Usage of Conjunctions

Linking words/phrases like and,but,because,therefore,if and in order,help us link our ideas together.In traditional grammar,they were called conjunctions.Let us consider: and,also,too,as well,anyway,besides and furthermore.

And is used to join two things,actions or ideas in one sentence.We can use and to join phrases and clauses,as well as sentences.

Example

  • My uncle would never steal.He worked in a bath house and never took a bath for five years.
  • Laugh and the world laughs with you;snore and you sleep alone. (Anthony Burgess)

Note: Do not start a sentence with and.

Also is used to link an idea,thing or action to another;this time from the previous sentence.It is placed directly before the verb.

Example

  • They also serve who stand and wait.(Milton)

Note: When we use the auxiliary verbs,can and have,the word also is placed after the auxiliary.

Example

  • We can also dream.We have also won laurels.

Note: With negative statements don’t use also Use either.

Too is used at the end of a sentence,when you are adding something to a list of things you have given in the previous sentence.

Example

“Hold up your right arm,”the judge said.

“Can’t,your honour.Got a shot in it.”

“Then hold up your left arm.

“”Can’t.Got a shot in that too.

“”Then hold up your leg,”the judge said,”No man can be sworn into this court,sir,unless he holds up something.”

Note: Don’t use too with negative statements.Use either.
Example

  • He didn’t smoke or drink.He didn’t gamble either.

As well is used at the end of a sentence,when you’re adding something to a list of things that you have given in the previous sentence.
Example

  • Shakespeare has written 37 plays.He has composed a sonnet sequence as well.

Note: Don’t use as well with two negative statements.Use either.

Example

  • Priya is not coming to the party.Prem can’t come either.

Anyway/Besides is used at the beginning of a sentence,when you have given one reason for something and you want to add another.This is used in informal,especially spoken,contexts.
Example

The following is supposedly a true story.Besides being true,the story is strange,weird,surprising and funny.

A Japanese rancher told reporters,in July,in Tokyo that he herds cattle by outfitting them with pocket pagers (beepers),which he calls from his portable phone.After a week of training,the cows associate beeping with eating and hustle up for grub.

Furthermore is used at the beginning of a sentence,to add a more important fact than the one you gave in the previous sentence.This is used in formal,written contexts.

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This article has been written by Dr V Saraswathi for Times of India

Learn to be precise

This article is published in the Tuesday  issues of Deccan Chronicle .

Micmanz Lanugage Improvement series

The two words that you should keep in mind when you are writing are precision and clarity. Avoid long words and sentences. Remember you are writing to make your audience feel, think and be one with your story/essay and not to show them that you know your vocabulary! So choose the right word and make sure it fits into the context of what you are saying. After you have written your story or essay, read it and ask yourself what every word means. Long words like those ending in -ation,-lity, -ise, -isation, -ational tend to make your writing laborious and difficult to understand. Therefore use them as little as possible. Ask yourself if you can make your sentence shorter and crisper by removing these words.
Example: The student brought about the organisation of the school assembly.
Right usage: The student organised the school assembly.
Example: The usage of the words baffled many.
Right usage: The use of the words had many baffled.

Words like usage, methodology and functionality should be changed to a simpler method. Be specific in the choice of your words. Never use vague language.
Example: The newspaper industry made apparent significant financial gains this year.
Right usage: The newspaper industry made a lot of money OR the newspaper industry showed large profits.