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Grammar Guide

Educall Language Academy

Conjunctions

We use conjunctions to link words, parts of sentences, clauses or sentences.  They can give reasons, results, contrasts or various meanings.The most common conjunctions are and, or, but.

 

AND: We use and to join two similar structures and meanings (ideas are in the same direction, both parts are important)

I like coffee and tea. 

Her father wanted to see her and her mother.

I'm going to travel to Malaysia and Singapore.

I get up and take a shower.

 

OR: We use or two join two similar structures and meanings (one part might be more important, optional)

Which one do you like? The blue one or the green one?

Should I wait for you outside or sit at a table?

I usually go out with my friends or play music on the weekend.

We want to go to Japan or India.

 

BUT: We use but to join two similar structures and meanings, but shows a contradiction in the sentence (ideas are in different directions)

I like to get up early during the week but I like sleeping on the weekend.

I hate tea but I like coffee.

Their parents are divorced but they still live together.

She is a nice kid but she doesn't have any friends at school.

 

***We cannot start a sentence with but in writing (but in spoken language it's possible)

He has a car. But he can't drive.           He has a car but he can't drive.

 

***But also can mean except, out of the other elements:

He looked at everybody but (except) the principal.

We ate everything but (except) the pasta.

 

***We can also use yet instead of but:

She is very strict, yet so delicate at the same time.

 

***We can use some conjunction pairs such as both ... and, either ... or, neither ... nor, not only ... but also, no sooner ... than, whether ... or

We play both football and basketball at school. (We play football. + We play basketball.)

They will travel to either to Hawaii or the Maldives. (We will travel to Hawaii. / We will travel to the Maldives.)

She drinks neither orange juice nor milk. (She doesn't drink orange juice. + She doesn't drink milk.)

She does not only play many instruments but also composes music. (She plays many instruments. + Also, she composes music.)

***When we start the sentence with a negative word, that clause is inversion:

Not only does she play many instruments but she also composes music.

No sooner did they finish the test than the fire alarm went off. (As soon as/Right after they finished the test, the fire alarm went off.)

You have to attend the funeral whether you want to or not. (You might want it. / You might not want it.)

 

For result we can use so, therefore, hence, consequently, as a consequence, for this reason, as a result, thus, accordingly

The rain had stopped, so we went out to play. (so is more informal and mostly used in spoken English)

They were late for the meeting. Therefore, he got very angry.

The dinner was scrumptious hence enjoyable.

She danced at the party for hours. Consequently/As a consequence/As a result/For this reason/Thus, she was late.

They had an early flight. Accordingly, they stayed up and went to the airport at 3 a.m.

 

For reason we use because, as, since, for, because of, due to, owing to 

We stayed home because it was raining. / Because it was raining, we stayed home.

He missed the ceremony as he was late. / As he was late, he missed the ceremony.

We don't need to hurry up since we're late already. / Since we're late already, we don't need to hurry up.

 

***After because, as, since, for we use a full sentence (subject+verb+object)

They called her because/as/since/for she knew the answer.

 

***For is used only in the middle of the sentence, we cannot begin a sentence with for:

We had to cancel the pool party for it was chilly.

For it was chilly, we had to cancel the pool party.

 

***Since gives a meaning that the other person also is aware of the reason:

Why are you late? - Because there was a traffic jam. (but you don't know this, you weren't there)

We're going to be late since we're stuck in a traffic jam. (you know this, you are also stuck with me)

 

***After because of/due to/owing to/thanks to we use a noun:

All flights are cancelled due to the weather conditions.

We couldn't sleep because of the baby.

I understood the solution well thanks to/owing to her explanation.

 

***If we want to use a full sentence after these we can add the fact that:

All flights are cancelled due to the fact that there is a big storm.

We couldn't sleep because of the fact that the baby cried all night long.

 

For contrast we can use however, yet, but, although, though, even though, in spite of, despite, while, whereas, still, nonethless, nevertheless, notwithstanding

They tried to convince the president. However, he did not yield.

We held the door for him, yet he did not come in.

There were many people at the meeting but no one even said a word.

Although/Though there were many people a the meeting, no one said a word.

***Even though has the same meaning as although/though but is stronger:

Even though there were many people at the meeting, no one came up with an idea.

There were many people at the meeting, still no one came up with an idea.

The experts had warned the team about the risks. Nonetheless/Nevertheless/Nothwithstanding, the team proceeded with the project.

 

***After in spite of/despite we use a noun:

In spite of the many people at the meeting, no one came up with an idea.

Despite heavy snowfall, we managed to get home safe and sound.

 

***If we want to use a full sentence after these we can add the fact that:

In spite of the fact that there were many people at the meeting, no one came up with an idea.

Despite the fact that it was snowing heavily, we managed to get home safe and sound.

 

***With whereas/while we use two sentences contrasting each other.

I prefer to stay at home on the weekends while/whereas my brother likes hanging out with his friends.

They didn't liked her performance much while/wheras they clapped vigorously.

 

 

For addition we use also, in addition, in addition to, as well as, moreover, furthermore, what's more. These conjunctions give extra information.

She tried different foods in Thailand. Also, she learned to order in the local language. / She tried different foods in Thailand. She also learned to order in the local language.

She tried different foods in Thailand. In addition, she learned to order in the local language.

***After in addition to we use a noun/gerund (verb+ing):

In addition to trying different foods in Thailand, she learned to order in the local language. / She  tried different foods in Thailand in addition to learning to order in the local language.

She tried different foods in Thailand as well as learning to order in the local language.

She tried different foods and learned to order in the local language. Moreover/Furthermore/What's more, she went to see the island of Phuket.

 

 

For purpose we use so that, in order that

They took an umbrella so that/in order that they wouldn't get wet.

I called him so that/in order that he would know about the change.

 

***We can also use infinitives for purpose:

They took an umbralla so as not to/in order not to/not to get wet.

I called him so as to/in order to/to inform him about the change.