Grammatical conjunction

Grammatical conjunction

In grammar, a conjunction is a part of speech that connects two words, phrases or clauses together. This definition may overlap with that of other parts of speech, so what constitutes a "conjunction" should be defined for each language. In general, a conjunction is an invariable grammatical particle, and it may or may not stand between the items it conjoins.

The definition can also be extended to idiomatic phrases that behave as a unit with the same function as a single-word conjunction ("as well as", "provided that", etc.).

Types of conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, are conjunctions that join two items of equal syntactic importance. As an example, the traditional view holds that the English coordinating conjunctions are "for", "and", "nor". [Pp. 1273-1362. In Huddleston, R. & Pullum, G. K. "The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.] Furthermore, there are other ways to coordinate independent clauses in English.A way to remember them is the acronym FANBOYS. It stands for: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. Those are the coordinating conjunctions.

Correlative conjunctions are pairs of conjunctions that work together to coordinate two items. English examples include "both … and", "(n)either … (n)or", and "not (only) … but (also)...".

Subordinating conjunctions, also called subordinators, are conjunctions that introduce a dependent clause. English examples include "after", "although", "if", "unless", "so that", and "because". Complementizers can be considered to be special subordinating conjunctions that introduce complement clauses ("e.g.", "I wonder "whether" he'll be late. I hope "that" he'll be on time"). Some subordinating conjunctions ("although", "before", "until", "while"), when used to introduce a phrase instead of a full clause, become prepositions with identical meanings.

In many verb-final languages, subordinate clauses "must precede" the main clause on which they depend. The equivalents to the subordinating conjunctions of non-verb-final languages such as English are either
* "clause-final conjunctions" (e.g. in Japanese) or;
* "suffixes" attached to the verb and "not" separate words [Dryer, Matthew S. 2005. "Order of adverbial subordinator and clause". In The World Atlas of Language Structures, edited by Martin Haspelmath, Matthew S. Dryer, David Gil, and Bernard Comrie. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199255911]

ee also

*Logical conjunction


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  • coordinating conjunction — Gram. a conjunction that connects two grammatical elements of identical construction, as and in Sue and Andrea or or in He can t decide if he should stay or go. Also, coordinate conjunction. Cf. subordinating conjunction. [1875 80] * * * …   Universalium

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  • coordinating conjunction — noun A conjunction that joins two grammatical elements of the same status or construction …   Wiktionary

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