What Are Correlative Conjunctions?
Common Correlative Conjunctions
In the following list you can learn common correlative conjunctions used in English:
Correlative Conjunctions: Uses
Since these conjunctions relate words, phrases, and clauses to each other, It is important to know what each pair does. Study the following table carefully:
|Conjunctions used to join words and phrases||Conjunctions used to join clauses|
|Not only...but also||Not only...but also|
In this lesson, we are going to discuss some of them in more details.
When indicating two possibilities or choices, we often use the correlative conjunction pair 'either...or'. It is used to present a choice between two options and can be used to connect words, phrases, or independent clauses. Let us examine some examples below:
You have to choose
Here, the pair is used to join two words.
As you can see, the pair is used to connect two independent clauses.
'Neither...nor' are used to present a negative choice between two options. They are the opposite of 'either...or' and are used to indicate that neither of the two options is true or applicable. They can be used to connect words, phrases, or independent clauses. Let us study some examples below:
Here, the pair is used to connect two words.
Please note that when the words being connected are singular, we use a singular verb with both these pairs. However, if either of the words is plural, we can use a plural form of the verb. Compare the following examples:
Here, since one of the nouns is plural, we use the plural form of the verb.
As you can see, since both nouns are singular, the singular form of the verb is used.
When we want to indicate two options or possibilities, we can use 'whether...or'. However, this pair is only used to join independent clauses. Take a look at the following examples:
I don't know
You must decide for yourself
Please note that when we use this pair in a negative sentence, we can use different structures:
You must decide for yourself
When we want to draw a comparison between two things or people that are similar, we mainly use the pair 'as...so'. Take a look at the following examples carefully:
As you can see, 'just' can be added to this pair to make it a bit informal.
'Both...and' is used to connect two elements that are true or applicable at the same time. It can be used to connect words, phrases, or clauses. Study the following examples carefully:
He did an excellent job
You can have
When joining two subjects together, it is important to remember that the verb must agree with the subject that is closest to it. Take a look at the following examples:
Either the child or the
As you can see, the second subject and the verb are both singular.
Either the child or his
Here, both the subject and the verb are plural.
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