IELTS Basic Grammar - Conjunctions

Conjunctions are words used to link words, phrases or clauses. Some common conjunctions are and, but and or.

and, but and or

Use 'and' to link words that are similar.

"We buy fruit and vegetables at the grocery store."
"The president visited towns and cities across the country."
"The house is warm and comfortable."

Use 'but' to link words that are different and do not normally go together.

"He works quickly but neatly."
"The teacher is firm but fair with the children."
"The musicians are young but very talented."
"The weather was sunny but cold. "

Use 'or' to talk about choices.

"You can have a soda or lemonade."
"Would you like pasta or rice?"
"Who is cooking the dinner, Mom or Dad?"
"Does the sauce taste sweet or sour? "

Conjunctions Linking Phrases
Use the conjunctions and, but and or to link phrases. The phrases in these examples are printed in colour.

"We like going shopping and visiting museums."
"I tell my parents and my best friend all my secrets."
"Some of my toys are dirty and a bit broken."
"The car is very old but still very reliable."

Conjunctions with Lists
Use the conjunctions "and" and "or" with lists of words. Remember to put a comma between the words. Then use and "or" or "between" the last two words.

"We bought milk, eggs, cheese and butter."
"My favourite teachers are Mr. Lee, Mrs. Carter and Mr. Park."
"In the morning I get up, take a shower, eat breakfast and brush my teeth."
"Kathleen didn’t have any paper, pens or pencils. "

Conjunctions that Join Sentences
Conjunctions are also used to join two sentences to make them one. Here are some examples with and, but and or.

"Mom is working in the garden. Dad is busy in the kitchen."
"Mom is working in the garden and Dad is busy in the kitchen."
"Sam is playing football. Eric is reading a book."
"Sam is playing football and Eric is reading a book."
"I switched on the TV. There were no interesting programs on."
"I switched on the TV, but there were no interesting programs on. "

Conjunctions of Time
The conjunctions before, after, since, until, when, while, as and as soon as are used to say when something happens. They are called conjunctions of time.

"Take the toy out of the box before you throw the box away."
"Before you leave the house, be sure that you’ve got your backpack."
"I usually do my homework after I have my dinner."
"After I went to bed, I heard a strange noise downstairs. "

Conjunctions of Place
The conjunctions where and wherever are used to talk about places. They are called conjunctions of place.

"Does anybody know where Mr. Carter lives?"
"Where the road is narrow, big trucks can’t get through."
"The dog follows Andrew wherever he goes. "

Conjunctions of Reason
The conjunctions because, since, as and in case tell why someone does something. They are called conjunctions of reason.

"I sat down because I was feeling tired."
"Because we arrived late, we missed the beginning of the play."
"I took an apple since it was the only fruit in the bowl. "

Conjunctions of Purpose
The conjunctions so, so that and in order to tell what the purpose of something is. They are called conjunctions of purpose.

"Let’s write down the address so we don’t forget it."
"We left early so that we wouldn’t be late."
"John took a map so that he wouldn’t get lost."
"I hid the comics under the bed so that nobody could find them."
"She goes jogging every morning in order to keep fit."


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