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Conjunctions

2021年10月03日

Hsu

1分钟

Conjunctions

A conjunction is a word that connects or links clauses, words or phrases together.

Coordinating Conjunctions

There are seven coordinating conjunctions, and, but, for, nor, or, yet, so.

Each of the coordinating conjunctions has two purposes, to connect information and to show a certain relationship between two or more things.

When we connect two clauses with a coordinating conjunction, this is called a compound sentence.

and

In this case, we are connecting two clauses.

The relationship that we are showing is addition.

I ate a muffin, and I drank some tea.

but

but shows us a relationship of something we don't expect or direct contrast.

It's hot outside, but it's cold inside.

I ate a muffin, but I didn't like it.

or

or shows us that we have an option, and we can only choose one option, not both.

I go to the beach, or I go to the lake.

So

So shows us cause and effect.

I didn't eat lunch, so now I'm hungry.

I study a lot, so I get good grades.

yet

yet shows us contrast in spite or something.

She's only 6, yet she can do calculus.

It is similar to saying but still, but anyway, or nevertheless.

She's only 6 but she can still do calculus.

It is common to use anyway, or still, with yet.

She's bad at soccer, yet she plays it anyway.

Yet, as a conjunction is not related to time.

Oftentimes we could use but to mean the same thing, and it is more common to use yet in writing than in speaking.

for

for is most often use a preposition, but it can also be used as a coordinating conjunction although it's not as common as some of the other coordinating conjunctions.

It shows cause and effect. For means because in this case.

I was happy it was Friday, for I had had a busy week.

Notice the difference between for and so.

I had had a busy week, so I was happy it was Friday.

When we use for, the result comes first.

When we use so, the cause comes first, but they express the same relationship.

Nor

Nor is used with two negative clauses.

I don't drink coffee, nor do I drink soda.

Notice that after nor we should use question order.

This sentence means the same thing as saying:

I don't drink coffee. I don't drink soda.

Let's try one more.

I haven't gone to LA. I won't go to LA.

I haven't gone to LA, nor will I go to LA.

Parallel Structure

When we use a coordinating conjunction, we need to use equal parts on both sides of the conjunction.

They can connect to nouns, to verbs, to adjectives, to adverbs, to prepositions.

We can also connect two gerunds.

Parallel Structure applies to all coordinating conjunctions.

However, three conjunctions, nor, for, so are used only to connect clauses.

For instance,

  • I like surfing, and I love swimming.
  • I like olives and cheese.
  • I like to swim and to run.
  • I like swimming and running.
  • The flag is red and white.

They have equal parts on both sides of the conjunction.

If we have more than two words, we need to use commas.

  • Please invite Mary, John and Isaac,
  • Please invite Mary, John, and Isaac.

This sentence has an extra comma before and. This comma is optional, it is called an Oxford comma. This comma helps avoid confusion.

Correlative Conjunctions

You already know that a coordinating conjunction connects two clauses, Two phrases, Or two words.

Correlative conjunctions are conjunctions that come in pairs.

That means they must always appear together.

both and

We use both and and to emphasize two elements in a sentence.

For example, two subjects, two verbs, two objects, or even two clauses.

When connecting two subjects, the verb must be plural.

Both Emily and Jake love grammar.

Emily loves both grammar and chocolate.

not only but also

It emphasize that there are two elements, much like both and.

When connecting two subjects with not only but also, a verb agrees with the subject that is closest to it.

I exercise. I also drink lots of water.

Emily not only exercises but also drinks a lot of water.

Learning English is not only rewarding but also fun.

It is also possible to use not only but also to correlate two subjects, two objects, or two clauses.

When not only but also is correlating two clauses, we need a helping verb.

Not only does Emily exercises, but also she drinks a lot of water.

Notice the comma after the first clause.

If there is already a helping verb such as a modal verb, simply invert the subject and the modal in the clause that comes after not only.

You must exercise regularly. You must drink a lot of water.

