Correlative Conjunctions

Correlative Conjunctions

Either … or, neither … nor, and not only … but also, and the list is long are called correlative conjunctions. Correlative conjunctions are paired conjunctions that link balanced words, phrases, and clauses that carry equal importance within a sentence.

  • both-and
  • whereas-therefore
  • whether- or
  • as-as
  • not-but
  • whether- or not
  • just as-so
  • although-yet
  • if-then
  • since-therefore
  • when-then
  • although-nevertheless
  • scarcely-when
  • no sooner-than
  • such-that
  • so-that
  • though-yet

are all correlative conjunctions. A paired conjunction (such as not only . . . but also) that links two equal grammatical items. The elements connected by correlative conjunctions are usually parallel, that is, similar in length and grammatical form. Each element is called a conjoin.Correlative Conjunctions:

THREE THINGS TO BE CAREFUL ABOUT:

1/When you use correlative conjunctions, be careful about

verb agreement–> If you connect two subjects with a correlative conjunction, the second one must agree with the verb that follows.

Examples:
    • Every single morning either mum preparing fruits pancake or dad and my little brother listening to the radio make me feel at home.
  • Every single morning either dad and my little brother listening to the radio or mom preparing fruits pancake makes me feel at home.

2/When you use correlative conjunctions, be careful about pronoun agreement–> If you 

connect two antecedents with a correlative conjunction, the second one must agree with the pronoun that follows.                     

Examples: 
    • Neither mum nor my grand parents showed their anger when my little brother breaks the expensive vase from china.
  • Neither my grand parents nor mum showed her anger when my little brother breaks the expensive vase from china.
3/When you use correlative conjunctions, be careful about parallel
structure–> Either … or, neither … nor, and not only … but also require special attention when you are proofreading for parallelism. Be sure that you have equal grammatical units after both parts of the conjunction.   
Examples: 

3-1/You can have two main clauses like this:

  • Not only did my father fall in love with my cat, but he also prepared a delicious dish of milk and crackers for her.

3-2/Or you can shorten the sentence with two prepositional phrases:

  • My father prepared a dish of milk and crackers  not only for my cat but also for my raccoon.

3-3/Or you can have two nouns as this version does: 

  • My father prepared milk and crackers for not only my raccoon but also my cat.
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