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A CONJUNCTION is a part of speech that is chiefly used to connect sentences, joining two or more simple sentences into one compound sentence: it sometimes connects only words; as, "Thou and he are happy, because you are good."

Conjunctions are those parts of language, which, by joining sentences in different ways, mark the connexions and various dependances of human thought. They belong to language only in its refined state.

The term CONJUNCTION comes from the two Latin words, con, which signifies together, and jungo, to join. A conjunction, then, is a word that conjoins, or joins together something. Before you can fully comprehend the nature and office of this sort of words, it is requisite that you should know what is meant by a sentence, a simple sentence, and a compound sentence, for conjunctions are chiefly used to connect sentences.

A SENTENCE is an assemblage of words forming complete sense.

A SIMPLE SENTENCE contains but one subject, or nominative, and one verb which agrees with that nominative; as, "Wheat grows in the field."

You perceive that this sentence contains several words besides the nominative and the verb, and you will often see a simple sentence containing many parts of speech; but, if it has only one nominative and one finite verb, (that is, a verb not in the infinitive mood,) it is a simple sentence, though it is longer than many compound sentences.

A COMPOUND SENTENCE is composed of two or more simple sentences connected together; as, "Wheat grows in the field, and men reap it."

This sentence is compound, because it is formed of two simple sentences joined together by the word and; which word, on account of its connecting power, is called a conjunction. If we write this sentence without the conjunction, it becomes two simple sentences: thus, "Wheat grows in the field. Men reap it."

The nature and importance of the conjunction, are easily illustrated. After expressing one thought or sentiment, you know we frequently wish to add another, or several others, which are closely connected with it. We generally effect this addition by means of the conjunction: thus, "The Georgians cultivate rice and cotton;" that is, "They cultivate rice add cotton." This sentence is compound, and without the use of the conjunction, it would be written in two separate, simple sentences: thus, "The Georgians cultivate rice. They cultivate cotton." The conjunction, though chiefly used to connect sentences, sometimes connects only words; in which capacity it is nearly allied to the preposition; as, "The sun and (add) the planets constitute the solar system." In this, which is a simple sentence, and connects two words.

A few more examples will illustrate the nature, and exhibit the use of this part of speech so clearly, as to enable you fully to comprehend it. The following simple sentences and members of sentences, have no relation to each other until they are connected by conjunctions. He labors harder—more successfully—I do. That man is healthy—he is temperate. By filling up the vacancies in these sentences with conjunctions, you will see the importance of this sort of words: thus, He labors harder and more successfully than I do. That man is healthy because he is temperate.

Conjunctions are divided into two sorts, the Copulative and Disjunctive.

I. The Conjunction Copulative serves to connect and continue a sentence by joining on a member which expresses an addition, a supposition, or a cause; as, "Two and three are five; I will go if he will accompany me; You are happy because you are good."

In the first of these examples, and joins on a word that expresses an addition; in the second, if connects a member that implies a supposition or condition; and in the third, because connects a member that expresses a cause.

II. The Conjunction Disjunctive serves to connect and continue a sentence by joining on a member that expresses opposition of meaning; as, "They came with her, but they went away without her."

But joins on a member of this sentence which expresses, not only something added, but, also, opposition of meaning.

The principal conjunctions, may be known by the following lists, which you may now commit to memory. Some words in these lists, are, however, frequently used as adverbs, and sometimes as prepositions; but if you study well the nature of all the different sorts of words, you cannot be at a loss to tell the part of speech of any word in the language.


Copulative. And, if, that, both, then, since, for, because, therefore, wherefore, provided, besides.

Disjunctive. But, or, nor, as, than, lest, though, unless, either, neither, yet, notwithstanding, nevertheless, except, whether, whereas, as well as.

Some conjunctions are followed by corresponding conjunctions, so that, in the subsequent member of the sentence, the latter answers to the former; as,

1. Thoughyet or nevertheless; as, "Though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor."

2. Whetheror; as, "Whether he will go, or not, I cannot tell." It is improper to say, "Whether he will go or no."

3. Eitheror; as, "I will either send it, or bring it myself."

4. Neither—nor; as, "Neither thou nor I can comprehend it."

5. Asas; as, "She is as amiable as her sister."

6. Asso; as, "As the stars, so shall thy seed be."

7. Soas; as, "To see thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary."

8. Sothat; as, "He became so vain, that everyone disliked him."

Book: Reflection on the Important Things