Conjunctions are words used to connect clauses or sentences or to coordinate words in the same clause, such as "and," "but," and "if."

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Should I put a comma before the last item in a list?

Should I put a comma before last item in list? I would like crackers, cheese and some soda. I would like crackers, cheese, and some soda.
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When to use “that” and when to use “which”?

When is it appropriate to use that as opposed to which?
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1answer
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What does “Barack Obama’s real crime is presiding while black” mean?

I thought it’s unusual for me to be able to come to the end of Maureen Dowd’s’ article without any second thoughts on her particular turn of phrases when I’ve read today’s NYT article titled “Reindeer ...
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7answers
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Are there rules about using “that” to join two clauses?

He will understand that I was not joking. He will understand I was not joking. Which of the sentences is correct? Are there any specific rules about the use of "that" in the sentences I ...
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3answers
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Alternatives to “and/or”?

As a programmer, I have no problem with seeing or using "and/or" in technical documentation. For example, I can upvote an answer that satisfies me and/or mark it as accepted. That's perfectly ...
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Can a sentence start with “Because”?

In my grade school days, I recall a teacher proclaiming to the class: You should never start a sentence with the word "Because". Of course, I've since seen lots of examples to the contrary, and ...
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3answers
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Can I use an “if” clause without “then”?

I have the following sentence: If T had still been alive, there is the great possibility that either T or C ... My teacher says that the word "then" must appear after the comma, but I think that ...
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7answers
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Is it acceptable to start a sentence with “however”?

I have heard that starting a sentence with however is wrong. What are the grounds for this view and is it still held by a majority of pedants? They would suggest changing However, some people are ...
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4answers
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When to use & instead of “and”

Are there rules of usage when using the ampersand "&" instead of "and"? Are they completely interchangeable? The ampersand seems more casual, but I'm not sure.
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7answers
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When did “while” and “whilst” become interchangeable?

I think most folk happily use either "while" or "whilst". I've a vague recollection that at one time "while" indicated the passing of time and "whilst" was essentially the same as "whereas" or ...
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5answers
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Using “And” at the beginning of a sentence

Since I first learned English, I have been holding this understanding that "and", as a conj. but unlike "but", can only connect two clauses, not two sentences ended with periods. But recently, I ...
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9answers
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Using a comma before “but”

I was once told by an English professor that a comma should never be used before but in a sentence. For years, I have followed her advice but sometimes I just feel like it just needs to be there. On ...
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6answers
960 views

Is there any valid rule discouraging the use of a certain word to start a sentence?

Is there any rule you think is valid that discourages the use of a certain word to start a sentence? Because I suspect the answer is no. But it would be good to have a blanket answer to this kind of ...
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5answers
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“Whether or not” vs. “whether”

This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job. This will depend on whether he's suitable for the job or not. This will depend on whether or not he's suitable for the job. ...
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5answers
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Is it really incorrect to start a sentence with “and”?

I know it's wrong, but I do it all the time or else my sentences would go on forever.
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8answers
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Is it correct that “etc.” can not be used together in a sentence with “for example” and “such as”?

I just read an article from a Chinese website for English teaching which mentions that point. For instance, one can't say: "I can play quite a few musical instruments, for example, the flute, the ...
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3answers
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“to be all but X”

What does "all but" mean in this expression? Today, under pressure from P2P distribution, optical disc piracy in wealthy countries is "all but eliminated" and profit margins elsewhere are slim. ...
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10answers
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Why is the sentence “She sighed, and began whispering again” grammatically incorrect?

That's a line from a Twilight book. It's a grammar mistake pointed out by this website. She sighed, and began whispering again. I don't see anything wrong with it. Is the comma the mistake?
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Using “nor” in a list without “neither”

This is the classic usage of neither/nor: I would neither hide nor run away. But is the following construction grammatical? (More than two choices, no neither) I wasn't going to play dead. ...
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2answers
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“All but” idiom has two meanings?

Here's two ways I've seen the "all, but" idiom used: "Close all tabs but this one" (Any modern application with a number of tabs might have this as an option.) It means "close all the tabs, but not ...
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7answers
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Can “hence” be used at the beginning of a sentence?

Can the word ‘hence’ be used at the beginning of a sentence? For example: Hence, I am not feeling well, I am unable to work.
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6answers
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Sentence Construction: “Just Because … Does Not Mean”

I've already found an entry on this here. However, it does not solve my problem: I just read an entry on "cross platform" from Wikipedia, in which it wrote: Just because a particular operating ...
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4answers
358 views

Is it grammatical to split either/or into different sentences?

I came across the following sentence in Wikipedia: The bitangent lines can be constructed either by constructing the homothetic centers, as described at that article, and then constructing the ...
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5answers
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Which is right, “bananas and apples” or “apples and bananas” or both?

My English teacher just asked us to write a random sentence in English. Off the top of my head I wrote "I like to eat apples and bananas". She highlighted "apples" and said: "man, this is blatantly ...
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4answers
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Should I use 'or' or 'nor'?

This document does not cover the SDK interfaces nor any other reference material. I think the above is correct, but my grammatical checker in Microsoft Word underlines nor and suggests or. Why?
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5answers
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Does “either A or B ” preclude “both A and B”?

