your brother fought as a mad man.
(‘Like a mad man’ means ‘as if he were mad though he was not actually mad. Similarly ‘As a mad man’ means ‘that he was mad and fought as a mad man’).
But we use ‘As’ and not ‘like’ if there is some verb or a clause of comparison just after a noun or pronoun.
Can you drive the car as he does?
Would you console her as his mother does ?
(i) ‘When’ is used in the situation where the second action takes place, side by side with the first action.
When it is wet, the buses and trains are crowded.
(ii) When one action follows another:
When I knocked, she opened the door.
(vi) As, since
(i) ‘As’ is used when the second action occurs before the first action is finished:
As he left the house he remembered his purse.
This implies that he remembered the purse before he had completed the ‘action’ of leaving the house, probably he was still in the doorway.
(ii) ‘As’ is also used in such parallel actions which have a common subject or if one action is the result of the other action; as —
He sang a song as he bathed.
She broke her teeth as she fell down.
(iii) Since can be used as conjunction of time, e.g.,
He has done nothing since he arrived.
(iv) ‘Since’ is used with ‘point of time’. The action had begun just then or was continuing by the time of speaking or might be continuing in between that point of time and the ‘time of speaking’; as —
He has been here since
(vii) Just, just then, just because ‘Just’ is the indicator of ‘recent past’. It means ‘in brief; this moment and hardly’. It infers the completeness of the action. It is normally used with present perfect tense and usually it is not used in the negative.
He has just gone to his college.
My father has just arrived from office.
‘Just then’ is an indicator of inclination towards the action which is going to follow it. (in connection with past-time action).
When we were waiting for the bus, just then Mohan came.
‘Just because’ is the indicator of the cause of that action which is going to take place in connection with some past-time action.
I cannot come with you, just because he is present there.
She got the prize just because she spoke with confidence.
As a Conjunction, ‘than’ introduces the second part of some comparison. It is mainly used with the comparative degree or with rather or when comparison is shown between two items.
Salma is more intelligent than Sadia.
I would rather die than beg.
Correlative Conjunctions are used in pairs related to each other. They are:
Either—or; neither—nor; both—and; only—but also;
whether—or; so—as; as—as; though (although)—yet;
rather—than; such—that (as); hardly (scarcely)—when etc.
whether—or; so—as; as—as; though (although)—yet;
rather—than; such—that (as); hardly (scarcely)—when etc.
THE USE OF CORRELATIVE CONJUNCTIONS
(i) Either—or; Neither—nor
If there are two subjects, care must be taken that the verb agrees with the second subject.
Either you or your brother has broken the glass.
He is neither intelligent nor hardworking.
Neither your brother nor you have broken the glass.
I can neither read nor write French.
Remember about these Conjunctions that proper balance and equality must be maintained in the words used after ‘either-or’ and ‘neither-nor’. It will be wrong to say:
Either he is mad or sad.
‘He is’ should be placed in the beginning. The same rule applies to ‘neither-nor’ and ‘Not only—but also’.
It will be correct to say:
He is either mad or sad.
He is neither mad nor sad. (Correct)
He is not only mad but (is) also sad. (Correct)
He is both intelligent and hard working.
She is both a poet (ess) and a singer.
He was both punished and fined.
In the sentences given above, we can also use ‘not only-but also’; as—
He is not only intelligent but also hard working.
She is not only a poet(ess) but also a singer.
He was not only punished but also fined.
A single type of words are used after ‘Both — and’ and ‘Not only—but also’. Noun or Pronoun or Adjective and Noun etc.; as—
He is not only a good singer but also a good dancer.
Tell me whether you will come or not. I do not know whether he met my father or not. Whether you reply to my letter or not, it matters little.
(iv) So—as; as—as
So—as is used in negative sense.
But at present, the use of ‘as’ in negative is also considered as correct.
Mohsin does not run as fast as Ahsan.
As—as is used in affirmative sense.
She is as beautiful as her mother.
You are as wise as your elder brother.
She is not so beautiful as her mother.
You are not so wise as your elder brother.
(v) Rather ; Rather—than
‘Rather’ refers to criticism, disappointment or surprise to a certain extent. It means ‘fairly’. It is used before adjectives:
It is rather cold outside.
