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Learn to Write English Clearly and Correctly

Set 2 - Lesson 21

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Lesson 21, Connecting with Conjunctions:

Conjunctions hold parts of a sentence together,  kind of like glue.  As with glue, however, there are several types of conjunctions, each one with its own specific use.

AND: And is used to add things or ideas together - one thing plus another thing.  For longer lists, and is used between the last two items.  And is a joining conjunction.

OR:  Or is used between  things or ideas about which there is a choice or when we don't know the answer.   Or is a selective conjunction.

BUT: But is used to let us know that something happened in a sentence that we did not expect or to prepare us for an excuse.  But is a conjunction of differences.

SO: So is used to introduce something that follows or is a result of something else.  So is a conjunction of consequences.

YET: Yet is also used to introduce a result that is different or opposite from what we expected or what would be normal.  The different result can be positive or negative. Yet is a conjunction of unexpected difference.  (Yet can also be used as an adverb referring to a time or an event that has not occurred, so be careful.  "Jack has not yet finished his chores.")

ALTHOUGH: Although (which can also be an adverb)  introduces a condition or situation that was contrary to the first part of the sentence.  It is  a conjunction of contrariness.

SINCE: Since can be an adverb, a preposition or a conjunction.  As a conjunction, it means "during a period following a time when", "continuously from some time in the past", or "because".

BECAUSE: Because is used to introduce a reason for another action or event.  It is a conjunction answering the question 'why?'.

ADDITIONAL CONJUNCTIONS:  nor, thus, therefore, while

Exercise A: Change the conjunctions in the following sentences to  different ones.  Notice how the meanings of the sentences change.  Write your answers on the lines.

1. Mr. Johnson and his wife went to Atlantic City once a month.

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2. Although Scott was eighteen when he signed up for karate classes, he had to bring a note from a parent or a guardian.

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3. Sandra ran to the bus stop, but the bus had already gone.

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4. I had checked all of my answers with a calculator,  so I was surprised when I failed the test.

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5. The Roberts family was ready to go on a picnic, yet the rain continued to fall.

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6. Because the salesman was very good at his job, he was able to convince the minister to buy the old purple car.

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7. Tony had worked at the same job since his family bought the company eighteen years ago.

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8. John was not able to get a good job because he refused to take a shower.

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Exercise B:  Circle all the conjunctions in the following sentences.  Be careful, because many of the conjunctions can also be adverbs or prepositions.

1. Hamburgers, pizzas and fried chicken are the most popular, although least healthy,  fast foods.

2. Since last August, the stock market has been falling, but our economy is still very strong.

3. Everybody but Brenda passed the math test, although she was usually the best student.

4. Henry's car stalled a lot and made funny noises, so he took it to the garage.

5. George offered Alice a ride since he was going in that direction anyway.

6. We did not have any vinegar or lettuce, yet I was told to make a salad.

7. The policeman was tired and sick, yet he still had to direct traffic around the accident scene.

Examination:  Join the following pairs of sentences with suitable conjunctions.  Be sure to use the correct punctuation.  Write the joined sentences on the lines.

1. Louis liked reggae music.  Carla preferred classical music.

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2. The horse galloped toward the barn.   A rabbit suddenly ran out of the tall grass.

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3. Many women watch television soap operas.  The love scenes are often too realistic.

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4. There is now a new president in the United States.  There was much confusion in counting the votes.

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5. We eat a lot of ice cream in this country.  There are many overweight people.

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6. Walter had bad breath.  He ate garlic every day.

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