Glossary

A word that joins other words, phrases or clauses together in logical relationships such as addition, time, cause or comparison. There are two types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions are words that link words, groups/phrases and clauses in such a way that the elements have equal grammatical status. They include conjunctions such as ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘but’:

  • Mum and Dad are here. (joining words)
  • We visited some of our friends, but not all of them. (joining noun groups/phrases)
  • Did he miss the train or is it just late? (joining clauses)

Subordinating conjunctions introduce certain kinds of subordinate clauses. They include conjunctions such as ‘after’, ‘when’, ‘because’, ‘if’ and ‘that’:

  • When the meeting ended, we went home. (time)
  • That was because it was raining. (reason)
  • I'll do it if you pay me. (condition)
  • I know that he is ill. (declarative)
  • I wonder whether/if she’s right. (interrogative)