A conjunction is a part of speech that joins words, phrases or clauses together and helps to form a complex sentence. Thus, conjunctions help to us to avoid the drudgery of constructing multiple sentences. Example – I walk quickly and carefully. Contrary to the popular myth, a subordinating conjunction can begin a sentence, if the dependent clause comes before the independent clause. It’s also correct to begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. Often, it’s a good way to add emphasis. However, beginning too many sentences with conjunctions should be carefully avoided, as that will cause the device to lose its force.
There are three different kinds of conjunctions––coordinating, subordinating, and correlative––each serving its own, distinct purpose, but all of them act as the glue to hold words, phrases and clauses together.
Coordinating conjunctions act as coordinators to join words, phrases, and clauses of equal grammatical rank in a sentence. The common coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. Examples – He plays cricket and tennis / He works slowly but accurately / Do your homework properly or you will be punished.
Correlative conjunctions works as a team. They come in pairs, and should be used separately in different places in a sentence to make them work. They include pairs like ‘both/and,’ ‘whether/or,’ ‘either/or,’ ‘neither/nor,’ ‘not/but’ and’ “not only/but also’. Examples – Both Samir and his wife are invited / Whether you watch the show or go home is your decision / You can either stay here or go home.
Subordinating conjunctions join a dependent (or subordinating) clause to an independent (or main) clause. A subordinate conjunction can often come first in a sentence. In English, there are lots of subordinating conjunctions, but the most common ones are after, although, as, because, before, how, if, once, since, than, that, though, until, when, where, whether, and while.
A few examples of how subordinating conjunctions are used are shown as hereunder: If you don’t agree, the contract will be cancelled / Although he is very old, he regularly walks a mile / Arabinda goes to play after finishing his homework / Even if you go now, you will miss the train.