In mathematics, "A or B" includes "A and B". Does "either" mean "A or B but not (A and B)" or does it include the possibility of "A and B"? The context might be mathematics, formal logic or ordinary ...
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5answers
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When do we need to put a comma after “so”?

I noticed that most of the times when the conjunction "so" is used at the beginning of a sentence, it is followed by a comma: So, this gets published but the fact that it is inaccurate gets ...
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Is it “Check and mate” or “Checkmate”?

I found the expression “Check and mate!” in the following sentence describing furious exchange of words between CNN host Piers Morgan and rightwing radio host and anti-gun-control propagandist Alex ...
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3answers
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Sentences beginning with “so”?

This also came up on either a BBC or CBC science program, but not as a linguistically-oriented discussion. Over the last two or three years I've noticed a lot more people starting a sentence with ...
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1answer
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The construction of “Known but to God”

The Tomb of the Unknown Solider has the engraving "KNOWN BUT TO GOD", as presumably no man knows his name, but shouldn't it read "unknown, but to God", as the default for everyone is "unknown", with ...
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3answers
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How do you make the possessive form with “He and I”-style subjects?

Despite being a native speaker of American English, I cannot find a construction that sounds natural when trying to form a possessive from coordinated subjects including a first person pronoun, like ...
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7answers
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When did the word “so” begin to be used to start a sentence?

In the last few years, I've noticed a growing usage of the word "so" to begin a sentence, especially in the context of higher education. For example: Interviewer: "What is the nature of your ...
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5answers
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Can you use two “and”s in a sentence?

For example, I like chocolate, vanilla, and lemon and orange ice cream. Indicating "lemon and orange" is a combined flavor, as an item in the list needing an initial and.
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Start a subordinate clause with “thus”

In an academic paper I'm using thus to indicate the conclusion of an argument. Today my professor said that thus should not be used in the beginning of a subordinate clause and suggested to use whence ...
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6answers
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Improper use of “Whenever”

I increasingly encounter people who misuse "whenever" when they really mean "when": Whenever I first came to St. Louis, I lived with my Aunt Judy... Bugs me to death. Obviously they are talking ...
9
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2answers
239 views

Do the tug of war rules have a typo? (“Or” vs. “nor”)

The Official Tug of War Rules (link is PDF, here is Google quickview link) say: The rope must not be less than 10 centimetres (100 mm), or more than 12.5 centimetres (125 mm) in circumference... ...
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5answers
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What is the proper usage of “not only… but also”?

I'm trying to figure out how to use "not only... but also" properly. Basically, my goal is to combine two clauses by using "not only". For negations, I've figured out two styles that both sound ...
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3answers
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Starting a sentence with two subordinating conjunctions

Is it grammatical to start a sentence with two subordinating conjunctions? For example: Because if it rains tomorrow, I will get wet, I hoped for a sunny day. It seems wrong to start a sentence ...
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3answers
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Use of “so as not to”

Which is correct? The thief carried the knife carefully so as not to cut himself. The thief carried the knife carefully not to cut himself.
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2answers
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Use of “Or”, inclusive or exclusive?

My wife and I are playing a game where you roll dice and move so many spaces in a grid "vertically or horizontally". In the use of English it is very common to say, this or the other when it comes ...
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3answers
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What rules determine the apostrophe placement in “ham 'n eggs” and similar expressions?

In expressions such as "ham 'n eggs", the conjunction 'n appears to replace and, yet there is only one apostrophe to indicate the missing a and none for the missing d (i.e., no "ham 'n' eggs"). Is ...
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2answers
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“Me and my wife” or “my wife and me”

Which is correct: me and my wife or my wife and me? The sentence in which this is used is Ms. Smith informed me and my wife that she was afraid of being accosted.
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2answers
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“Though” vs. “although”

Can we use though and although interchangeably? Somebody told me that the difference is that though cannot be used at the beginning of a sentence. Is that the rule?
7
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3answers
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Should I use a comma before “and” or “or”?

Is using a comma then an "and" or an "or" after it proper punctuation? Example: I fell over, and hurt my knee. Should I go, or not?
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“So long as” vs. “as long as”

Which phrase is more formal — "so long as" or "as long as"? Example: So long as Google Voice allows free long distance in North America, I will use it. As long as Google Voice allows free ...
7
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4answers
348 views

How should I understand “Although” in this sentence?

The following is an excerpt from a passage in Scientific American: Paleoanthropology has come a long way since Georges Cuvier, the French natural historian and founder of vertebrate paleontology, ...
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2answers
606 views

Omission of “and” in headlines

What is this phenomenon called? Is it common in all English-speaking countries?
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Is using “and/or” recommended for formal writing, or is it frowned upon?

Is using "and/or" allowed in formal writing? If not, is there general way to represent the OR binary operator with as little space as possible in written English?
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Use of “because of”

In high school, the teacher told me that because is used to answer “why” question, as below: Why you are you using my shoes? I am using your shoes because I like them. However, the use ...
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“The larger of A and B” or “the larger of A or B”

I was wondering which one is more correct between "the larger of A and B" and "the larger of A or B". I use the former, but I saw in IRS instruction for Form 1040: In most cases, your federal ...