What is a Conjunction? Main Types and Categories

What is a Conjunction? Main Types and Categories

A conjunction is a word that connects two or more independent words, or clauses, in a sentence. In basic English conjunction can be defined as a word that combines with another word or expression to form a new idea. For instance, “the dog ate the pie” and “the pie was red”. In our example, the dog has been added to refer to the thing that ate the pie, and the word ‘ate’ has been placed before ‘the pie’ to connect it with the verbs of the sentence.

The usage of the conjunction can vary depending on the audience, or reader. In this article we will look at some examples of how the combination is used and some popular uses of the combination. We will look at the different conjugations of the verb “to be.” We will also look at some popular ways of structuring sentences using a conjunction. After reading through this article you should have a good idea about the different uses of the conjunction in everyday language.

How to Use Conjunctions in a Sentence?


The usage of the conjunction in a sentence can vary. It depends on how the writer chooses to put the conjunction in. In a shortlist example like the one above, it would be easy for the first person to say, the dog ate the pie. However, if the writer starts the sentences with “he ate the pie,” the reader will interpret this as a direct statement, which suggests that the writer wishes us to see what he ate. Therefore, in this example, the combination should be written as “he ate the pie.” Following these rules of construction can make any shortlist, or even a long list, much easier to understand.


Two Common Conjunctions Types

The use of the conjunction in a sentence can be complicated by two types of structures commonly used in English:

  • the conjunction,
  • and the correlative conjunctions.

The two are quite simple to understand. The conjunction has one of two elements — a subject or a verb — enclosed within a single space. While the correlative conjunction has one of the two elements enclosed within a single space, but enclosed within a combination. For an example like the previous one, the question “Who ate the pie?” can be answered as “The dog ate the pie” if the writer uses the conjunction the dog ate the pie.

Combining Conjunction and the Correlative

The conjunction and the correlative combine to indicate a relationship in the sentence. The meaning of the conjunction depends on the function of the other one. A preposition can serve a connecting role between a subject and a verb, for example. It can also serve a connecting role between a subject and a verb, such as the word “be”. In short, it links one clause to another.

Combining conjugations is also used in conjunctions with independent clauses. For an example like the one above, the words “the dog” and “eat” can be used as independent clauses in what is a combination, linking them together. The use of commas and periods are optional in the construction of this type of sentence. The writer is free to decide which conventions are preferred. However, both must be used in the construction of the statement.

Independent Clauses

Independent clauses are those that do not connect with a conjunction. An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence. In this case, what is a conjunction can serve as a connecting device, linking either a verb or a conjunction to the main verb. The main verb can be an auxiliary verb such as “am,” “are,” “been,” “was” and “were.” Independent clauses are an important aspect of the structured language, as they allow the structure to develop around the main subject of the sentences.

Combination and independent clauses are just two ways that what is a conjunction and what is an independent clause differ. Both are equally important to the study of sentence structure, though what is a combination may be used as an independent clause in a conjunction. And what is a combination may be used as a connecting device in independent clauses. As a matter of fact, a conjunction can be used to strengthen a sentence’s parallel structure. For example, the conjunction “and” can be used to emphasize the parallel structure of the phrase “what is a dog”.  The use of a combination can strengthen a parallel sentence’s parallel structure. Though, a conjunction can also be used to strengthen a dependent clause, a unitary clause that depends entirely on its partner for the meaning of the rest of the clause.

What are the Three Basic Categories of Conjunction?

In English, conjunctions typically come in three categories:

  • the coordinating,
  • subordinating,
  • comparative conjunctions.

Within these three categories, there are additional sub-categories that cover additional elements, such as the imperative, commands, etc. Thus, you will find a vast array of conjunctions. Here, we’ll look at some conjunction examples to get a better idea of what these classifications mean in English.

Coordinating Conjunction

The coordinating conjunction is used to connect one word with another. Thus, “The man loves his bike” can be written as “The man loves-the-bike”. This combination is commonly used to indicate a complete sentence with all the necessary components. As an example, this conjunction can be used to indicate the subject in a sentence, the object in a clausal phrase, or the object of the adverb in a combination.

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions connect two sentences together, by giving emphasis to one of the parts of the sentence it connects. Thus, “The man loves his bike” is written as “The man loves-the-bike.””” These types of conjunctions are commonly used in statements where the subject is described. The verb is implied, or the action of the verb is expected. You’ll often see this combination used when conjunction connects two independent clauses (a statement that doesn’t infer a particular combination to be used for it to connect).  Or when the subject of the sentence is also mentioned as well as the object of the verb in the statement in particular.