You know what a conjunction is, you’ve mastered coordinating conjunctions, and you’re pretty sure you understand subordinating conjunctions; there’s only one more hurdle now between you and total conjunction domination: correlative conjunctions. Well fear not, Grammar Conquistador. You are about to be victorious.
What Are Correlative Conjunctions?
Correlative conjunctions are sort of like tag-team conjunctions. They come in pairs, and you have to use both of them in different places in a sentence to make them work. They get their name from the fact that they work together (co-) and relate one sentence element to another. Correlative conjunctions include pairs like “both/and,” “whether/or,” “either/or,” “neither/nor,” “not/but” and “not only/but also.”
- I want either the cheesecake or the frozen hot chocolate.
- I’ll have both the cheesecake and the frozen hot chocolate.
- I didn’t know whether you’d want the cheesecake or the frozen hot chocolate, so I got you both.
- Oh, you want neither the cheesecake nor the frozen hot chocolate? No problem.
- I’ll eat them both - not only the cheesecake but also the frozen hot chocolate.
- I see you’re in the mood not for dessert but appetizers. I’ll help you with those too.
Here are some more pairs of correlative conjunctions:
- as/as - Bowling isn’t as fun as skeet shooting.
- such/that - Such was the nature of their relationship that they never would have made it even if they’d wanted to.
- scarcely/when - I had scarcely walked in the door when I got the call and had to run right back out again.
- as many/as - There are as many curtains as there are windows.
- no sooner/than - I’d no sooner lie to you than strangle a puppy.
- rather/than - She’d rather play the drums than sing.
Study correlative conjunctions flashcards.
Correlative Conjunctions Hook It Up
Correlative conjunctions are more similar to coordinating conjunctions than to subordinating conjunctions in that the sentence fragments they connect are fairly equal. Subordinating conjunctions connect independent and dependent clauses, which have totally different functions. Coordinating conjunctions and correlative conjunctions, on the other hand, connect words and phrases that carry equal weight in the sentence.
For example, “both/and” connects either two subjects or two objects:
- Both Jon and Lauren enjoyed the movie. (subjects)
- Jon enjoyed both the movie and the popcorn. (objects)
“As/as” compares nouns using an adjective or an adverb:
- Peter is as tall as Jeff.
- A lion can’t run as fast as a cheetah.
“Not only/but also” can connect nouns or entire clauses:
- I’m going not only to the concert, but also backstage!
- Not only will I see your ten, but I’ll also raise you twenty.
Congratulations! You now know everything there is to know about correlative conjunctions. You are now ready to take on the world!
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"Correlative Conjunctions." YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 18 June 2018. <http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/conjunctions/correlative-conjunctions.html>.
Correlative Conjunctions. (n.d.). Retrieved June 18th, 2018, from http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/conjunctions/correlative-conjunctions.html