For Example :
- John and Peter are good students (John is a good student and Peter is a good student)
- ‘He is poor, but honest’ (It is a contracted way of saying ‘He is poor but he is honest)
- Two and two make four. (The conjunction and joins two words together)
Types of Conjunction
- Mainly there are three types of Conjunctions, each of these conjunctions has a different purpose, but these all work to bring words together. The three types of Conjunctions are named below :
- Coordinating Conjunction
- Subordinating Conjunctions
- Correlative Conjunction
- Coordinating conjunctions are the conjunctions which mainly connect sentence elements of the same grammatical class. The main coordinating conjunctions are: and, but, for, or, nor, also, either…or, neither…nor.
For example :
- Jack and Jill went up the hill. (Here the coordinating conjunction and connects two nouns.)
- He worked diligently and patiently. (Here the coordinating conjunction and connects two adverbs.)
Subordinating Conjunctions :
- A conjunction that joins together clauses of unequal rank or importance is called a subordinating conjunction. A subordinating conjunction connects a noun clause or an adverb clause to some other clause.
- Note that subordinating conjunctions are not used to connect adjective clauses. A subordinating conjunction is also sometimes called a dependent word or subordinator, comes at the beginning of a Subordinate (or Dependent) Clause and establishes the relationship between the dependent clause and the rest of the sentence.
Example: I told him that he should consult a doctor.
Here that joins together two clauses of unequal rank. I told him is the main clause, and that he should consult a doctor is a subordinate clause which is the object of the verb told in the main clause.A subordinating conjunction connects a noun clause or an adverb clause to some other clause. Note that subordinating conjunctions are not used to connect adjective clauses.
- I returned home after he had gone.
- I have not seen him since we moved into this city.
- Some conjunctions are used in pairs. They are called correlative conjunctions. Correlative conjunctions are usually coordinating in nature because the sentence fragments they connect tend to be of equal rank.
- As you know, a coordinating conjunction connects two independent clauses. A subordinating conjunction, on the other hand, connects a dependent clause to an independent clause.
- Either…or: Either take it or leave it.
- Neither…nor: I will neither take it nor leave it.
- Not only…but also: They not only looted the shop but also set it on fire.
- Whether…or: I don’t know whether I should stay or leave.
- Both…and: She is both beautiful and intelligent.
- So…that: She was so tired that she could not walk.
- Such…that: It was such a hot afternoon that we decided to stay indoors. (Here the correlative connects the two clauses: It was a hot afternoon and We decided to stay indoors.)
- Scarcely …when: I had scarcely closed my eyes when someone knocked on the door.
- As (many/much) … as: You are not as clever as you think you are.
- Rather … than : I would rather read a book than watch TV.
- No sooner … than : She no sooner completed one project than she started working on the next.
Note: Candidates sometimes wrongly use when in this structure of 'No sooner' sentences. Remember that sooner is a comparative word and hence it should be followed by than, not when.
- Look at the below table to get the better idea of these 3 types of conjunctions :
|Coordinating Conjunctions||Correlative Conjunctions||Subordinating Conjunctions|
Some Important Conjunction:
The word since can be used as an adverb and a conjunction. When it is used as a conjunction, it can express time and cause.
As a conjunction since means ‘from the past time when’.
- Where have you been since I last saw you?
- It is just a week since we arrived here.
- I have never seen him since that unfortunate event happened.
The conjunction since may also mean as.
- Since we have no money we can’t buy anything. (= As we have no money we can’t buy anything.)
The conjunction or is used to introduce an alternative.
- Is it green or blue?
- You can have tea or coffee.
Sometimes or is used as an equivalent to and.
- The troops were not wanting in strength or courage, but they were badly fed. (= The troops were not wanting in strength and courage…)
The conjunction if means ‘on condition that’; ‘supposing that’.
- If you want to go there I will take you.
- If it rains we shall not go.
If can mean ‘when’ or ‘whenever’.
- If I don’t wear my spectacles, I get a headache.
If is also used to express wish or surprise in the structure if only.
- If only I had known that. (Emphasizing one’s regret that one did not know it.)
That is simply a connector. It is used to express a reason or cause.
- His manners are so bad that nobody invites him to a party. (= Nobody invites him to a party because his manners are so bad.)
- Bring it to the light so that I can see it better.
After can be used as a conjunction, as a preposition and as an adverb. As a conjunction "after" connects two clauses. For example :
- After he finished his studies, he went to America.
- He arrived after everybody had gone home.
While is a subordinating conjunction. It is mainly used to indicate time. It can also show contrast.
- Strike while the iron is hot.
Here the conjunction while shows time. More examples are given below.
- Someone phoned while you were out.
- While playing football, I sprained by ankle.
While can show contrast. In the following sentences, 'while' shows contrast.
- While some children learn fast, others need extra help.
- While Peter is warm and friendly, his brother is quite moody.
However, can be used as a subordinating conjunction.
- However poor he may be, he is not going to beg.
- You can arrange the tables and chairs however you want.
However can also be used as an adverb. In this case, it is followed by an adjective or another adverb.
- However hard she tried, she couldn’t control her emotions.
Sometimes, however is used as a conjunctive adverb. In this case, it usually goes at the beginning of the sentence and is separated from the rest of the sentence by a comma.
- However can also go in other positions in a sentence.
- He was confident of his success. His coach, however, wasn’t all that sure.
8. Unless and until
Unless shows condition. It means ‘if not’. Until means ‘up to the time when’.
- I won’t be able to open the box unless you give me the keys.
- I will wait here until you come back.
It is used in a negative sense.In most cases, It replaces “so that……not….”. When we use 'Lest' in an Active sentence, it is followed by should and in passive sentences is followed by should be.
- Be careful lest you should be robbed again.
- Hurry up lest you should miss the bus.
Correct Use and Important rules of Conjunction :
- Conjunctions are used to connect words, phrases or clauses. We need only one conjunction to connect two clauses.
1)Except and unless
Except cannot be used as a conjunction in place of unless.
- Incorrect: I will not come except you invite me.
- Correct: I will not come unless you invite me.
Except is a preposition. It should be followed by a noun or noun-equivalent. For example :
- He ate everything on his plate except potatoes. (NOT He ate everything on his plate unless potatoes.)
2)Except and without
The preposition without also cannot be used in place of unless.
- Unless you leave my house, I will call the police. (NOT Without you leave my house, I will call the police.)
Without is a preposition. It should be followed by a noun or noun equivalent. For example :
- Without your help, I would have failed. (NOT Except your help, I would have failed.)
3)Like and as
Like is a preposition. It cannot be used to connect two clauses. It should be followed by a noun or noun equivalent which acts as its object.
- She looks like her mother.
As is a conjunction. It should be followed by a clause.
- She walks as her mother does. (NOT She walks as her mother.)
Some common mistakes of Conjunctions
1. We need just one conjunction to join two clauses :
Incorrect: As soon as he got the telegram, at once he started.
- Correct: As soon as he got the telegram, he started.
- Correct: He got the telegram and started at once.
2. When we use a correlative conjunction, the same kind of word should go after the two parts of the conjunction. So, for example, if you use a noun after neither, you have to use a noun after nor. If you use an adjective after neither, you have to use an adjective after nor.
- Incorrect: Neither Sam is intelligent nor ambitious. (In the sentence, Neither Sam is intelligent nor ambitious, the word neither is followed by a noun (Sam) and the word nor is followed by an adjective (ambitious). This makes the construction wrong.)
- Correct: Sam is neither intelligent nor ambitious.
- Incorrect: Neither he is a thief nor a rogue.
- Correct: He is neither a thief nor a rogue.
- An article is a word which comes before a noun. It is used to modify the Noun.
- The noun can be a person, place, thing or an idea. The article is basically an adjective, but adjectives modify nouns through some description but articles are used instead to point out or refer to nouns.
- Articles will tell the reader whether we are referring to a general or specific thing.
Now understand the below examples:
- I ate an apple yesterday. The apple was juicy and delicious. (In the first sentence, the apple is being introduced. In second sentence speaker and listener both know about that apple.)
- I have found a solution to the problem. (The solution is not yet known to the listener.The problem is known to the speaker and the listener)
- A teacher needs patience. (General, Here we are talking about any teacher in random)
- I would like to talk to the headteacher. (Specific, Here we are talking about a particular person who is a teacher)
- You must consult the doctor. (Which doctor? It could be your family doctor.)
- You must consult a doctor. (Which doctor? It could be any doctor. Here the speaker does not have a particular doctor in mind.)
Types of Articles
- Articles are classified into two types, which are :
- Definite Articles
- Indefinite Articles
- The word "The" is called as a Definite article. "The" refers directly to a specific noun or groups of nouns.
- It means the Definite article is used to refer to a noun(Person/Thing etc), that has already been mentioned.
- "The" is used in a sentence when we are talking about a person or thing that is known to both the writer and the reader.
- Thank you for the advice you gave me.
- The dog is very friendly
The definite article (the) can be used before singular countable nouns, plural countable nouns and uncountable nouns. We use "The" in following conditions :
- Use the to refer to something which has already been mentioned :
Example: On Monday, an unarmed man stole $1,000 from the bank. The thief hasn't been caught yet.
- Use the to refer to people or objects that are unique.
Example: The sun rose at 6:17 this morning.
- Use the before superlatives and ordinal numbers.
Example: This is the highest building in New York.
- Use the with adjectives, to refer to a whole group of people.
Example: She has given a lot of money to the poor.
- Use the with decades.
Example: He was born in the seventies.
- Use the with clauses introduced by only
Example: The only tea I like is black tea.
- Use the with names of geographical areas, rivers, mountain ranges, groups of islands, canals, and oceans. Use the with the names of famous buildings, works of art, museums, or monuments.
Example: Our ship crossed the Atlantic in 7 days.
I would like to visit the Eiffel Tower.
- Use the with countries that have plural names. Use the with countries that include the words "republic", "kingdom", or "states" in their names.
- Do you know anyone who lives in the Philippines
- She is visiting the United States.
- There are two indefinite articles in the English Language, which are 'A' and 'An'. We differentiate between 'A' and 'An' on the basis of sound and not on basis of spelling.
- An is used before the words which begin with a vowel sound. For example, an apple, an egg, an orange, an umbrella, an hour (H is mute when we pronounce hour), an heir etc.
- A is used before words which begin with the consonant sound. For example, a boy, a tree, a ball, a flower, a horse, a hole, a European and a university.
The indefinite articles 'A' and 'An' are used in the following cases :
- When you introduce a person or thing for the first time.
- When you don’t expect the reader/listener to understand who or what you are talking about.
- If you are really hungry, you can eat an apple.
- We are looking for an apartment.
When not to use 'Articles'
1. Before uncountable nouns
We do not use articles before uncountable and abstract nouns used in a general sense.
- Honey is sweet. (NOT The honey is sweet.)
- Sugar is bad for your teeth.
- Wisdom is better than riches.
- Virtue is its own reward.
Note: Uncountable nouns take the article the when used in a particular sense.
- Would you pass the sugar? (= the sugar on the table)
We cannot use the indefinite article or numbers with uncountable nouns.
- Water (NOT a water) (NOT two waters)
- Weather (NOT a weather) (NOT two weathers)
2. Before plural countable nouns
We do not use articles before plural countable nouns used in a general sense.
- Children usually rush about.
- Computers are useful machines.
Note : Plural nouns take the article the when they are used in a particular sense.
- Where are the children? (Which children? Our children)
3. Before proper nouns
We do not use articles before the names of countries, people, continents, cities, rivers and lakes.
- India is a democratic country. (NOT The India …)
- Paris is the capital of France. (NOT The Paris …)
4. Before the names of meals
We do not use articles before the names of meals.
- Mother is cooking lunch.
- Dinner is ready.
We use a when there is an adjective before breakfast, lunch, dinner etc. We use the when we are talking about a particular meal.
- I had a late dinner yesterday.
- The lunch we had at the restaurant was very good.
5. Before languages
We do not use articles before the names of languages.
- Can you speak English? (NOT Can you speak the English?)
- They speak French at home.
6. Before school, college, university, church, bed, hospital, prison etc.
- His dad is still in hospital.
- We learned English at school.
- He is at university.
The is used before these words when the reference is to the building or object rather than to the normal activity that goes on there.
- I met her at the church. (Here the reference is to the building and not to the activity that is going on there.)
- I went to the hospital to see my friend.
7. Before Profession -
Do not use 'The' before any profession.
- Engineering is a well-paid career.
8. Before years :
Do not use the with years
Example: 1948 was a wonderful year.
Common Mistakes in use of Articles :
Below we have mentioned some important rules regarding the correct usage of the articles. Understand them properly :
When you talk about a person or thing for the first time, use the indefinite articles (a and an) with them.
- Incorrect: I saw the girl.
- Correct: I saw a girl.
Use the in subsequent references to that person or thing.
- Incorrect: A girl was very beautiful.
- Correct: The girl was very beautiful.
Use the indefinite article to talk about a person or thing not known to the speaker or the listener.
- She is going out with a French guy. (NOT She is going out with the French guy.)
We can use the in subsequent references to that person or thing.
- The French guy she is going out with is an architect. (NOT A French guy she is going out with is an architect.)
- Gold is precious. (NOT The gold is precious.)
Now Understand the following sentences :
- There is some water in the bottle. ( the word in shows the relation between two things – water and bottle.)
- He is fond of his daughter. (the word of shows the relation between the adjective fond and the noun daughter.)
- He fell off the ladder. ( the word off shows the relation between the verb fell and the noun ladder.)
Although Prepositions usually come at the starting or end of a sentence, But sometimes prepositions can also come at the end of the sentences,
- The professor asked the students to indicate the reference book they are quoting from. (The preposition 'From' is ending the sentence)
- The professor asked the students to indicate from which reference book they are quoting.
Types of prepositions
Prepositions are classified in the following categories :
1) Simple prepositions
The most common and most used prepositions comes under this category. Some examples of Simple prepostions are ''at, in, for, to, with, on, off, out, etc''.
- He is in the office.
- She sat on the bench.
- She is angry with him.
2) Compound prepositions
The propositions which are generally formed by prefixing a Preposition to a Noun, an Adjective or an Adverb are known as Compound Prepostions.
- The boys ran around the bench
- The book is inside the cupboard
- The fan is above the table
3) Phrase prepositions
Phrase prepositions are the groups of words that serve as prepositions. The words like "according to, along with, because of, in front of, by means of, on behalf of, in accordance with, in addition to, with reference to and in spite of'' are called as compound prepositions.
- Owing to his ill health, he retired from business.
- He succeeded by dint of perseverance and hard work.
- She stood in front of the mirror.
- I can’t get along with him.
Important Rules Of Prepositions
- Following are listed the important rules of prepositions to make you understand of their correct usage.
Beside and besides
Beside means ‘by the side of’. Besides means ‘in addition to’.
- They have a house beside the sea. (by the side of the sea)
- He stood beside me. (by my side)
- He plays the violin besides the piano and the guitar. (He plays three instruments.)
- Besides being a good actor, he is also a good singer. (= In addition to being a good actor, he is also a good singer.)
Since and for
Since should be used with a point of time in the past. It is used with a present perfect tense. For is used only when you refer to a period of time.
- He has been absent since Tuesday. (NOT He has been absent for Tuesday.)
- I have been ill since last week.
- He has been absent for three days. (NOT He has been absent since three days.)
- I have been ill for two weeks.
For is also used to indicate Duration , For example :
- Incorrect: I will be attending the classes regularly since Monday.
- Correct: I will be attending the classes regularly from Monday.
Use from to show the starting point only when the end point is also mentioned. In other cases, use since.
- Incorrect: I have been waiting from two hours.
- Correct: I have been waiting for two hours.
Between and among
Between is used to refer to two or three separate people or things, which means when only two parties are involved. Among is used when the reference is to a group of people or things which we do not see separately which means when more than two parties are involved.
- Divide the food among the children.
- Divide this food between Riya and Raman.
Rule 5 )
By and with
By is used to refer to the doer of the action. With is used to refer to the instrument with which the action is performed.
- The spider was killed by the boy.
- The boy killed the spider with a stone.
In and At
In is usually used with large places – countries, districts, large cities etc. At is generally used for small and unimportant places like villages, small towns etc.For example :
- We shall meet him at the club this evening.
- His brother lives in Paris.
Note: This rule is not very rigidly followed. In is often used with small places. At, however, is seldom used for big places.
On, in, at and by
At shows an exact point of time; on shows a more general point of time and in shows a period of time. For example :
- I have a meeting at 4 pm.
- The train leaves at 2 o’clock.
- I was born on a Monday.
- I was born on April 21st.
- I was born in January.
- We will visit them in the summer.
- It is very hot in the day but quite cold at night.
- We went to school on foot. (Always Use ‘on’ with foot , using 'by' with foot is incorrect)
By is also used to show the latest time at which an action will be finished. So it is usually used with a future tense. For example :
- I will be leaving by 6 o’clock.
- I hope to finish the work by next week.
On and upon
On is generally used to talk about things at rest. Upon is used about things in motion.For example :
- She sat on a chair.
- He jumped upon his horse.
With reference to time, in means at the end of a certain period; within means before the end of a certain period. For example :
- I will finish writing this book in three days. (at the end of three days)
- I will finish writing this book within three days. (before the end of three days.)
Into and Onto
The difference between into and onto is similar to the difference between in and on.
- He threw the hat onto the roof.
- When she kissed the frog it turned into a handsome prince.
Rule 11)Before, across and in front of
We do not normally use before to talk about position/place. Instead, we use in front of. The opposite of in front of is behind. As a preposition, before normally indicates the time. It is the opposite of after. Across is also a preposition which means ‘from one side to the other’.
- There were hundreds of people in front of me in the queue.
- I need to be there before 8 pm. (NOT I need to be there in front of 8 pm.)
- My sister lives across the road.
The proposition along is used with nouns that refer to things with a long thin shape. Examples are: road, river, corridor, line
- She ran along the road.
- There are trees along the riverside.
Relations indicated by use of prepositions
- We use Prepositions to show various kinds of relations among the words in sentences . Some of the most important among them are as mentioned below :
- You must return before sunset.
- Wait till tomorrow.
- We waited for hours.
- She ran across the road
- The boy fell among the bushes
- The thief was hiding behind the almirah.
3)Reason and Purpose
- She died of malaria.
- He trembled with anger.
- Smoking is injurious to health.
4)Method and manner
- The letter came by post.
- He cut the cake with a knife.
- They succeeded by hard work.
- He is a man of principles.
- Mumbai is the financial capital of India.
- I saw a boy with red hair.
6)Direction and Motion
- He fell into the well.
- She walked towards the market.
Common Mistakes in Usage of Verb with Prepositions
Below are some very common mistakes that candidates do in use of Prepositions :
1) Verbs After which No prepositions are used :
A) Resemble : We do not use any preposition after the verb 'Resemble' . It means Resemble does not take a preposition before its object.
- Incorrect: This painting resembles to that painting which we saw yesterday.
- Correct: This painting resembles that painting which we saw yesterday.
- Incorrect: The baby resembles with her mother.
- Correct: The baby resembles her mother.
B) Enter : We do not use any Prepositions after 'Enter'
- Incorrect - We entered into the compound.
- Correct - We entered the compound.
