Lesson eleventh

Coordinating Conjunctions and Correlative Conjunctions

A conjunction joins words or groups of words in a sentence.

  • I ate lunch with Kate and Derma.
  • Because it is rainy today, the trip is canceled.
  • She didn’t press the bell, but I did.

There are three types of conjunctions: 

1.Coordinating Conjunctions
     a.Connect words, phrases, or clauses that are independent or equal
     b.and, but, or, so, for, yet, and not

2.Correlative Conjunctions 
     a.Used in pairs
     b.both/and, either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also

3.Subordinating Conjunctions 
     a.Used at the beginning of subordinate clauses
     b.although, after, before, because, how, if, once, since, so that, until, unless, when, while, where, whether, etc. 

Coordinating Conjunctions

1.And—means "in addition to":

  • We are going to a zoo and an aquarium on the same day.

2.But—connects two different things that are not in agreement:

  • I am a night owl, but she is an early bird.

3.Or—indicates a choice between two things:

  • Do you want a red one or a blue one?

4.So—illustrates a result of the first thing:

  • This song has been very popular, so I downloaded it.

5.For—means "because":

  • I want to go there again, for it was a wonderful trip.

6.Yet—indicates contrast with something:

  • He performed very well, yet he didn’t make the final cut.

Correlative Conjunctions


  • She won gold medals from both the single and group races.
  • Both TV and television are correct words.


  • I am fine with either Monday or Wednesday.
  • You can have either apples or pears.


  • He enjoys neither drinking nor gambling.
  • Neither you nor I will get off early today.

4.Not only/but also

  • Not only red but also green looks good on you.
  • She got the perfect score in not only English but also math.

Ron: Hi, I'm Ron from Hawaii. I'm here with Mari from Japan. Today we will be talking about abilities. So, Mari, are you a good cook?

Mari: I like to cook, more specifically, I like to cook for people. I like to have people over and eat with people. I don't really like to eat alone, so I don't like to cook for myself. I like to cook for other people, but more than cooking I like to bake.

Ron: Baking. What do you like to bake?

Mari: Cookies and brownies and cake.

Ron: That sounds very good. I would like to eat one of your brownies. OK, next, are you a good singer?

Mari: I am terrible at singing. I don't like going to karaoke and I don't like to sing. I like music, but I can't sing for my life. I, yesterday, or I guess in class it was a students birthday and I made my students sing Happy Birthday but they wouldn't start so I had to start them off singing and my voice was so bad, they started laughing at me, so I'm just a terrible singer.

Ron: That's funny. OK, next. Are you a good dancer?

Mari: No, I'm not a good dancer. I can't dance at all. I used to when I was younger, my parents would enroll me in ballet classes, so I did ballet for six years but I am not very good at dancing.

Ron: So, you're a teacher now right? So, were you a good student when you were a student?

Mari: I was a good student because I'm a dork. No, yeah, I think I was a good student. I tried hard in all of my classes. I always did my homework. I was always focused and took notes during class. If I didn't understand something, I would either ask questions in class or speak to the teacher or professor after class. I always really liked learning and so I think that's why I was a really good student.

Ron: And athletics? Were you a good athlete, and are you a good athlete now?

Mari: That's a tricky question. I like sports, and I like playing sports. I don't think I'm a very good athlete, probably compared to you, I'm probably not, but I really enjoy playing sports. In high school, I played soccer. I ran cross-country. I played ice-hockey and a little bit of lacrosse.

Ron: And which one was your favorite sport?

Mari: My favorite sport was ice-hockey.

Ron: Interesting.


more specifically

I like to cook, more specifically, I like to cook for people.

We use the phrase 'more specifically' when we want to give more detailed information. Notice the following:

  1. That college is famous for sports. More specifically, it is famous for football.
  2. Our company makes tires. More specifically, we make tires for large buses.

can't .... for my life

I can't sing for my life.

This phrase means we have absolutely no skill at something.  Notice the following:

  1. I can't dance for my life.
  2. My wife can't cook for her life.

a dork

I was a good student because I'm a dork.

A dork is someone who likes to study, is not usually attractive or popular, and is definitely not cool.  Notice the following:

  1. I am such a dork. I did not mean to step on you.
  2. He is such a dork, but all the girls like him.


My parents would enroll me in ballet classes.

When we enroll in something that means we join or sign up.  Notice the following:

  1. She plans to enroll at the local junior college.
  2. We just enrolled in a free Arabic class at the community center.

tricky question

That's a tricky question.

Something that is tricky is difficult to do or answer and requires that we think carefully: Notice the following:

  1. Hmm. Do I like cooking? That's a tricky question.
  2. Asking someone how much money they make is a tricky question. You need to be careful asking it.