Not only must you exercise regularly, but also you must drink a lot of water.

Remember, this only happens when not only comes at the beginning of a clause and when two clauses are parallel.

either or

We use either or, a paired conjunctions to show two different options.

Not both, but one or the other.

When connecting two subjects with either or, the verb will agree with the subject closest to it.

She could wear either the mask or the disguise.

neither nor

We use neither and nor, to emphasize two negative elements within a sentence.

When using neither and nor to connect two subjects, the verb agrees with the subject closest to it.

Neither Jake nor Emily can reach the shoe.

Joe neither eats nutritious food nor exercises.

Transitions

A transition is a word or phrase that connect ideas.

addition

I forgot my suitcase. I forgot my passport.

You know that you can combine these to make a compound sentence.

I forgot my suitcase, and I forgot my passport.

You can also used a transition to connect this information.

I forgot my suitcase. In addition, I forgot my passport.

In addition is one example of a transition. It has the same meaning as and.

There are other transition words that have the same meaning like moreover and furthermore.

Emily offered to drive me to the airport. Moreover, she is going to feed my cat while I'm gone.

You might be wondering why do I need to know more than one word for the same meaning.

The answer is that it is a good idea to use a variety of transitions and connectors in your writing.

It would get boring if you used the same words over and over again.

contrast

We also have words that show contrast.

I forgot my suitcase. However, I still wanted to travel.

We can also use the phrases in contrast, or on the other hand.

result

Therefore is a transition that signals result.

I forgot my passport. Therefore, I could not travel.

Other words that have the same meaning are as a result, consequently, and thus.

order

We can also use transitions to show time order.

I realized I had forgotten my suitcase. Afterward, I discovered I had forgotten my passport too.

Some other time order words are first, second, subsequently.

similarity

If we want to compare two things, we can say it like this.

I forgot my passport. Similarly, I left my driver's license at home last week.

Here are some other transitions that show similarity. In the same way, likewise.

emphasis

To show emphasis or to make something stand out very clearly, we can say this.

I forgot my passport. In fact, I've forgotten my passport for my last two trips.

Indeed has a similar meaning to in fact.

examples

To give examples we can say

I forget a lot of things. For example, I've forgotten my passport, my driver's license, and even my shoes.

Specifically and to illustrate express a similar thing.

end

We can use transitions to show that we are nearing the end.

We can also say in closing, or in sum.

Structure

Here are 4 ways to start a sentence with a transition.

  • I forgot my passport. Therefore, I could not travel.

  • I forgot my suitcase; In addition, I forgot my passport,

  • Jake forgot her passport. She, therefore, could not travel.

  • Jake forgot her passport. She could not travel, therefore.

More examples:

  • Jim didn't take care of his teeth. Therefore, he has tooth decay.

  • Tom didn't stretch before his workout; therefore, he got hurt.

  • Ann woke up late. She, therefore, was late for work.

  • Kim has been saving money. She can afford a car, therefore.

Prepositional phrases as connectives

A prepositional phrase consists of a preposition and its object.

The prepositional phrase is not a sentence. So it cannot stand alone.

It is followed by an independent clause.

  • After dinner, the couple went dancing.
  • After a lovely dinner, the couple went dancing.
  • After eating dinner, the couple went dancing.

It is also possible to reverse the order.

  • The couple went dancing after eating dinner.

We can use prepositional phrases as connectives.

No matter which preposition you use, it will always be followed by a noun, noun phrase, and in some cases a gerund or a gerund phrase.

Because of the power outage, I couldn't get anything done.

Due to the broken copying machine, I couldn't finish the project on time.

In spite of the power outage, I was able to complete my work.

Despite the broken copy machine, I also managed to finish this project.

Similar to Jake, Emily experienced many problems at the office.

In contrast to Jake, Emily managed to complete her work.

In addition to giving me the day off tomorrow, he also gave me a raise.

Similar to your situation, Mr. Bossman had some consequences for me too because of my bad behavior.

