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In grammar, a conjunction (abbreviated CONJ or CNJ) is a part of speech that connects words, sentences, phrases or clauses. A discourse connective is a conjunction joining sentences. This definition may overlap with that of other parts of speech, so what constitutes a "conjunction" must be defined for each language. In general, a conjunction is an invariable grammatical particle, and it may or may not stand between the items it conjoins.
The definition may also be extended to idiomatic phrases that behave as a unit with the same function, eg "as well as", "provided that".
Many students are taught that certain conjunctions (such as "and", "but", "because", and "so") should not begin sentences. But authorities such as the Chicago Manual of Style state that this teaching has "no historical or grammatical foundation".
A simple literary example of a conjunction: "the truth of nature, and the power of giving interest" (Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Biographia Literaria)
Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators, are conjunctions that join, or coordinate, two or more items (such as words, main clauses, or sentences) of equal syntactic importance. In English, the mnemonic acronym FANBOYS can be used to remember the coordinators for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. These are not the only coordinating conjunctions; various others are used, including:ch. 9:p. 171 "and nor" (British), "but nor" (British), "or nor" (British), "neither" ("They don't gamble; neither do they smoke"), "no more" ("They don't gamble; no more do they smoke"), and "only" ("I would go, only I don't have time"). Types of coordinating conjunctions include cumulative conjunctions, adversative conjunctions, alternative conjunctions, and illative conjunctions.
Here are some examples of coordinating conjunctions in English and what they do:
Subordinating conjunctions, also called subordinators, are conjunctions that join an independent clause and a dependent clause, and also introduce adverb clauses. The most common subordinating conjunctions in the English language include after, although, as, as far as, as if, as long as, as soon as, as though, because, before, "even if", even though", "every time" if, in order that, since, so, so that, than, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, whereas, wherever, and while.
Complementizers can be considered to be special subordinating conjunctions that introduce complement clauses: e.g. "I wonder whether he'll be late. I hope that he'll be on time". Some subordinating conjunctions (until and while), when used to introduce a phrase instead of a full clause, become prepositions with identical meanings.
The subordinating conjunction performs two important functions within a sentence: illustrating the importance of the independent clause and providing a transition between two ideas in the same sentence by indicating a time, place, or cause and thus effecting the relationship between the clauses.
In many verb-final languages, subordinate clauses must precede the main clause on which they depend. The equivalents to the subordinating conjunctions of non-verb-final languages such as English are either
Such languages often lack conjunctions as a part of speech, because:
In other West Germanic languages like German and Dutch, the word order after a subordinating conjunction is different from that in an independent clause, e.g. in Dutch want ("for") is coordinating, but omdat ("because") is subordinating. The clause after the coordinating conjunction has normal word order, but the clause after the subordinating conjunction has verb-final word order. Compare:
Similarly, in German, "denn" (for) is coordinating, but "weil" (because) is subordinating: