English Language Blog

Parts of Speech in English – Conjunctions and Interjections Posted by on Jan 13, 2012 in English Grammar

The last two parts of speech that we have to cover in our review of parts of speech in English are conjunctions and interjections.  Here we go!
A conjunction is a word that “joins”.  It joins two parts of a sentence together.  There are two important ways to categorize conjunctions by their relationship and form.

First, we will look at the relationships of conjunctions.  There are both coordinating conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions in English.  Coordinating conjunctions are used to show that the elements being joined together by the conjunction are similar in importance and structure.  A subordinating conjunction joins a subordinate (or dependent) clause to a main (or independent) clause.  Here are some examples with the conjunction in bold in the example sentences.

Coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, yet, so, or
Example: James went running and walking at the park.

Subordinating conjunctions: although, because, unless, since
Example: James went running although it was raining.

The other way to categorize conjunctions is by their form.  Conjunctions have three basic forms described below with the example conjunctions in bold.

Single Word: and, but, because, although
For example: Mary and Jane have dogs.

Compound: provided that, as long as, in order that
For example: I will go to the beach provided that it is sunny.

Correlative: so…that, either…or
For example: Either you or I have to go to the bank.


Hey!  <– That is an interjection.

“Interjection” is a big name for what are often little words. Interjections are short exclamations like: Hi, Oh!, or Ah.  They do not have real grammatical value in most sentences, but we use them often in English, usually when speaking, but also sometimes in writing. When interjections are put into a sentence, the interjection has no grammatical connection to the sentence.  It is important to note an interjection is sometimes followed by an exclamation mark (!) when it is written.

This brings to a close our 5-post series on parts of speech.  You may have noticed that our review over my last five posts has proceeded from the most necessary parts of speech to the parts of speech that are not always necessary or easy to learn to use.  This was not accidental.  It is important to use all parts of speech correctly, but you have to start somewhere and getting down* the correct usage of the basic and most important parts of speech is probably the best place for you to start.

I hope this review has helped you think a little more about all the components that go into making a complete comprehensible** sentence.  It is not always easy to get your ideas across to others the way you would like to in a second language, but knowing how to put sentences together is certainly a step in the right direction to getting your message across accurately.

*getting down = learning


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About the Author: Gabriele

Hi there! I am one of Transparent Language's ESL bloggers. I am a 32-year-old native English speaker who was born and raised in the United States. I am living in Washington, DC now, but I have lived all over the US and also spent many years living and working abroad. I started teaching English as a second language in 2005 after completing a Master's in Applied Linguists and a Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults' (CELTA). Since that time I have taught ESL in the United States at the community college and university level. I have also gone on to pursue my doctorate in psychology and now I also teach courses in psychology. I like to stay connected to ESL learners around the world through Transparent Languages ESL Blog. Please ask questions and leave comments on the blog and I will be sure to answer them.