Go Back to English GRAMMAR LESSONS
A conjunction is a word that “joins” two ideas or words together in a sentence.
There are three different types of conjunctions:
- coordinating conjunctions
- subordinating conjunctions
- correlative conjunctions
Correlative conjunctions, like coordinating conjunctions, connect words, phrases, and clauses that are grammatically equal.
either / or
neither / nor
both / and
whether / or
as / as
not only / but also
just as / so
We ate both eggs and steak for breakfast.
He is as tall as Peter. However, he is not as tall as Sarah.
Remember that some correlative conjunctions still needs commas ( , ) after the second clause:
Just as they did for their son, so they did for their daughter.
Not only did he pay for dinner, but he also bought us lunch the next day.
When connecting subjects, ensure that the verb and pronoun agrees with the second subject:
Neither Mandy nor the other students are doing their homework.
(here the verb and pronoun agree with 'the students' which is plural)
Neither the other students nor Mandy is doing her homework.
However, for both / and, use the plural agreement.
Both Mandy and the other students are not doing their homework.
Either / or
“Either / or” describes only one choice must be made among a list of items:
You can have either a soda or a milkshake, but you can't have both!
We are thinking about going to either Hawaii or Vancouver for our vacation.
I could either go to university, take a year off, or study part-time and work.
Neither / nor
“Neither / nor” indicates that all choices are rejected:
I will neither eat the meat nor the vegetables!
Neither the wife nor the husband make an effort to heal their marriage.
Whether / or
“Whether / or” indicates that all choices are suitable for a specific result:
Whether we have good times or bad times, I will always love you.
Whether rain or shine, the picnic is still on for Saturday.
We always have a good time together whether we are working or playing.