What is a Conjunction?
Conjunction is a word which is used to coordinate or join two or more sentences, words, principal clauses or other parts of speech which are of the same syntactic importance. There are two types of conjunctions – coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.
A conjunction whose function is to connect parts of a speech of the same grammatical clause is called a coordinating conjunction. In other words, we can say that a coordinating conjunction is a word in speech which connects phrases with phrases, nouns with nouns, adverbs with adverbs and clauses with clauses. The most commonly used conjunctions are ‘and, or, but, nor, so, for, either-or, neither-nor’
- John made pizza and Ricky made burger. (Here the conjunction ‘and’ joins the clauses ‘John made pizza’ and ‘Ricky made burger’)
- John and Ricky never spoke to each other thereafter. (Here the conjunction ‘and’ joins the nouns ‘John’ and ‘Ricky’.)
- He waited calmly and patiently. (Here the conjunction ‘and’ joins the adverbs ‘calmly’ and ‘patiently’)
- David is talented but he is very lazy. (Here the conjunction ‘but’ joins the clauses ‘David is talented’ and ‘he is very lazy’)
A conjunction whose function is to join clauses of unequal importance in speech is called a subordinating conjunction. Examples:
- I have been waiting for you since 10 O’clock.
- I have been dying to meet Bieber for such a long time now.
In above mentioned examples, two independent clauses of equal importance are joined together by ‘since’ and ‘for’ respectively. In the first sentence ‘since’ joins two clauses of unequal importance. ‘I have been waiting’ is the main clause because it makes complete sense and can stand alone. Whereas ‘since 10 O’clock’ is a subordinate clause which modifies the verb ‘have been waiting’ in the main clause. Similarly, in the second example ‘for’ joins two clauses of unequal importance.