Subordinating conjunctions

It is important to review what an independent clause is.

You probably already know that an independent clause has a complete subject and verb and can stand alone as a complete thought.

For example,

Gymnasts are amazing athletes. their ability seems to defy gravity.

These are two complete sentences that can standalone, or be joined by a conjunction, a coordinating conjunction.

Gymnasts are amazing athletes, for their ability seems to defy gravity.

A dependent clause like an independent clause has a subject and a verb.

However unlike an independent clause, it cannot stand alone and is an incomplete thought.

Most gymnasts are very strong (even though they tend to be small).

When an independent clause and a dependent clause come together to make a sentence, the sentence is called a complex sentence.

An adverb clause is just one type of dependent clause.

Which starts with a subordinating conjunction like before, because or although.

Of course there are many others which I'll show you in a minute and the adverb clause also function as an adverb.

Which means that information about how, when, why, where, and under what conditions the activity takes place.

Subordinating conjunctions can express different relationships between dependent and independent clauses.

  • I fell on my head (when I tried to stand on my hands).
  • I fell on my head (becasuse I tried to stand on my hands).
  • I fell on my head (even though I have strong arms).

Adverb clauses can also come at the beginning of a sentence.

  • (When I tried to stand on my hands), I fell on my head.
  • (Because I tried to stand on my hands), I fell on my head.
  • (Even though I have strong arms), I fell on my head.

Although it's not common, it is possible to have an adverb clause in the middle of a sentence.

My dog, (although he loves the water), does not enjoy taking baths.

When we use whereas and while to show direct contrast, we must use comma.

Joe prefers play the violin, whereas Jan and Ron like to dance.

To be a good writer and a good speaker in English, it's important to connect our ideas. Which is why we use adverb clauses, and other connective devices.

Shorten

A reduced adverb clause is a shortened adverb clause, and it does the same thing as an adverb clause, which means it functions like an adverb.

It's also known as a participial phrase or a modifying participial phrase.

Before you complete this lesson, you should complete the previous one.

A reduced adverb clause, does not contain a subject and a verb.

The reduced adverb clause is called a participial phrase because it contains a present participle or an I-N-G verb.

Before completing this lesson, you should complete the previous one.

We can only reduce an adverb clause if the subject is the same in both clauses meaning in the adverb clause and the main clause.

Generally speaking, we can only reduce adverb clauses that express time, cause or contrast.

  • (After) you finish this course, you will be an expert in English grammer.

  • (Since) you will be an expert, you will be able to teach others.

  • (Though) mastering English grammar can be difficult, it is not impossible.

  • (After) finishing this course, you will be an expert in English grammer.

  • (Since) being an expert, you will be able to teach others.

  • (Though) difficult, it is not impossible.

Rule

There are three steps you must follow.

  1. Omit or delete, the subject in the adverb clause.

  2. Omit be from the adverb clause if present.

  3. If no be verb is present, change the verb to a present participle, or an +ing verb.

  • Emily was not aware of the photo day before she talked to Jake.

  • Emily was not aware of the photo day before talking to Jake.

  • After she realized she didn't like her hair, Emily decided to get a haircut.

  • After realizing she didn't like her hair, Emily decided to get a haircut.

  • Since Emily got a haircut, she has been a lot more confident.

  • Since getting a haircut, Emily has been a lot more confident.

  • Emily danced around without a care while she was at work.

  • Emily danced around without a care while at work.

  • While Jake was watching Emily dance, she had a puzzled look on her face.

  • While watching Emily dance, she had a puzzled look on her face.

when

However, there is another common way to reduce adverb clauses that contain the subordinator when.

And that's by changing the word when to upon.

  • When Jake saw Emily dancing ridiculously, she took a candid snapshot.
  • When seeing Emily dancing ridiculously, she took a candid snapshot.
  • Upon seeing Emily dancing ridiculously, she took a candid snapshot.

This is only true with when.

