I've heard that conjoiners (in terms of grammar) are similar to articles.

According to sources, articles can be words such as the, an, a, some (in unique cases). Conjunctions can be and, but, as well as. Are conjoiners the same as conjunctions? Or are they closer to articles instead?

My question is: Is there a clear difference between each, or can the terms be used interchangeably with one or the other (articles or conjunctions)?

You're missing an article in this sentence.


You're missing a conjoiner in this sentence.


You're missing an conjunction in this sentence.


You're missing a conjoiner in this sentence.

Or is the term conjoiner archaic and no longer is used, unless for very unique cases?


The word "conjoiner" is sometimes used in linguistic theory, but rarely in terms of English grammar.

A conjunction in English refers to a specific set of words; "and," "or," "but," "although." A conjunction is a part of speech, like a noun or a verb.

A conjoiner is a linguistics concept that refers to any linguistic construct that plays the same role. In some languages, the role of some conjunctions (especially subordinating conjunctions) are played by units other than independent words, such as verb endings.

Neither has anything to do with articles, which are separate parts of speech.

If your sentence was:

*The river ran down to sea

you would say:

You're missing an article in that sentence.

If your sentence was:

*The river wound its way down the mountain through the forest

you would say:

You're missing a conjunction in that sentence.

You would never tell someone they were missing a conjoiner, unless you were a theoretical linguist talking to another theoretical linguist.

  • Conjoiners: (Grammar) to join as coordinate elements, especially as coordinate clauses. Aren't clauses that have a coordinate relationship (i.e. when it has the same information without any dependence to the other clause) used to create sentences formed by using conjunctions or articles between their particular clauses? – Tucker Apr 25 '14 at 16:08
  • That's not a definition of "conjoiner." It's from the Dictionary.com page for "conjoiner," but if you look carefully, you'll see that it's actually the definition of "conjoin." "Conjoiner" is simply one possible noun form of "conjoin." – chapka Apr 25 '14 at 17:38

I've never heard the word conjoiner in a grammatical context, and would take it as a synonym of conjunction.

Syntactically, conjunctions and articles are utterly different.

  • Hi Colin, I came across this quite some time ago when we were discussing Shakespearean theater and how he would structure his sentences in certain way. It's been so long that I've forgotten how it is applicable, but the term has stuck with me all these years. Sadly, I cannot find anything that actually helps clarify my doubt (why I ended up posting a question). I'm starting to think that both articles and conjunctions are forms of conjoiners and the more I look into it the more I'm convinced that there is a much more complex answer to this. Perhaps I should ask what a conjoiner is? – Tucker Apr 25 '14 at 15:42
  • As I said, I've never encountered conjoiner in linguistics (though @chapka says they have) and don't know what somebody might use it to mean. But I would expect it to have some meaning to do with conjoining separate things, and I can't see any way that articles might be so described. – Colin Fine Apr 27 '14 at 11:39

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