Conjunctions Lesson for Kids: Definition & Example

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

Conjunctions are the part of speech used to connect words and groups of words. In this lesson, you will learn the three types of conjunctions and how to use them in your writing.

Conjunctions Make Connections

What do you use to connect two pieces together? If the pieces are paper, you can use glue. If the pieces are wood, you can use nails. If the pieces are fabric, you can use thread. And if the pieces are words or groups of words, you can use conjunctions. Conjunctions are words that join two or more words, phrases, or clauses.

coordinating conjunctions

Types of Conjunctions

There are three basic types of conjunctions, which we'll discuss in detail below.

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are one-word connectors that sit between the two words, clauses or phrases they're connecting. There are seven coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet.

These conjunctions join equal parts. For instance, this could mean joining two nouns (bread and butter), or it could mean joining two clauses (Julianne forgot her lunch, so her mom brought it.).

Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions are words that join forces with other words to make connections. So, they come in pairs, such as both/and, either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also. As with coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions also join equal parts.

For instance, there might be a phrase after each half of the conjunction, as in 'Mom's keys were neither on the table nor under the sofa.' Or there might be an adjective after each half of the conjunction, as in 'Max's new coat was both warm and stylish.'

Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions are used when one clause is independent and one clause is dependent. This means that there is one complete thought, and one incomplete thought. The incomplete thought starts with a subordinating conjunction.

  • Since she lost her keys, Mom had to borrow Dad's keys.

'Mom had to borrow Dad's keys' is a complete thought (an independent clause). 'Since she lost her keys' is not a complete thought (a dependent clause). 'Since' is a subordinating conjunction that joins the two together.

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