Conjunctions and Sentence Connectors Examples and Exercises
Read the following sentences
- She came to me and spoke against her husband.
- Choose a watch or a clock.
- It was a case of a miser and his money.
- Did you know that she was a musician?
- He will pass if he works hard.
- I cannot see how she can win.
All the italicised words are called Conjunctions because they join together words and sometimes sentences.
In sentences 1 and 2, the Conjunctions and or join together the clauses that are independent of each other, i.e., are of equal rank. Such Conjunctions are called Co-ordinating Conjunctions.
NOTE: The Sentence 2 means ‘Choose a watch or (choose) a clock’(two clauses).
In sentences 4, 5 and 6, the Conjunctions that, if, and how join clauses of unequal rank. One is the main or independent clause, the other is a clause depending on or limiting the main clause. Such Conjunctions are called Subordinating Conjunctions.
Co-ordinating Conjunctions are of four kinds:
- Cumulative or Copulative. By these Conjunctions, one statement or fact is simply added to another, as,
And. — Trust in God and do the right.
Both…and. — He was both fined and imprisoned.
As well as. — He as well as his brother is intelligent.
No less than. — He no less than his brother is guilty.
Not only…but also. — He was not only fine but also expelled.
- Alternative or Disjunctive. By these Conjunctions an alternative or choice is offered between one statement and another; as,
Either …or. — Either he is mad or he feigns madness.
Or — She must weep or she will die.
Otherwise, else. — Work hard, else (or otherwise) you will not pass.
Neither…nor — Neither a borrower nor a lender is.
- Adversative These Conjunctions express opposition or contrast between two statements; as,
But. — He is slow but he is steady.
Still, yet. — He is very rich, still (or yet) he is not contented.
Nevertheless. — He had no chance of success; nevertheless he persevered.
Whereas, while. — Wise men love virtue; whereas (or while) fools shim it.
Only. — You may stay in the room, only make no noise.
- Illative — By these Conjunctions, one statement or fact is inferred or proved from another; as,
Therefore. — He was found stealing; and therefore he was arrested.
So, Consequently. — He did not work; so (or consequently) he failed.
For. — He will pass; for he works very hard.
Subordinating Conjunctions can be classified as follows :
I would die before I lied. Wait till (or until) I return.
Many things have happened here since you left.
Make hay while the sun shines. I returned home after the sun had set.
- Cause or Reason.
I love her because she is beautiful. I will go there since you desire it.
Let us go to bed as it is twelve.
- Result or Consequence.
She wept so much that she fell ill.
He was so intelligent that he won the first prize.
We eat that we may live. He works hard that he may pass.
Walk carefully lest you should fall.
I will dismiss you if you are late again.
I agree to these terms provided you agree to mine.
He ran as if he had been shot.
- Concession or Contrast.
A book’s a book, although there is nothing in it.
He is an honest man although he is poor.
He is not contented though he is very rich.
He will never pass, however hard he may try.
He is as clever as I [am].
I like her as much as you [I like you].
He likes me no less than you [he likes you].
He is more intelligent than you [are],
- Extent or Manner.
Men will reap as they sow.
He chose the candidates according as they were qualified.
Correlative Conjunctions. Certain Conjunctions are often used in pairs; these are called Correlative Conjunctions. The commonest are:
- Either …or.
Hp is either a rogue or a fool. Either he is mistaken or his mother.
- Neither …nor.
He was neither gay nor sad. He is neither a rogue nor a fool.
Though He slay me, yet I will trust in Him. Though he is poor, yet he is contented.
He is both a poet and a philosopher. We both loved and honoured her.
There is no such country as you mention. .
She is not such a woman as you admire.
Such was his love for her that he sacrificed even his life for her sake.
- So, as…as.
He is not so rich as you think. It is as clear as the sun.
As you sow, so shall you reap. As the child is so is the man.
- So..that. ,
He was so tired that he could not walk any farther. ,
He was so honest that nothing would tempt him to take the bribe.
He had scarcely recovered from fever when he caught a bad cold.
He had scarcely reached the station when it began to rain.
- Not only.. .but also. ‘
He is not only a priest but also a doctor.
He is not only honest but sincere also.
He visited not only Mumbai but also Pune. ;
Not only does he speak well but he writes well also.
- No sooner …than.
No sooner did the bell ring than the boys left the class.
No sooner had she heard the news than she started off.
No sooner does he arrive than he begins to work.
When the Correlative Conjunctions either …or, neither …nor, both … and not only …but also are used, care must be taken to place the first member (i.e., the words either, neither, both not only immediately before the words that are contrasted.
Incorrect: Your brother was either there or your cousin.
Correct: Either your brother was there or your cousin [was there].
Incorrect: Neither he is a rogue nor a mad man.
Correct: He is neither a rogue nor a mad man.
Incorrect: He both won a prize and a scholarship
Correct: He won both a prize and a scholarship.
Incorrect: Not only he visited Delhi, but also Agra.
Correct: He visited not only Delhi, but also Agra.
- Neither is always followed by
I have neither written to her nor (not or) spoken to her.
Neither his sister nor (not or), his mother met me.
- Scarcely is followed by when, and not by than
Scarcely had he left when (not than) a storm began to blow.
Scarcely had he reached the station when (not than) the train started.
- No sooner is followed by than and not by but
No sooner had the fight begun than (not but) he ran away.
No sooner had he left than (not but) he came back again.
- Than is used as a Subordinating Conjunction. The subordinate sentence introduced by than is generally elliptical. So, in order to determine the case of the word after than, the ellipsis must be supplied.
Incorrect: He is stronger than me.
