Since preposition connects nouns to pronoun
similarly conjunction are the words that connect two or more clauses.
Examples (italicized and underlined
words are conjunctions)
- He is coming and
I shall go now to collect him.
- They expect me there by now but
I can’t go.
- Alice is busy whereas
there are other jobs equally important.
- He is thinking whether
to do it or not.
- He must tell the truth or
he shall be expelled.
Conjunction also joins two words together,
Rebecca are on the way to college.
Conjunctions are different from demonstratives
or relative pronouns (this, that, those, these) and relative adverbs
Conjunctions in pairs
Some conjunctions are used in pairs, like;
- Either you
go or I shall
call the police. (either – or)
he nor Allen
is interested in this job. (neither – nor)
- I can’t understand whether
he will come or
not. (whether – or)
- Not only
he accepted the offer but
also called you immediately. (not only – but also)
Kinds of conjunction
There are TWO types of conjunctions;
- Coordinators are those type of conjunctions which join two independent
- He knew there was a trap and he
avoided going there.
- Its heavy rain today so I
cannot go anywhere.
- There was a big wave of earthquake yet he
managed to come out of the building.
- College was closed today and I
went to see my friend in hospital.
Note: you might have observed that
in all the four above examples on either side of conjunction (coordinator)
the clauses give complete meaning without the help of second clause,
hence they are independent clauses, for example, in first sentence “He
knew there was a trap” and “he avoided going there” are both independent
clauses. Similarly in the second sentence “Its heavy rain today” and “I
cannot go anywhere” and so on.
- Subordinators, as the name indicates, are those type of conjunctions
which join independent clause (main clause) to dependent clause (subordinate
- I thought if he
could face the circumstances.
- Don’t run lest you
- Lecture was over as
soon as I reached.
- Stay here until I
- He understood before anyone
Now you have observed that underlined and italicized words are subordinators
and they join subordinate clause to main or independent clause. If
you take the first example you see that “I thought” don’t
give complete meaning. You at once think “What I thought?”
There is question mark in your mind and that is what we call no complete
meaning. When you read the second clause “he could face the circumstances.”
there is no question in your mind because the meaning it gives is complete.
What is clause
Clause is the combination of words which
sometimes gives complete meaning, like sentence, and sometimes not.
The clause which gives complete meanings is called independent or main
clause otherwise it is subordinate or dependent clause (consider above
examples of coordinator and subordinator). Main clause is different
from sentence in a way that sentence has full stops [.] at both ends
whereas clause has comma, conjunction or relative pronoun at either
side and hence it is the part of a sentence.
Examples of sentence
- He is expected to come at 12 o’clock today.
- Thomas More denied the charges.
Examples of clause
- He thought that I was there. (he thought + I was there =
- I asked him whether he could help me. (I asked him + he could
help me = two clauses)
- He advised me to come on time. (He advised me + come on time
= two clauses)
- She said, “what are you doing here?” (She said + what are you doing
here = two clauses)
Kinds of sentence with respect to
Kind of sentence is determined by the
number of clauses and they are as follows;
colour is used for dependent clause and blue
for independent clause.
- Simple sentence: one clause.
Example: He was watching you.
- Complex sentence: one independent and one dependent
Example: He asked whether
I should help him.
- Compound sentence: two independent clauses.
Example: It was dangerous to go outside
so I preferred staying inside.
- Complex compound sentence: two independent and
one dependent clause.
Example: I shall teach you
and you must listen to me carefully
because it’s important.
to the exercise