1. Education

Your suggestion is on its way!

An email with a link to:


was emailed to:

Thanks for sharing About.com with others!

An English Grammar


by W. M. Baskervill & J. W. Sewell

Preface | Introduction | Part I, Parts of Speech: Nouns | Pronouns | Adjectives | Articles | Verbs & Verbals: Verbs | Verbals | How to Parse | Adverbs | Conjunctions | Prepositions | Words That Need Watching | Interjections | Analysis: Form | Number: Simple | Contracted | Complex | Compound | Syntax: Introductory | Nouns | Pronouns | Adjectives | Articles | Verbs | Indirect Discourse | Verbals | Infinitives | Adverbs | Conjunctions | Prepositions |

294. Unlike adverbs, conjunctions do not modify: they are used solely for the purpose of connecting.

Examples of the use of conjunctions:-

They connect words.

(1) Connecting words: "It is the very necessity and condition of existence;" "What a simple but exquisite illustration!"

Word groups: Phrases. Clauses.

(2) Connecting word groups: "Hitherto the two systems have existed in different States, but side by side within the American Union;" "This has happened because the Union is a confederation of States."

(3) Connecting sentences: "Unanimity in this case can mean only a very large majority. But even unanimity itself is far from indicating the voice of God."

(4) Connecting sentence groups: Paragraphs would be too long to quote here, but the student will readily find them, in which the writer connects the divisions of narration or argument by such words as but, however, hence, nor, then, therefore, etc.

295. A conjunction is a linking word, connecting words, word groups, sentences, or sentence groups.

296. Conjunctions have two principal divisions:-

(1) Coördinate, joining words, word groups, etc., of the same rank.

(2) Subordinate, joining a subordinate or dependent clause to a principal or independent clause.


297. Coördinate conjunctions are of four kinds:

(1) COPULATIVE, coupling or uniting words and expressions in the same line of thought; as and, also, as well as, moreover, etc.

(2) ADVERSATIVE, connecting words and expressions that are opposite in thought; as but, yet, still, however, while, only, etc.

(3) CAUSAL, introducing a reason or cause. The chief ones are, for, therefore, hence, then.

(4) ALTERNATIVE, expressing a choice, usually between two things. They are or, either, else, nor, neither, whether.

298. Some of these go in pairs, answering to each other in the same sentence; as, both. .. and; not only. .. but (or but also); either. .. or; whether. .. or; neither. .. nor; whether. .. or whether.

Some go in threes; as, not only. .. but. .. and; either. .. or. .. or; neither. .. nor. .. nor.

Further examples of the use of coördinate conjunctions:-

Your letter, likewise, had its weight; the bread was spent, the butter too; the window being open, as well as the room door.

The assertion, however, serves but to show their ignorance. "Can this be so?" said Goodman Brown. "Howbeit, I have nothing to do with the governor and council."

Nevertheless, in this mansion of gloom I now proposed to myself a sojourn of some weeks.

While the earth bears a plant, or the sea rolls its waves.

Nor mark'd they less, where in the air
A thousand streamers flaunted fair.

Therefore the poet is not any permissive potentate, but is emperor in his own right. For it is the rule of the universe that corn shall serve man, and not man corn.

Examples of the use of correlatives:-

He began to doubt whether both he and the world around him were not bewitched. -Irving.

He is not only bold and vociferous, but possesses a considerable talent for mimicry, and seems to enjoy great satisfaction in mocking and teasing other birds. -Wilson.

It is...the same whether I move my hand along the surface of a body, or whether such a body is moved along my hand. -Burke.

Neither the place in which he found himself, nor the exclusive attention that he attracted, disturbed the self-possession of the young Mohican. -Cooper.

Neither was there any phantom memorial of life, nor wing of bird, nor echo, nor green leaf, nor creeping thing, that moved or stirred upon the soundless waste. -De Quincey.


299. Subordinate conjunctions are of the following kinds:-

(1) PLACE: where, wherever, whither, whereto, whithersoever, whence, etc.

(2) TIME: when, before, after, since, as, until, whenever, while, ere, etc.

(3) MANNER: how, as, however, howsoever.

(4) CAUSE or REASON: because, since, as, now, whereas, that, seeing, etc.

(5) COMPARISON: than and as.

(6) PURPOSE: that, so, so that, in order that, lest, so. .. as.

(7) RESULT: that, so that, especially that after so.