  • When Emily walked into the room, she struck a pose.
  • When walking into the room, Emily struck a pose.
  • Upon walking into the room, Emily struck a pose.

It also makes sense to change the pronoun back to the proper noun as to avoid confusion.

A reduced adverb clause most commonly comes at the beginning of a sentence.

If it does, it's followed by a comma. It can also come at the end of a sentence.In this case, no comma is needed.

And finally, it is possible for it to come in the middle, right after the subject.

If this is the case, we need a comma before it and after it.

  • (Before cutting her hair), Jake lack confidence.
  • Jake lack confidence (before cutting her hair).
  • Jake, (before cutting her hair), lack confidence.
while
  • While Jake was sitting in the office, she saw Emily.
  • While sitting in the office, Jake saw Emily.

When we use while meaning at the same time, we can also drop, while, and start the clause with the ing verb.

So we can say,

  • Sitting in the office, she saw Emily.

Which has the same meaning as the reduction that we already saw.

  • While Emily was working quietly at her desk, she was thinking about her hair.

If we want to drop, while, we must also drop the subject and be verb.

The clause now starts with the ing verb.

  • Working quietly at her desk, she was thinking about her hair.

The only time clause that we can reduce in this way is a clause starting with while.

because

In addition to reducing time clauses, we can also reduce clauses of cause and effect, as in this example.

Because Jake has short hair, she was unrecognizable.

We must delete, because, the subordinating conjunction, and the subject, Then change the verb to the ing form.

Having short hair, Jake was unrecognizable.

Here's another example,

Since Jake wants to look like Emily, she decided to cut her hair too.

Wanting to look like Emily, Jake decided to cut her hair too.

Now let's look at a past tense example. (having + pp)

Because Jake had cut her hair, Jake didn't recognize her.

Having cut her hair, Jake didn't recognize her.

When we see, having, and the past participle of the verb, this means, because, and in the past.

  • Because Jake had seen Emily's new hair cut, she felt jealous.

  • Having seen Emily's new hair cut, she felt jealous.

To review, here are three types of adverb clauses that can be reduced to start with the ing verb, while, since, but only when it means cause and effect and because.

Let's compare two sentences with different tenses.

When we start a reduced adverb clause with having and the past participle this means because. And it means the action happened in the past.

  • Because Jake got a haircut, she felt more confident.
  • Having gotting a haircut, she felt more confident.

Notice that the verb is in the simple past tense.

In the past, we are going to start the reduction with having and the past participle.

In fact, we can use have and the past participle to reduce the clause that does not contain had in the original sentence.

Present:

  • Because I want to be a better swimmer, I practice a lot.
  • Wanting to be a better swimmer, I practice a lot.

Past:

  • Because I wanted a different hairstyle, I got a haircut.
  • Having wanted a different hairstyle, I got a haircut.

Moreover,

  • Because Emily was unable to recognize Jake, she was surprised.
  • Having been unable to recognize Jake, Emily was surprised.

When you have be in the past, it is possible just to reduce it to the ing form.

  • Being unable to recognize Jake, Emily was surprised.

In fact, when we start a reduced adverb clause with the be verb, it is possible to reduce it even more.

  • Unable to recognize Jake, Emily was surprised.

Having drunk 3 cups of coffee before noon, I felt anxious.

We've seen that this is the reduced form of:

  • Because I had drunk 3 cups of coffee before noon, I felt anxious.

  • Because I drank 3 cups of coffee before noon, I felt anxious.

These two sentences are the same.

after

Let's look at one more way to start a clause with having in the past participle.

When your clause begins with after and it is about the past, it is possible to reduce it in the same way that we reduce because.

  • After the teacher started class, he assigned a new project.
  • After the teacher had started class, he assigned a new project.

Past:

  • Having started class, the teacher assigned a new project.

With after:

  • After starting class, he assigned a new project.

Now, you know if a sentence begins with because or after, and is in the past, you can start the reduction with having and the past participle.