A conjunctive adverb connects two independent clauses or sentences. Other adverbs modify or add to a word, but a conjunctive affects two sentences. The word “conjunctive” comes from the Latin for “join together.”
A conjunctive adverb brings together two complete thoughts. Each clause can stand on its own as a sentence. The first clause is followed by a semi-colon. Sometimes there is a comma after the conjunctive adverb.
Following is a list of conjunctive adverbs: also, anyway, besides, certainly, earlier, finally, further, for instance, for example, however, hence, in addition, instead, later, likewise, moreover, namely, next, now, nevertheless, on the other hand, otherwise, perhaps, so, still, then, therefore, thus, and undoubtedly.
Conjunctive adverbs can be grouped according to function. This may help you understand them a bit better:
- Sometimes their function is addition, and examples of these would be: “in addition, next, still, also, and again.”
- Comparison is another way they work, such as words like “also, likewise, and similarly.”
- Concession is sometimes made with words like “granted and of course.”
- Adverbs like “although, instead, in spite of, and regardless”, show a contrast.
- Sometimes emphasis is the function, with words like “indeed, of course, and certainly.”
- Conjunctive adverbs can illustrate with words such as: “for example, namely, thus, and in conclusion.”
- Words that summarize include: “all in all, that is, in summary, and finally.”
- Time can be referred to with these words: “before, meanwhile, furthermore, lately, now, since, and thereafter.”
Conjunctive adverbs are also called adverbial conjunctions. Here are a few examples to further illustrate what they do for sentences.
- I wanted to see a scary movie; however, my friend wanted to see a comedy.
- You need to concentrate on your studies; otherwise, you will fail the class.
- The thunder and lightning were intense; consequently, the crowd dispersed.
- He enjoyed getting a new tie; nevertheless, a sports car would have been a better gift.
- We really need to go to the mall; in addition, we should see a movie.
- Conjunctive adverbs act like conjunctions; however, they are adverbs.
Conjunctive adverbs can also function as a regular adverb and modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb. In this case, they will not need extra punctuation. Here is an example: “He was accordingly very interested in jazz.” In this sentence the word “accordingly” is acting like an adverb and modifying the verb “interested.”
Many times a conjunctive adverb will start a sentence and need a comma after it since it appears before an independent clause. Following are some examples:
- Therefore, I will eat green eggs and ham.
- In other words, English is a hard language.
- Above all, we must try and save the planet.
Parts of Speech
Other major parts of speech are nouns, verbs, adjectives, and pronouns. Following are explanations and a few examples of each.
- Nouns are words for things, places, people, objects, and ideas. Examples include: “whale, tree, belief, house, John, country, love, teacher, and cat.”
- Verbs are words of action or describe a state of existence. They can also be helpers. Some action verbs would be “swim, walk, fly, need, desire, and read.” Verbs that are a state of being include: “am, are, is, was, being, be, been, and were.” Some helping verbs are “will, may, have, does, should, and could.”
- Adverbs change, or modify, verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs. Many end with “ly” so they are easy to spot. Examples include: “really, briskly, usually, completely, and absolutely.” Adverbs that do not end in “ly” are like: “here, there, inside, somewhere, always, kind of, almost, so, and to some extent.”
- Adjectives slightly change or describe nouns and pronouns and are usually close to the word that are modifying. Some good examples are: “green, lazy, tall, thin, deep, sweet, fancy, poor, tiny, soft, thunderous, severe, delicious, and brilliant.”
- Pronouns are substitute words, taking the place of nouns. Pronouns include: “I, she, he, it, them, they, which, him, her, you, none, and me.”