Remove unnecessary conjunctions from your sentences

Coordinating conjunctions are words or expressions like and, but, or, for, nor, both…and, either…or and neither…nor.

They can join clauses of equal rank or they can join parallel words or phrases.

  • The boys sang and the girls danced.

Here the coordinating conjunction ‘and’ connects the two clauses ‘The boys sang’ and ‘The girls danced’.

A coordinating conjunction can also connect words or phrases of the same kind. For example, it can connect two or more nouns or adjectives. Note that it cannot connect a noun with an adjective or verb. The words that are connected by a coordinating conjunction should belong to the same part of speech.

  • Jack and Jill went up the hill. (Here the coordinating conjunction ‘and’ connects two nouns – Jack and Jill.
  • He is not a sinner or a saint. (Here the coordinating conjunction ‘or’ connects two nouns – sinner and saint.)
  • She is clever and beautiful. (Here the coordinating conjunction ‘and’ connects two adjectives – clever and beautiful.)

Subordinating (dependent) conjunctions join clauses. They cannot join words or phrases.

Common subordinating conjunctions are: because, as, since, when, while, before, after, if, whether, until, till, though, although, even though, that, which, who, whom etc.

  • She was upset because she had failed the exam.
  • I waited for him until he came.

You need just one conjunction to connect two clauses.

Students sometimes unnecessarily add too many conjunctions because they don’t know how many clauses they have written.

Before submitting your work, you need to edit it to ensure that you have used the correct number of conjunctions in the right places.

Study the example given below.

  • I think that the express highway which will ease the traffic congestion in the city and improve the economy.

The above sentence has three clauses:

I think

That the express highway will improve the economy

Which will ease the traffic congestion in the city

You need just two conjunctions to connect three clauses, but there are three conjunctions in the above sentence.

It has to be rewritten as follows:

  • I think that the express highway will ease the traffic congestion in the city and improve the economy.

Related posts:

  1. Connecting sentences with conjunctions and transitional adverbs
  2. Beginning a sentence with and or but
  3. How to avoid run-on sentences?
  4. IELTS essays: common grammar mistakes to avoid
  5. When to set off relative clauses with commas
  6. IELTS band 8 essay sample: Should fuel prices be increased to reduce pollution?
  7. Useful connecting words
  8. Making comparisons using as…as
  9. Joining two sentences with an adjective
  10. Despite, in spite of, notwithstanding

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I'm Manjusha. This is my blog where I give IELTS preparation tips.

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