Connector Summary (Connectives, Conjunctions)



Connector Diagnost: identify specific points that need review

Overview of Coordinators, Subordinators & Prepositional Heads

Connector Review: overview of connective words that relate phrases and clauses


The day was cold and windy.

They day was cloudy, windy and also cold.

It was cloudy and windy.  Also, it was cold.

The wind was strong as well as cold.

Besides being windy, it was also cold.

The day was windy  and cold. In addition, it was bright and clear.

It was bright, clear and windy. Moreover, it was cold.

It was bright, clear and windy.  Furthermore, it was cold


FANBOYS: join words, phrases and clauses with coordinators

fan boy

She danced and waved a fan. 

She danced and waved a fan, and he played the flute. 


And / In addition: join sentence elements and sentences 


Anne is an actress.  Normally, she acts and sings.  

Anne acts, sings and dances.  In addition, she directs theater productions. adds information

You should see Anne. She acts, sings and dances. Moreover, she looks like the main character. adds a conclusive fact

Besides being funny, he is also young and smart.  adds information

Hire him because he is young and smart.  Besides, he is funny!   adds a conclusive fact or argument


And so / too: reduce a repeated verb in a joined clause

new toy

My brother has a new toy, and so do I.   (American English)

My brother has a new toy, and so have I.  (British English)

My bother got a new toy, and I did too.  

My brother got a new toy,  but I didn't. 

You got a new toy, didn't you?   Yes, I did.  / No, I didn't.

Too / Either: add a positive or negative comment

new toy

I am eight today, and my cousin is too.  

I am not a child, and my cousin isn't either.   

I am excited. Me too (informal) / I am too!

I am not worried.  Me either (informal) / I am not either!

Nobody helped me.  Me either (negative pronoun)

We barely understand it. Me either. (negative adverb)


Both and: join sentence elements with paired expressions


Both the movie and the play were good.  

Not only the movie but also the play was good.  

Neither the movie nor the play was good.  

Either the movie or the play was good. I can't remember.  

Or / Either…or / Neither…nor: express one or the other or both


That store sells Nike or Adidas. (They have one brand.)

You'll can buy the shoes at Macy's or Penney's. (Both)

That store sells neither Nike nor Adidas. (Both not carried)

You can buy the shoes at neither Macy's nor Penney's.  (Both not)

They don't sell Adidas, nor do they think it necessary.  (connective with SV inversion)


But / But still:  state contrast or contrary outcome

sugar with coffee

like sugar in my coffee, whereas Edward likes black coffee.

I like sugar in my coffee in contrast to Edward who likes none.

One the one hand, I like sugar in my coffee.

On the other hand, Edgard does not!

I shouldn't eat sugar, but still I do.

Though I shouldn't eat sugar, I do.

I shouldn't eat sugar.  Nevertheless, I do.


But not / Except: state an exception 

Picky eater

He likes vegetables but not carrots.

He likes vegetables except (for) carrots.

Jack does nothing all day except [to] eat and sleep

He isn't interested in anything except eating and sleeping.

Jack eats nothing but hamburgers.

Jack ate all but one hamburger. 



But / Though: express defeat versus challenge

job seeker

Brian planned on attending a job fair, but the line was very long.   (It discouraged him..)

Brian planned on attending a job fair though the line was very long.   (He stood in it anyway.)

Result Clauses

So / Such that: emphasize qualities and characteristics

Meteor Shower

The meteor storm was so beautiful that we watched it all night.

It was such a beautiful meteor storm that we watched it all night.

We will learn so much interesting information that it will take years to process it.  (quantity)

We will learn such interesting information that it will take years to process it.  (quality)

So that: express purpose vs. effect

Meteor Shower

We stayed up all night so that we could watch a meteor storm.

We stayed up late, so we were able to see the meteor storm as it passed.


