There are eight parts of speech in English grammar. Each has unique functions and purposes, without which it is impossible to create smooth and meaningful sentences. Conjunctions are one of them and amongst the most commonly used and important ones.
In a general sense, we know that conjunctions are basically words that help join one part of the sentence to another. Further, there are three main classifications of conjunction, namely coordinating conjunction, subordinating conjunction, and correlative conjunction. But that is not all. We have one more group of conjunctions called compound conjunctions.
Compound conjunctions are nothing but the phrases of conjunctions. They also act to bring together words and provide a complete and concrete sentence. However, they are quite different from the three main types of conjunctions and have different rules that we need to adhere to. So, let us have a quick discussion below.
What are Compound Conjunctions?
By definition, compound conjunctions are phrases used to connect or link two parts of a sentence. That means they are a group of words that work as conjunctions to join two clauses together. The very fact that they are phrases or groups of words instead of a single word, they are said to be compound conjunctions, different from the other types of conjunctions.
Simply put, compound conjunctions work like any other conjunction to join or connect two clauses or parts of sentences together but in phrases. The only important point is that compound conjunctions are phrases and not individual words. Compound conjunction may have two or three words working together to form a complete sentence.
Some examples of compound conjunctions are; as well as, so that, as long as, in order that, on the condition that, etc.
Now, look at some sentences to have a better understanding:
My dog, as well as my husband, went missing for two hours last night.
Here, as we can see, the conjunction as well as is connecting the dog and the idea of the husband together. And that ultimately presents the words as the subject of the sentence.
She brought new sandals as well as a new pair of shoes.
Even here, the conjunction as well as connects the first half to the second and indicates that she did not buy a sandal only, but also a pair of shoes. This conjunction works similar to the individual conjunction and.
You can share my food as long as you pay for the bill.
Here, after as long as we use a present tense in order to refer to the future.
Some more examples are:
- We all will pass the test provided that we complete it on time.
- She will get the entry, provided that she will complete the pending work.
As long as:
- You can share my food as long as you don’t waste a bit of it.
- She can miss her classes as long as she is prepared to face the punishments.
- I went driving last night so that I feel better today.
- I am working fast so that I don’t miss the show.
As soon as:
- The dog barked as soon as he saw the cat on the window.
- The meeting started as soon as the guests arrived.
In order that:
- They cancelled the party and postponed it in order that all their friends attend it.
- We all rescheduled the show in order that everybody would be able to manage their time.
- He left the show as if he was angry with someone.
- She acted as if nothing happened last night.
On the condition that:
- I will show you my library on the condition that you will not touch any book.
- He will not punish you on the condition that you will rectify your mistake.
Compound conjunction vs correlative conjunction
While compound and correlative conjunctions seem quite similar in usage and meaning, they are both different types.
The main difference between them is that compound conjunction is a phrase of words, while correlative conjunction is a pair of words. That simply means that compound conjunctions can work with two or more words together to bring together other words in a sentence. On the other hand, correlative conjunctions are words that only work in pairs.
Let us look at some examples:
- She is neither a good player nor is she a good dancer.
- I prefer either tea or coffee.
- We have both written the theory exam and performed for the practical test.
- She is a player as well as a writer.
- I left the meeting as soon as the event got over.
- You are free to write anything as long as it has a hidden meaning.
In the above examples under correlative conjunction, the conjunctions are working as pairs. While under compound conjunction, the conjunctions are working as phrases and not strictly pairs.
There is another major difference between correlative and compound conjunctions. Correlative conjunctions join together elements, especially of the same importance. That means it connects two particular types of clauses. However, in the case of compound conjunctions, it is not necessary for them to join any particular types of clauses.
The rule for using a compound conjunction
Just like the other types of conjunctions, compound conjunction also has a specific rule that we need to adhere to while using compound conjunctions.
Compound conjunction phrases are always used together. For example, the phrase as well as or as soon as can never be used separately in a sentence, unlike correlative conjunctions. If we say, “I have a diploma in dancing as well as singing.” it will be correct. Otherwise, it would sound completely wrong.
So, we have compound conjunctions that are basically words that work together in phrases in order to bring other words in a sentence together to make it complete and meaningful. These conjunctions are equally important as the other types of conjunctions as it has similar functioning and similar purpose. However, we need to be aware of the basic points discussed today to use compound conjunctions correctly.