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English definition of “conjunction”


noun [C] (CONNECTING WORD)    /kənˈdʒʌŋk.ʃən/ (written abbreviation conj)
B2 a word such as 'and', 'but', 'while', or 'although' that connects words, phrases, and clauses in a sentenceParts of speech Grammar:ConjunctionsConjunctions are linking words like and, or, but, then and because:See moreGrammar:And, but, either … or, etc. (coordinating conjunctions)Coordinating conjunctions connect items which are the same grammatical type, e.g. words, phrases, clauses. The most common coordinating conjunctions are and, or, but.See moreGrammar:After, although, as soon as, etc. (subordinating conjunctions)Common subordinating conjunctions are: after, (al)though, as, before, if, since, that, until, when, whereas, while, once, so, as soon as, provided that. When a clause follows these conjunctions, it becomes a subordinate clause, which needs a main clause to make a complete sentence.See moreGrammar:Position of subordinating conjunctionsWords and phrases such as above all, anyway, as a result, as well, eventually, firstly, however, overall, rather, then, therefore, though, on the contrary (linking adjuncts) can create similar meanings to conjunctions (e.g. adding, cause and effect). These words are adverb phrases and can come in any position which an adverb can occupy:See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: addingSee moreGrammar:Adding with andOne of the main uses of conjunctions is to add phrases and clauses together. The most common conjunction for adding is and:See moreGrammar:Adding with and … tooSee moreGrammar:Adding with as well as and in addition toAs well as is more common than in addition to. In addition to is more formal and used more in writing than in speaking:See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: causes, reasons, results and purposeConjunctions describing causes, reasons, results and purpose are subordinating conjunctions.See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: causes, reasons and resultsThe following conjunctions are commonly used to connect causes/reasons and results. Because, as and since are very similar in meaning.See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: purposeWe use the following conjunctions to talk about purposes or goals. So and so that are more common than so as and in order that. So as is rather informal. In order that is more formal than the others.See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: contrastingThe conjunctions but and although/though connect ideas that contrast. Whereas is also used but it is not as common:See moreGrammar:ButBut is a coordinating conjunction used to connect ideas that contrast. Coordinating conjunctions connect items which are the same grammatical type.See moreGrammar:Although/thoughAlthough/though can be used to contrast ideas. Although/though are subordinating conjunctions used to connect a subordinate clause to a main clause, like after, as, before, if, since, that, even though, even if.See moreGrammar:But or although?But cannot be used in the same way as although/though. We use but to connect items which are the same grammatical type (coordinating conjunction).See moreGrammar:Even though, even ifEven though and even if are also used as subordinating conjunctions in the same way as although/though. Even though is similar to although but it makes a stronger contrast:See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: typical errors[from a brochure advertising an English course in London]See moreGrammar:Conjunctions: timeWhen, after, before, until, since, while, once, as and as soon as are subordinating conjunctions which can be used to connect an action or an event to a point in time.See moreGrammar:When, once, as soon asWe can use when, once, as and as soon as to talk about a specific point in time when something happened or will happen:See moreGrammar:Before, after and untilWe use before and after to talk about the order of events in the past or future. With before and after, either the main clause or the subordinate clause can come first:See moreGrammar:WhileWe use while to show that actions or events happen at the same time in the past, present or future:See more
(Definition of conjunction noun (CONNECTING WORD) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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