C) Discuss :
- Incorrect - Let’s discuss about your plans.
- Correct - Let’s discuss your plans.
D) Lack :
- Incorrect - She lacks in tact.
- Correct -She lacks tact.
Same as these verbs , No prepositions are used with the verbs given below :
2) Write : When write has no direct object, we put to before the indirect object.
- Incorrect: He wrote me.
- Correct: He wrote to me.
- Incorrect: Write to me a letter.
- Correct: Write me a letter.
3)Explain : The verb explain is followed by direct object + preposition + indirect object.
- Incorrect: I shall explain them this.
- Correct: I shall explain this to them.
4)Invite : Invite takes the preposition to after it.
- Incorrect: He invited me in dinner.
- Correct: He invited me to dinner.
5)Reach : The verb reach does not take a preposition before its object.
- Incorrect: He reached to the station.
- Correct: He reached the station.
6)Ask : Ask is usually followed by indirect object + direct object.
- Incorrect: She did ask any question to him.
- Correct: She did not ask him any question.
- Incorrect: We should not waste much time in small things of less importance.
- Correct: We should not waste much time on small things of less importance.
- Incorrect: He spent a lot of money in daughter’s wedding.
- Correct: He spent a lot of money on his daughter’s wedding.
Common Errors in Use of Prepositions
Some of the most common mistakes in the use of prepositions :
1) The prepositions in and on are used to show position. To say where things are going, we use into and onto.
- Incorrect: The ball rolled slowly in the goal.
- Correct: The ball rolled slowly into the goal.
- Incorrect: She ran in the room crying.
- Correct: She ran into the room crying.
2) We use in to say how soon something will happen. Within means ‘inside’ or ‘not beyond’.
- Incorrect: The train will arrive within five minutes.
- Correct: The train will arrive in five minutes.
- Incorrect : You need to complete this project in a month.
- Correct : You need to complete this project within a month.
- Incorrect: If you don’t live by your income, you will have to pay huge debts.
- Correct: If you don’t live within your income, you will will have to pay huge debts.
3) Through is used for movement in a three dimensional space.
- Incorrect: The ball went to the window ad fell on the ground.
- Correct: The ball went through the window and fell on the ground.
4) For Days , we use 'On' , For Dates , we use 'On' , For months we use , 'In' , For seasons we use 'In' , For particular time , we use 'At'. For morning and evening , we use 'In'. For night , we use 'At'.
At : at 7 o'clock; at midday; at dinner; at Christmas
In : in the evening; in Easter week; in September; in (the) winter; in 1864; in the 20th century
On : on Friday; on April 1st; on Christmas Day
- Incorrect: He wrote the book in a month’s time.
- Correct: He wrote the book in a month.
- Incorrect: We usually go and see Grandmother on Sunday.
- Correct: We usually go and see Grandmother on Sundays.
5)Care for means ‘like’ or ‘be fond of’. If you care about something, you feel that it is important or interesting.
- Incorrect: I don’t care for your opinion.
- Correct: I don’t care about your opinion.
6) 'Look at' is used to to gaze in a specified direction. 'To Look into' is used to investigate something.
- Incorrect: The manager has promised to look at the matter.
- Correct: To manager has promised to look intothe matter.
- Incorrect: What are you looking in?
- Correct: What are you looking at?
7) Since is used for 'Point of Time' . From is used for 'Period of Time'.
- Incorrect: It has been raining from Monday.
- Correct: It has been raining since Monday.
8) One of the major error that candidates do is use of with after 'speaking' -
- Incorrect: Who is the girl you were speaking with?
- Correct: Who is the girl you were speaking to?
Now, try to solve the following the following questions and post your answers in Comment Section :
- What are you doing ______ Saturday?
- I am leaving _____ the afternoon. May be ____ three o'clock pm.I am coming back ______ Sunday evening.
- The woman is looking ____ her daughter.
- Do you think it is a good idea to ban smoking ______Public Places.
- I'll be ready to leave ____ about twenty minutes.
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