The Classes of Conjunctions

The Classes of Conjunctions :

There are two classes of conjunctions. They are….

1. Co-Ordinating Conjunctions
2. Subordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating Conjunctions

Men walk and birds fly.

Principal Clause – 1 - Men walk
Conjunction - and
Principal Clause – 2 - birds fly

Principal Clause – 1 (Men walk) and Principal Clause – 2 (birds fly) are combined by the conjunction AND.

These are two independent sentences. AND is a conjunction. It joins two sentences of equal ranks grammatically. AND is called a co-ordinating conjunction.

So, a Co-ordinating conjunction joins together clauses of equal ranks.

The main Co-ordinating Conjunctions are ….

1. And
2. But
3. For
4. Or
5. Nor
6. Also
7. Either…..or
8. Neither…..nor

There are four kinds of Co-Ordinating Conjunctions. They are….

1. Cumulative Conjunctions
2. Adversative Conjunctions
3. Alternative Conjunctions
4. Illative Conjunctions

Cumulative Conjunctions are also called by other names. They are….

1. Copulative Conjunctions
2. Accumulative Conjunctions

Disjunctive Conjunction is another name for Alternative Conjunction.

2. Subordinating Conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction joins a clause to another on which it depends for its full meaning.

1. After
2. Although
3. As
4. Because
5. Before
6. Of
7. That
8. Though
9. Till
10. Unless
11. When
12. Where
13. While

These are called Subordinating Conjunctions.

Cumulative Conjunctions, Copulative Conjunctions and Accumulative Conjunctions are one and the same.

AND : (Conjunction)

AND is used to join things, especially, words of the same type or parts of sentences of the same importance.

1. As well as
2. Also
3. Then
4. Afterwards

These conjunctions in sentences :

1. A knife and fork
2. Jack and Jill
3. She started to shout and sing.
4. We are cold and hungry.
5. She knocked on the door and went in.
6. Water the seeds and they will grow.
7. Did you enjoy yourselves? And how?

This type of conjunction is called Cumulative Conjunctions or Copulative Conjunctions.

A Cumulative Conjunction or Copulative Conjunction merely adds one statement to another. Accumulative Conjunction is another name for this Cumulative Conjunction. Cumulative means increasing steadily in amount or degree by one addition after another.

Copulative means describing a word or word group that connects other words or word groups.

AND - Copulative Conjunction

Adversative Conjunctions

BUT : conjunction

1. Against what might be expected
2. Inspite of this

1. The situation looks very desperate indeed. But I haven't given up hope yet.

2. I am slow, but I am sure.

3. I am poor, but proud.

4. It is cheap, but it is good.

5. I have not one but three wives.

6. I would like to go, but I'm too busy.

Still : adverb

1. Even
2. Upto now
3. At this moment
4. Upto then and at that moment

1. It is raining. Still we must go out.
2. I am annoyed. Still I am calm and quiet.
Only : (conjunction)

1. expect that
2. but

1. She wants to go. Only that she hasn't got enough money.
2. She would come. Only that she is engaged.
3. I am all right. Only I am tired.

These conjunctions, but, still and only are called Adversative Conjunctions. They express opposition or contrast between two statements.

Adversative – Adverse - (adjective) – Unfavourable

Disjunctive Conjunctions and Alternative Conjunctions are one and the same.

1. Or
2. Either…..or…..
3. Neither….nor….
4. Else

OR - (conjunction)

often with either
used before the last of a set of possibilities

1. He can't be ill or he wouldn't have come.
2. I shall have to cash a cheque or I shan't have enough money.


Either you leave this house or I will call the police.
If either Daniel or Janet comes, he or she will want a drink.
It was either in May or in June.


This shirt is made of neither wool nor cotton.
It happened neither yesterday nor the day before.
Go quickly. Else you will fail to overtake him.

OR, EITHER……OR….., NEITHER…..NOR….. and ELSE these are called Disjunctive Conjunctions or Alternative Conjunctions. These Conjunctions express a choice between two alternatives.

FOR : (conjunction)

FOR is used after the main statement and the reason is that….


The old lady does not go out in the winter, for she feels the cold a great deal.

Something fell in, for I heard the noise.

The Police must have neglected all precautions, for the Prime Minister was shot dead in her own office.

The Conjunction FOR expresses an inference. So it is called Illative Conjunction.

Lai went out to play, his wife stayed in to work.

A Comma, Semi-Colon or Colon will do the function of any of the co-ordinative conjunctions with the exception OR and NOR.

BECAUSE : (conjunction)

For The Reason That

1. I do it because I like it.
2. She got the job because she was the best candidate.

I do it because I like it.

Main Clause : I do it…
Conjunction : because…
Adverb Clause of Reason : I like it….

That is "I like it" depends on the main clause "I do it".

The conjunction "because" introduces the clause "I like it" to the main clause "I do it".

So also, in the next sentence "she was the best candidate" is introduced by the conjunction 'because' to the main clause "She got the Job".

1. After
2. Because
3. Of
4. That
5. Though
6. Although
7. Till
8. Before
9. Unless
10. As
11. When
12. Where
13. While

These are called Subordinating Conjunctions.

A subordinating conjunction joins a clause to another on which it depends for its full meaning.

The Classes of Conjunctions

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