What Are Correlative Conjunctions?
Correlative Conjunctions in English
In the list below, you can see the common correlative conjunctions in English:
Correlative Conjunctions: Uses
As mentioned before, we can use correlative conjunctions to join words, phrases, and clauses. Check the table below to see how each of them can be used:
|Conjunctions thatjoin words and phrases||Conjunctions thatjoin clauses|
|not only...but also||not only...but also|
Look at the examples below:
I see that you went for
You can come
The trip was
I don’t know
Each morning either the dog or the birds
Here, 'birds' is a plural subject in the second part, so you must use a plural verb.
Each morning either the birds or the dog
Here, 'the dog' is a singular subject in the second part, so you must use a singular verb.
If we connect two nouns that are followed by a pronoun using a correlative conjunction, the second noun must agree with the pronoun that follows. Compare the examples:
Neither Sara nor her friends could hide
Neither her friends nor Sara could hide
Although grammatically correct, it may sound strange to a native speaker. To make it sound natural, use the plural antecedent in the second position so that you can choose the more natural 'their'.
The general punctuation rule for correlative conjunction pairs like 'not only...but also' is to not use a comma between the two clauses that are being connected. But, like many rules, it has exceptions:
If the second conjunction comes before an independent clause, use a comma.
The correlative conjunction 'both...and' is used to connect two elements that are true or applicable at the same time. It can be used to connect subjects or objects. Look at the examples:
'Either...or' is used to present a choice between two options. It can be used to connect words, phrases, or clauses that are similar in grammatical structure and function. When 'either...or' is used with two singular nouns, the verb can be either singular or plural. However, the singular verb form is more commonly used in formal writing, while the plural verb form is more commonly used in informal writing or speech. If either of the elements connected by 'either...or' is plural, the verb should also be plural.
The correlative conjunction 'neither...nor' is used to present a negative choice between two options. It is the opposite of 'either...or' and is used to indicate that none of the two options is true or applicable. When 'neither...nor' is used with two singular nouns, the verb can be either singular or plural. The singular verb form is more commonly used in formal contexts. If either of the elements connected by 'neither...nor' is plural, the verb should also be plural.
'Neither...nor' has a negative role in the sentence. Do not use a double negative when using 'neither...nor' in a sentence. Pay attention to the following example:
We talked about
'Whether...Or' is used to indicate a choice between two possibilities. For example:
He doesn't know
When one of these possibilities has a negative structure, we can use three different alternatives:
She has to take that job offer
Not Only...But Also
The correlative conjunction 'not only...but also' is used to connect two elements, such as nouns or whole clauses, in a sentence. It is used to emphasize that in addition to the first element, something else is also true.
The second part of 'not only...but also' can be split apart, allowing additional information to be inserted between the two words. However, 'not only' cannot be split apart in this way. Pay attention to the examples:
'As...so', or more informally, 'just as...so' is used to compare two people or things that are similar.
'Not...but' connects nouns or entire clauses. It is used to emphasize that something is true and the other one is not.
I see that you went for
As you know, conjunctions connect clauses, phrases, or nouns. Correlative conjunctions are used with clauses of the same importance. Correlative conjunctions work together and we need them in different parts of clauses.
Look at the following table to get to know correlative conjunctions.
|1. both/and||5. not only/but also|
|2. either/or||6. as/so|
|3. neither/nor||7. as/as|
|4. whether/or||8. not/but|
Look at some examples to be more clarified.
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