(8) CONDITION or CONCESSION: if, unless, so, except, though, although; even if, provided, provided that, in case, on condition that, etc.

(9) SUBSTANTIVE: that, whether, sometimes if, are used frequently to introduce noun clauses used as subject, object, in apposition, etc.

Examples of the use of subordinate conjunctions:-

Where the treasure is, there will the heart be also.- Bible.

To lead from eighteen to twenty millions of men whithersoever they will.- J. Quincy .

An artist will delight in excellence wherever he meets it. -Allston.

I promise to devote myself to your happiness whenever you shall ask it of me. -Paulding.

It is sixteen years since I saw the Queen of France. -Burke.

Let the world go how it will. -Carlyle

Events proceed, not as they were expected or intended, but as they are impelled by the irresistible laws. -Ames.

I see no reason why I should not have the same thought. -Emerson.

Then Denmark blest our chief,
That he gave her wounds repose.
-Campbell. Now he is dead, his martyrdom will reap
Late harvests of the palms he should have had in life.
-H. H. Jackson.

Sparing neither whip nor spur, seeing that he carried the vindication of his patron's fame in his saddlebags. -Irving.

As a soldier, he was more solicitous to avoid mistakes than to perform exploits that are brilliant. -Ames.

All the subsequent experience of our race had gone over him with as little permanent effect as [ as follows the semi-adverbs as and so in expressing comparison] the passing breeze. -Hawthorne.

We wish for a thousand heads, a thousand bodies, that we might celebrate its immense beauty. -Emerson.

So many thoughts moved to and fro,
That vain it were her eyes to close.

I was again covered with water, but not so long but I held it out. -Defoe.

A ridicule which is of no import unless the scholar heed it. -Emerson.

There flowers or weeds at will may grow,
So I behold them not.

What though the radiance which was once so bright
Be now forever taken from my sight.

It seems a pity that we can only spend it once. -Emerson.

We do not believe that he left any worthy man his foe who had ever been his friend. -Ames.

Let us see whether the greatest, the wisest, the purest-hearted of all ages are agreed in any wise on this point. -Ruskin.

Who can tell if Washington be a great man or no? -Emerson.

300. As will have been noticed, some words-for example, since, while, as, that, etc.-may belong to several classes of conjunctions, according to their meaning and connection in the sentence.


(a) Bring up sentences containing five examples of coördinate conjunctions.

(b) Bring up sentences containing three examples of correlatives.

(c) Bring up sentences containing ten subordinate conjunctions.

(d) Tell whether the italicized words in the following sentences are conjunctions or adverbs; classify them if conjunctions:-

1. Yet these were often exhibited throughout our city.

2. No one had yet caught his character.

3. After he was gone, the lady called her servant.

4. And they lived happily forever after.

5. They, however, hold a subordinate rank.

6. However ambitious a woman may be to command admiration abroad, her real merit is known at home.

7. Whence else could arise the bruises which I had received?

8. He was brought up for the church, whence he was occasionally called the Dominie.

9. And then recovering, she faintly pressed her hand.

10. In what point of view, then, is war not to be regarded with horror?

11. The moth fly, as he shot in air, Crept under the leaf, and hid her there.

12. Besides, as the rulers of a nation are as liable as other people to be governed by passion and prejudice, there is little prospect of justice in permitting war.

13. While a faction is a minority, it will remain harmless.

14. While patriotism glowed in his heart, wisdom blended in his speech her authority with her charms.

15. Hence it is highly important that the custom of war should be abolished.

16. The raft and the money had been thrown near her, none of the lashings having given way; only what is the use of a guinea amongst tangle and sea gulls?

17. Only let his thoughts be of equal scope, and the frame will suit the picture.


301. As if is often used as one conjunction of manner, but really there is an ellipsis between the two words; thus,-

But thy soft murmuring
Sounds sweet as if a sister's voice reproved.

If analyzed, the expression would be, "sounds sweet as [the sound would be] if a sister's voice reproved;"as, in this case, expressing degree if taken separately.

But the ellipsis seems to be lost sight of frequently in writing, as is shown by the use of as though.

302. In Emerson's sentence, "We meet, and part as though we parted not," it cannot be said that there is an ellipsis: it cannot mean "we part as [we should part] though" etc.

Consequently, as if and as though may be taken as double conjunctions expressing manner. As though seems to be in as wide use as the conjunction as if; for example,-

Do you know a farmer who acts and lives as though he believed one word of this? -H. Greeley.