Subordinating Preposition—Cause-Effect

Because of / Despite: indicate a causal or non-causal relationship (adverbial prepositions)


Because of the gas explosion / an  exploding gas line, several homes burned down. (reason)

Due to old age, the pipe cracked. (reason)

On account of the accident, all pipes are being inspected. (reason)

New regulations were enacted owing to the lessons learned. (reason)

Despite their quick arrival, the firemen could do nothing. (contrary reasoning)

The fire burned the neighborhood inspite of the effort of fire fighters. (contrary reasoning)


Because of / By: indicate cause vs. method

Demonstrations in Egypt

Demonstrators protested because of high unemployment. reason

Demonstrators protested by marching in the street. means

Progress was made because of the opposition leaders. reason

Progress was made by the opposition leaders.  agent

Because Clauses: express cause-effect with a reduced clause

working hard

Because Tom worked so hard, he earned a good salary. (same time)

Working so hard, Tom earned a good salary. (same time)

Because Tom had been working so hard, he needed a vacation.

Having worked so hard (earlier time), Tom needed a vacation.

Cause & Effect: indicate a causal relationship

Girls School

She married at the age of thirteen because she had no other options.

She had no other options. Consequently, she married at the age  of thirteen.

Illiteracy results from a poor childhood education.

A poor childhood education results in illiteracy.


Subordinating Preposition—Reason / Concession Clause

Because/Though: express reason versus concession (logical vs. illogical response)

Snow travel

He wore his winter pants because it was snowing. Schools were closed because of the snow.

It was snowing.  For this reason, the schools were closed.

He was biking in his shorts though it was snowing.

The schools were open in spite of the cold temperature.

It was snowing.  Nevertheless, the schools were open.

Cause-Effect Review: express cause and effect relationship

Newton's Cradle

His computer froze, so he hit it.

He hit it so hard that he damaged the keyboard.

He took it to a repair center because it needed a new keyboard.

He paid a lot to have it fixed.  As a consequence, he never hit his computer again.


Subordinating Preposition—Temporal Clause

After/ Before/ When: indicate time-relative activities

Dog coming in door

When I call the dog, she comes.

After I call the dog, she comes.

Before I call the dog, I open the door.

After I take the dog out, we'll sit down for a while.

When / While: indicate same-time (synchronous) activities

Talking on phone and looking at newborn

When you called, he picked up his cell phone.

While he was talking on the phone, the baby slept.

By the time: view relative progress or completion


By the time I leave work, the sun will be setting. (ongoing)

By the time I leave work, the sun will have set. (completed)

After / Before -ing: express time-relative activities w/ reduced clauses


While John was walking home, he came across a skunk.

While walking home, John came across a skunk.  

Walking home, John came across a skunk. 

Walking home from school, *a skunk sprayed John. 

Subordinating Preposition—Comparative Clause

Rather than: express preference or avoidance

walk to work

We would rather walk to work than drive. (coordinator: X and not Y)

We walk to work rather than drive. (X and not Y)

We walk to work rather than get caught in traffic.  (subordinator: choosing X to avoid Y)


Connector Paragraph: relate ideas in a paragraph with cause-effect connectors


She looks around to make sure other girls are noticing her.  When asked why she dresses the way she does, she says that she likes it.  ______ it seems that the reason for her behavior is more complex.

Connector Edit: find conjunction, adverb and transition word errors

mall parking

*We had to go home even we hadn't found what we were looking for.


Parallel Phrasing: coordinate like word forms with and and but

matched cherries - slot machine

*My English is improving slow but surely.

My English is improving slowly but surely.

Sentence Editing: edit for errors (general)


*Because I needed to miss a board meeting, so I notified the speaker.


Related Pages

Clause/ Fragment: identify larger parts of a sentence


*Each year, millions of people travel to the U.S. In fact, eighty-six million.   (fragment)

Put your suitcase down. *Over there. (fragment)

*How about a visa? (fragment)


*Yellow highlighted words are examples of incorrect usage.

Run-on Sentences: identify simple and compound sentences


My friend and I blogged and read over his shoulder.

My friend blogged, and I read over his shoulder.

Participle w/ Prep: express reaction to circumstances or things


The children were interested in hearing his story.
The press was excited about the President's speech.

The President is pleased with the response.
The President is pleased with how the people responded.

He is interested in and excited about his new project.

For Example / That is to say: add examples or clarification

e.g. and i.e.

Calcium is in green leafy vegetables, for example, broccoli, kales, arugula, and spinach.

There is calcium in vegetables such as broccoli, kales, arugula, and spinach.

Cruciferous vegetables (i.e., Brassicaceae) have flowers shaped like a cross.