Correct: He is stronger than I. [i.e., than I (am strong)].
Note the difference between these two sentences
- I love you better than him [=1 love you better than (I love) him].
- I love you better than he [I love you better than he (loves you)].
Also note the following
Incorrect: He is as strong as me.
Correct: He is as strong as I (am).
Incorrect: She can jump as high as me.
Correct: She can jump as high as / (can jump).
Rather and other are followed by than and not by but.
Incorrect. I would have the watch rather but the pen.
Correct: I would have the watch rather than the pen.
Incorrect: She had no other hobby but that of collecting flowers.
Correct: She had no other hobby than that of collecting flowers.
- The word like is often wrongly used for as; as,
He did like he was told to do. [Say—‘as’.]
She dances like her mother does, [say—‘as’.]
- In contracted sentences Conjunctions are often wrongly omitted after Adjectives.
He is more polite but not so kind-hearted as his father.
He is more polite than but not so kind-hearted as his
He is as strong if not stronger than Anil.
He is as strong as if not stronger than Anil.
- Unless means if not. Hence the word not should not be introduced in the clause beginning with
Incorrect: Unless you do not work hard, you will fail.
Correct: Unless you work hard, you will fail.
Incorrect: Unless you do not apologise, I shall punish you.
Correct: Unless you apologise, I shall punish you.
- Lest means so that not, for fear that … and is in modem English followed by Should.
Take care lest you should fall. He ran hard lest he should miss the train.
- That should never be used before a sentence in the Direct Narration, or after a Verb denoting a question in the Indirect Narration.
Incorrect: He said that ‘I am not feeling well.’
Correct: He said, ‘I am not feeling well. ’
Incorrect: He asked that how I was feeling.
Correct: He asked how I was feeling.
Incorrect: He enquired that where was the school.
Correct: He enquired where the school was.
Incorrect: He asked me that whether Mohan had gone.
Correct: He asked me whether Mohan had gone.
- When it is used as a Conjunction, it is always followed by a Verb in the Simple Past.
Incorrect: Three years passed since my cousin has died.
Correct: Three years have passed since my cousin died.
Incorrect: A month passed since he had come here.
Correct: A month has passed since he came here.
Incorrect: Two months passed since he had left school.
Correct: Two months have passed since he left school
- Before, When it is used as a Conjunction, with reference to some future event, it is never followed by a Verb in the Future Tense, even if the Verb in the Principal Clause is Future.
Incorrect: The plants will die before the rains will fall.
Correct: The plants will die before the rains will fall or have fallen.
Exercise 1: Fill up the blanks with appropriate Conjunctions.
- Love not sleep,_____ you should come to poverty.
- Wisdom is better____ rubles.
- I would rather suffer____ apologise.
- _____ you work hard, you will not pass.
- Many new things have happened__ I came here.
- Either this boy______ that girl has stolen my watch.
- No sooner had the train stopped___ he stepped out.
- He is not so clever______ you think him to be.
- you tell me the truth, I shall punish you.
- Though he is poor,______ he is honest.
- He had scarcely reached the school___ it began to rain.
- I would rather be a good scholar___ a wealthy prince.
- She had no other hobby____ that of playing with the affections of her lover.
- No sooner had he left____ a message was brought in.
- He is neither an idler____ a gambler.
- She is beautiful_____ not vain.
- Blessed are the merciful____ they shall obtain mercy.
- _____ you tell me the secret, I shall not let you go.
- Give every man thy ear____ few thy voice.
- Give me water to drink, ___ I shall die of thirst.
- I cannot give you any money,___ I have none.
- We waited______ the train arrived.
- Many are called,____ few are chosen.
- Either you are mistaken,____ I am.
- We ran fast,_____ we missed the train.
- _____ I were you, I’d Keep quiet.
- Be just______ fear not.
- You will get the prize _____ you deserve it.
- She has a lot of faults _____ I admire her very much.
- She would not believe me _____ I had to give her proofs.
Exercise 2: Write out the following sentences, choosing the correct conjunction or the sentence connector from those in brackets :
- I would have helped her____ I had enough money. (although, if, until)
- Tigers won’t attack_____ they are hungry. (unless, because, although)
- The teacher punished him____ he had broken the window pane. (although, if, because)
- I Shall buy a new cycle _____ I can get to school on time. (if, because, so that)
- I Would have gone to the party ____ I had been invited. (so that, although, if)
- I Was so tired ____ I at once fell asleep, (that, until, before)
- I shall not return the book to her _____ she asks for it. (if, unless, although)
- When I reached the bus stand, I discovered i had missed my usual bus,_______ I reached the office on time (however, consequently, therefore)
- He works______ he may earn money. (lest, because, in order that)
- She went to the doctor____ she might be cured. (because, therefore, so that)
- She is a fine player______ she is so small. (because, although, unless)
- I will wait for you;____ you return, (unless, until, provided that)
- You can borrow the book___ you return it tomorrow. (provided that, unless, so that)
- She walks _____ she is slightly lame, (so that, as though, in fact)
- Such an act would not be appreciated__ it were just. (as though, even if, so that)
- Ashok hasn’t answered all the questions,_ he hopes to pass in Mathematics. (besides, nevertheless, in any case)
- We want others to forgive our faults,__ , we should forgive the faults of others. (consequently, nevertheless, similarly)
- The officer was suspended for disobedience of orders, there was a charge of corruption against him. (therefore, furthermore, consequently)
- He apologised to me for his rude behaviour._ , I agreed to go with him. (moreover, however, consequently)
- You should start early,___ you are likely to miss the train. (indeed, Otherwise, in fact)