His voice ... sounded as though it came out of a barrel. -Irving.

Blinded alike from sunshine and from rain,
As though a rose should shut, and be a bud again.

Examples might be quoted from almost all authors.

303. In poetry, as is often equivalent to as if.

And their orbs grew strangely dreary,
Clouded, even as they would weep.
-Emily Bronte.

So silently we seemed to speak,
So slowly moved about,
As we had lent her half our powers
To eke her living out.


304. In parsing conjunctions, tell-

(1) To what class and subclass they belong.

(2) What words, word groups, etc., they connect.

In classifying them, particular attention must be paid to the meaning of the word. Some conjunctions, such as nor, and, because, when, etc., are regularly of one particular class; others belong to several classes. For example, compare the sentences,-

1. It continued raining, so that I could not stir abroad. -Defoe

2. There will be an agreement in whatever variety of actions, so they be each honest and natural in their hour. -Emerson

3. It was too dark to put an arrow into the creature's eye; so they paddled on. -Kingsley

In sentence 1, so that expresses result, and its clause depends on the other, hence it is a subordinate conjunction of result; in 2, so means provided,-is subordinate of condition; in 3, so means therefore, and its clause is independent, hence it is a coördinate conjunction of reason.


Parse all the conjunctions in these sentences:-

1. When the gods come among men, they are not known.

2. If he could solve the riddle, the Sphinx was slain.

3. A lady with whom I was riding in the forest said to me that the woods always seemed to wait, as if the genii who inhabit them suspended their deeds until the wayfarer had passed.

4. The mountain of granite blooms into an eternal flower, with the lightness and delicate finish as well as the aërial proportions and perspective of vegetable scenery.

5. At sea, or in the forest, or in the snow, he sleeps as warm, dines with as good an appetite, and associates as happily, as beside his own chimneys.

6. Our admiration of the antique is not admiration of the old, but of the natural.

7. "Doctor," said his wife to Martin Luther, "how is it that whilst subject to papacy we prayed so often and with such fervor, whilst now we pray with the utmost coldness, and very seldom?"

8. All the postulates of elfin annals,-that the fairies do not like to be named; that their gifts are capricious and not to be trusted; and the like,-I find them true in Concord, however they might be in Cornwall or Bretagne.

9. He is the compend of time; he is also the correlative of nature.

10. He dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his.

11. The eye was placed where one ray should fall, that it might testify of that particular ray.

12. It may be safely trusted, so it be faithfully imparted.

13. He knows how to speak to his contemporaries.

14. Goodness must have some edge to it,-else it is none.

15. I hope it is somewhat better than whim at last.

16. Now you have the whip in your hand, won't you lay on?

17. I scowl as I dip my pen into the inkstand.

18. I speak, therefore, of good novels only.

19. Let her loose in the library as you do a fawn in a field.

20. And whether consciously or not, you must be, in many a heart, enthroned.

21. It is clear, however, the whole conditions are changed.

22. I never rested until I had a copy of the book.

23. For, though there may be little resemblance otherwise, in this they agree, that both were wayward.

24. Still, she might have the family countenance; and Kate thought he looked with a suspicious scrutiny into her face as he inquired for the young don.

25. He follows his genius whithersoever it may lead him.

26. The manuscript indeed speaks of many more, whose names I omit, seeing that it behooves me to hasten.

27. God had marked this woman's sin with a scarlet letter, which had such efficacy that no human sympathy could reach her, save it were sinful like herself.

28. I rejoice to stand here no longer, to be looked at as though I had seven heads and ten horns.

29. He should neither praise nor blame nor defend his equals.

30. There was no iron to be seen, nor did they appear acquainted with its properties; for they unguardedly took a drawn sword by the edge, when it was presented to them.

Preface | Introduction | Part I, Parts of Speech: Nouns | Pronouns | Adjectives | Articles | Verbs & Verbals: Verbs | Verbals | How to Parse | Adverbs | Conjunctions | Prepositions | Words That Need Watching | Interjections | Analysis: Form | Number: Simple | Contracted | Complex | Compound | Syntax: Introductory | Nouns | Pronouns | Adjectives | Articles | Verbs | Indirect Discourse | Verbals | Infinitives | Adverbs | Conjunctions | Prepositions |
More: Writer Directory | Book Reviews | Homework Help | E-texts | Timeline | Submit a Review |

©2017 About.com. All rights reserved.