Using Conjunctions

Conjunctions connect words, phrases, clauses, or sentences, that work together to make the progression of your ideas clear and fluent. There are several different kinds of conjunctions:

  • Coordinating
  • Correlative
  • Subordinating 
  • Conjunctive Adverbs


Connect words, phrases, and clauses using seven conjunctions that are easy to remember. Just remember the acronym FANBOYS.

  • for        
  • and​​​ - Bob crossed the bridge, and his dog followed him hesitantly.
  • nor                        
  • but - The bridge was beautiful, but it was also old and scary.       
  • or        
  • yet - His dog was loyal, yet scared.     
  • so


Pairs of conjunctions, like a tag-team, that will link equal or related elements in a sentence. 

  • Either…or - Either the bridge must be repaired, or it will fail.
  • Neither…nor                
  • Not only…but also - Not only is Bob concerned, but he’s also angry.
  • Both…and - Both the mayor and the city council are at fault.
  • Just as…so    
  • Whether…or


Create a bridge for a subordinate (dependent) clause, and clarifies the relation to the rest of the sentence. Examples:

  • Unless he demands action, the bridge will never be fixed.
  • After seeing how scared his dog was, Bob determined to act.

Commonly used subordinating conjunctions include the following:

  • after
  • although
  • as
  • because
  • before
  • even if
  • even though
  • if
  • in order that    
  • once
  • provided that
  • rather than
  • since
  • so that
  • than
  • that
  • though
  • unless    
  • until
  • when
  • whenever
  • where
  • whereas
  • wherever
  • whether
  • while
  • why


Connect the relationship between two sentences by showing contrast, comparison, sequence, or cause and effect. Note: conjunctive adverbs do not make the sentences they are attached to dependent, so be careful to punctuate them correctly. Use a semicolon to separate the sentences, with a comma after the conjunctive adverb (if it’s at the beginning of the sentence), before the conjunctive adverb (if it’s at the end of the sentence), or on both sides of the conjunctive adverb (if it’s in the middle of the sentence). Examples:

  • Bob began getting signatures on a formal petition; otherwise, the mayor and city council would just continue to ignore him.
  • He felt better once it was turned in; his action was important, furthermore, in getting his fellow citizens involved.

Commonly use conjunctive adverbs used include the following:

  • also
  • meanwhile
  • furthermore                    
  • indeed
  • besides
  • namely
  • likewise
  • finally
  • therefore
  • anyway
  • similarly
  • moreover
  • however
  • instead
  • certainly
  • then
  • thus