Friday, 27 September 2013

Correct usage of Conjunctions(with examples)

     Correct usage of Conjunctions

a. 'Except' is not now used as a conjunction equivalent to unless.

Example:(1 one is wrong,2 one is correct)
  1. She shall not come except you need her.
  2. She shall not come unless you need her.

b. The adverb 'like' is often wrongly used as a conjunction instead of 'like as' or 'as'.

She dances like her mother does.
She dances as her mother does.

c. 'Scarcely' should be followed by 'when' and not 'than'.

Scarcely had I completed the homework, than my friends came running.
Scarcely had I completed the homework, when my friends came running.

d. The phrase 'seldom or ever' is meaningless. We should say 'seldom or never'.

Such people seldom or ever believe what you say.
Such people seldom or never believe what you say.
          e. While using correlative conjunctions, such as 'either...or, neither...nor, not only...but also,'ensure that they are followed by the same part of speech.

She not only lost her reputation, but also her money.
She lost not only her reputation, but also her money.

f. 'Directly' should not be used as a conjunction where 'as soon as' would in every way be better.

Directly the class was over, the students rushed out.
As soon as the class was over, the students rushed out.

g. 'No sooner' is followed by 'than', and not by 'but'.

No sooner did the class get over, but the students rushed out.
No sooner did the class get over, than the students rushed out.
     h. 'Neither' is followed by 'nor' and not by 'or'.

He accompanied neither his mother or his father.
He accompanied neither his mother nor his father.

Additional information for correct usage of Conjunctions:

Mistakes are often committed in case of positioning certain conjunctions like 'not only...but also'. These 'not only' and 'but also' must be placed immediately before the words to be joined. Remember that a conjunction always connects the words of the same part of speech (e.g. n-n, pro-pro, v-v, adj-adj, adv-adv) and of the same rank.

Observe the samples below:

Not only John but also Jack is intelligent (n-n).
The dog bit not only me but also him (pro-pro).
She not only sings but also dances (v-v).
He is not only intelligent but also industrious (adj-adj).
You have to speak not only loudly but also lucidly (adv-adv).
      2. Mistakes are common in correlating some of the conjunctions. Observe the following correlations and the examples.

'though' is followed by 'yet', (not : but)
'such' by 'as/that' 
'so' by 'that'

Though she is rich, yet she is not proud (not : but).
You are such a good orator that the audience simply gets carried away.
This year it is so cold that we cannot move about after five in the evening.

3. 'Unless' means 'if not' thus another 'not' with 'unless' is excessive.

Unless you do not have patience, you may never finish knitting the sweater.
Unless you have patience, you may never finish knitting the sweater.

In the same way 'until' which expresses time cannot include another 'not' :

'I did not ask him until he did not return my book'.
'I did not ask him until he returned my book.'

     4. Every conjunction has its specific function . For example 'that' is to state something, 'if' to express condition; similarly 'since', 'as' and 'for' are often used instead of 'because' which indicates cause of these 'because' and 'since' are strong enough to express cause while 'as' and 'for' are weak to express the same.

Nobody complained because everyone was satisfied.
She needs house help as she has been ill.
We ought to be good to others, for we are human beings.
Since he is poor, I help him.

5. The conjunction 'while' indicates only continuous action and 'when' a definite as well as continuous action.

She was reading while we were playing.
When we reached there, it was raining.

     6. Either 'how' or 'when' should connect the verb 'know' and its following infinitive : as,

He does not know to convince customers
He does not know how to convince customers

7. The conjunction 'lest' (= that not) must be followed by 'should', not by 'might'.

Run fast lest you should miss the bus (not : might).
-Otherwise the above is simply accepted : as,
Run fast lest you miss the bus (without 'should').
Hold him tight lest he runs away.

Note: The expression 'lest' is not commonly used today.

8. When 'as if' is used to express pretension, 'were' is used with all persons, singular and plural.

He feels as if he were the greatest.
Don't command us as if you were the boss here.

9. Correct Order of Words: The following is the usual order of words in an English sentence:

a. The subject usually comes before the verb.

Rama killed Ravana.

b. The object usually comes after the verb.

Rama killed Ravana.

c. When there is an indirect object and also a direct object, the indirect precedes the direct.

Give me your pen.

d. When the adjective is used attributively it comes before the noun, which it qualifies.

I like the transparent pen with the sharp nib.
She is a beautiful woman.

e. When the adjective is used predicatively, it comes after the noun.

Hari is asleep.
The teacher became angry.

f. The adjective phrase comes immediately after the noun.

The tips of the pens are made of fine fibre.

g. The adverb is generally placed close to the word, which it modifies.

The child never cries.
Jill is a rather lucky girl.

Note: When an adverb is intended to modify the sentence as a whole, it is placed at the beginning of a sentence.

Certainly they couldn't have succeeded in the task.

h. All qualifying clauses are placed as close as possible to the words which they qualify.

The dog that barks does not bite.
Those who wish for success should not be lazy.
     Note: It is essential to place all qualifying words, phrases and clauses as near as possible to the words to which they refer.

10. Question Tags: When we converse with people, we sometimes make a statement and ask for confirmation. Ex: "That is an easy question, isn't it?" The second part of this (isn't it?) is called a Question Tag.

Note: The subject of a question tag is always a pronoun; a noun should never be used.

Note: The sentence pattern for a question tag is as follows:

a. If the statement is positive: auxiliary + n't + subject.

It is nice, isn't it?
He is honest, isn't he?
She is beautiful, isn't she?
They have come, haven't they?
I am lucky, aren't I?

     b. If the statement is negative: auxiliary + subject.

It is not nice, is it?
He is not honest, is he?
She is not beautiful, is she?
They have not come, have they?
I am not lucky, am I?

Additional information about Question Tags:

If the statement is positive, the question tag will be negative, and vice versa.
The components of a tag question are just the subject and the verb of the statement.
The subject of a tag question is always a pronoun, never a noun.
Only an auxiliary verb, not a main verb, must go into a question tag.
The 'not' in a negative tag question should be contracted into "n't" and added to the auxiliary preceding it.

The tag question 'isn't it?' must be sparingly used, for a question tag must necessarily agree with its statement in subject, number, verb and tense.