Correlative Conjunctions

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Correlative conjunctions correlate or show a relationship by working in pairs to join phrases or words that have equal weightage or prominence within a sentence. Like most of the interesting parts of speech in English Language, correlative conjunctions are fun to use. There are some important rules to remember when using these conjunctions.  The correlative conjunctions are   “either…or” or “neither…. nor” “both… and” and “Not only … but…. also”.

1. The verbs used in the sentences with correlative conjunctions must make sense.

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

For example: Every evening, either thunderous music or naughty children distracted John from his studies.

2. The pronouns used in the sentences with correlative conjunctions must agree with the subject.

For example: Neither Suman  nor Diyanka expressed her annoyance when the students came late for class.

3. The nouns used in the sentences with correlative conjunctions connect two equal grammatical items. If a noun follows either, then a noun will also follow or.

For example: After the holidays, Gerald will either start his medical course at the University of Manchester as his dad’s wishes or join the Armed Forces as his grandfather’s hope.

4. Parallel structure should be intact when correlative conjunctions are used. Equal grammatical units need to be incorporated into the entire sentence.

For example: Not only did Mary plan a holiday for Michael, but she also bought a ticket for her nephew, Jason.

5. The correlative conjunction both. . .and adds ideas together, and therefore  a plural verb is necessary when subjects are joined.

For example :  I  liked both the movie and the play.                                                                                                                        

Posted By: Meena Mohan Das Category: Grammar

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About Meena Mohan Das

Mrs. Meena Mohan Das is an elementary school teacher in Malaysia since July1988. She was born in Kluang, a district in the state of Johor. She obtained her certificate in Teacher Training from Mohd Khalid Teacher’s Training College in Johor Bahru, Johor. Her first posting was in Kupang Primary School in Kedah where she taught for six months. Thereafter, she moved to LKTP Felda Kemelah Primary school from 1989 to 1990 and subsequently to Sri Skudai Primary School in December 1990 till present. She has been the Head of the English Language Panel since 1995 in the present school. She has also been a recipient for a Merit Award in 2006 for excellent performance in school.  She obtained her Bachelor of Education in TESL in University Putra Malaysia in 2002. In 2014 she graduated from University Teknologi Malaysia with Masters in Teaching of English as a Second Language.  The research topics done are “Use Of Mind-Mapping and Flashcards in Vocabulary Development among Year 5 Students” and “Process Writing to Enhance Writing Abilities among Year 5 Students”. She has co-authored a journal with Dr Shanthi Sandaran on “The Importance of Vocabulary Development for English Language Teaching and Learning: The Malaysian ESL Context”. 

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