Commonly used Conjunctions in English Grammar

Use FANBOYS to memorize the conjunctions

Commonly used Conjunctions in English Grammar

As we all know English Language is given more importance than our mother tongue. Wherever you go, be it corporate jobs, competitive exams for Graduate and UG level, or online survey and query, English Language is widely used as the primary language of communication. To develop a good command over English Language, it is essential to have Grammar concepts in place.

To facilitate this, we bring to you this post on important rules of ‘Conjunctions’. Let’s quickly understand what Conjunctions are and their usage.

What is Conjunction, and its types?

A Conjunction is a word which connects two words, phrases or sentences.

Compound Sentence

A Compound Sentence is formed when two independent clauses are connected by a co-ordinate conjunction.

Co-ordinate Conjunctions are:-For-And-Nor-But-Or-Yet-So.

The acronym FANBOYS can be used to memorize these co-ordinate conjunctions.

For instance: He wants to play basketball for his school, but he has had trouble meeting the academic requirements.

Complex Sentence

A Complex Sentence is formed when a dependent clause is connected to a principal clause by a sub-ordinate conjunction.

Commonly used subordinate conjunctions are:

For instance: Because he wanted to play for his team, he refused to go for the movie.

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative Conjunctions are used in pairs. They are used to link two parts of a sentence. They include pairs like ‘both/and’, ‘just as/so’, ‘either/or’, ‘neither/nor’, ‘not only/but’.

After going through two types of conjunctions, let’s understand important rules that will come handy during spoken and written English. Also, this will help you in your entrance exams questions based on Error Spotting, Sentence Correction and Fill in the Blanks.

Some commonly used conjunctions are:

  1. Unless/Untill
  • These are used in negative connotation.
  • They are used in the place of “if….. not….”
  • ‘Unless’ is used in conditional sentences and ‘until’ is used for time.

For instance:

Unless you work hard, you will not succeed.

Until you reach the station on time, you will miss the train.

  1. Lest

It is used to express negative meaning.

It is used in place of  “so that……not…..”

‘Lest’ is used in Active sentences and is followed by should, while in passive sentences it is followed by should be.

For instance:

  • Be careful lest you should be robbed again.
  • Hurry up lest you should miss the flight.
  1. Although/Though

Although/Though are used with two opposite statements. It is used in conjunction with ‘yet’.

For instance:

Although he lives in a small house, yet he is contended.

  1. As if/As though

‘As if’ is always followed by were.

For instance:

  • She behaves as if she were my boss.
  1. Amongst

‘Amongst’ is used for more than two people or things.

For instance:

  • Sweets should be distributed amongst the group members.
  1. Neither/nor
  • Neither/nor are used to deny or negate words and phrases.
  • Nor’ is the negative form of ‘or’.

For instance: Neither the students nor the teacher was present in the class.

Test corner

It’s time to evaluate what you have learnt.

He left _______ I had come.

(a) and        (b) but         (c) since      (d) enough

_______   I am ill I cannot go.

(a) Although (b) But       (c) As          (d) For

Is he a friend_______   a foe?

(a) and        (b) for         (c) from       (d) or

I shall do it____   I am allowed.

(a) if            (b) whether          (c) provided if       (d) since

I wonder_______ he will come.

(a) for         (b) since      (c) whether (d) that

Keep practicing and improve your concepts.


Also read, Top 10 English Grammar mistakes

Solve Sentence Correction question in English Language section