She looks rather like her mother.
‘Rather’ is also used before comparatives:
This hotel is rather more expensive than the others.
‘Rather’ is also used before a Verb;
I rather suspect we are making a serious mistake.
‘Rather’ is used to introduce a different idea:
The wall was not very high, it was rather low.
‘Rather than’ means ‘instead of’
I would rather starve than beg.
He would rather break than stoop.
She would rather fail than seek my help.
(vi) Such—that; such—as
(i) Such—as is used to modify that noun which functions as antecedent to the relative clause introduced by as.
(ii) So—that and such—that are used to show result or conclusion. We use an adjective after ‘so’ and a noun after ‘such’:
He wrote such a letter that she felt annoyed.
Only such candidates as are eligible should apply.
I do not like such men as tell lies.
He worked so hard that he passed.
(vii) Hardly (Scarcely)—when
Hardly (Scarcely) had we stepped out, when it began to rain.
Hardly had he seen me, when he came to me running.
We can use No sooner—than as follows in the above sentences.
No sooner did we step out than it began to rain.
No sooner did he see me than he came to me running.
Subordinate Conjunctions help to connect Subordinate Clauses or Dependent Clause to the Main Clause.
Subordinate Conjunctions are:
That, so that, if, unless, until, in case, when, till, before, after, so longs as, as longs as, because, why, where, when, whether, as if, as soon as, than, as, while, since etc.
I know that Hashim will come first in the class.
Hardly had I reached the bus stand when it began to rain.
He cannot come to school because he is ill.
Uses of Subordinate Conjunctions
Subordinate Conjunctions are of nine kinds. They express:
(i) Time: as — when, as, before, as soon as, so long as, after, until, while, since, till, as long as etc.
When (as) he reached home, he was shivering with cold.
Do not move from this place until I order.
As soon as you reach there, drop me a line.
So (as) long as he is here, I shall look after him.
The patient had breathed his last before the doctor arrived.
Strike the iron while it is hot.
The doctor arrived after the patient had breathed his last.
He has been staying with me since he came here.
Wait here till I come.
(ii) Place: Where, whence, wherever etc.
I know where you live.
Go wherever you like.
She never told us whence she had come.
(iii) Cause or Reason because, since, as etc.
I cannot attend the meeting because I am ill.
Since (as) she is in trouble, I must help her.
Since she was suffering from fever, she did not take the test.
(iv) Condition: if, only if, unless, provided, whether etc.
Note. (i) Unless usually has the same meaning as till or until but it is a conjunction of condition.
(ii) Provided (that) comes when there is a stronger idea of limitation or restriction.
You will pass if you work hard.
He must go there whether he likes it or not.
Unless he works hard, he cannot pass.
You can camp in my place provided you promise to leave no dirt.
(v) Purpose: - that, so that, in order that, lest etc.
She works hard so that she may pass.
He ran fast lest he should miss the train.
(vi) Result or Effect! as—so ... that, such ... that etc.
[Please see item no. vii under the use of Correlative Conjunctions.] He ran so fast that he was soon out of breath.
You are such a rogue that nobody likes you.
(vii) Comparison: as — as, as much as, than etc.
She is as tall as her sister.
I can take as much milk as you.
She is more beautiful than her sister.
(viii) Contrast or Concessions: as—though/although, however, notwithstanding that
They could not win, notwithstanding that they played well.
You cannot pass, however hard you may work.
Although/though he worked hard, yet he failed.
(ix) Manner or Extent: as—as, as far as, so ... as, as if, according as etc.
, do as the Romans do. Rome
He talks as if he were mad.
As far as 1 know, he is true to his word.
The candidates were selected according as they were found fit.
Conjunctions serve as Sentence Connectors as well. Study the following examples:
(i) This book is useful. This book is cheap also.
This book is both useful and cheap.
This book is not only useful but also cheap.
(ii) He will come. He will send a messenger.
He will either come or send a messenger.
(iii) Make haste. You will be late.
Make haste or (otherwise) you will be late.
If you do not make haste, you will be late.
(iv) You will stand first in the class. I know this.
I know (this) that you will stand first in the class.
(v) He is very poor. He cannot pay his fee.
He is so poor that he cannot pay his fee.
He is too poor to pay his fee.