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  ENGLISH GRAMMAR for ESL learners  


CORRELATIVE CONJUNCTIONS

Conjunctions that relate one element to another in a sentence, for example 'not only/but also'.


Correlative conjunctions work in pairs to relate one element in a sentence to another.
They work in pairs such as 'both/and', 'not only/but also', and must be used in different places in a sentence for them to work.
No commas are used unless the two elements being joined are independent clauses.
Below are some examples:


CORRELATIVE CONJUNCTIONS
As many/as -There are as many chairs as there are guests.
-We have as many plates as we need.
Barely/when -We had barely finished the match when it started to rain.
-I had barely opened my computer when the boss arrived.
Both/and -Emma liked both the location and the restaurant.
-Both the father and the son are tall.
Between/and -Between travel and work he had a tiring schedule.
-It was difficult to choose between the peach tart and the strawberry pavlova.
Either/or -Tom usually either walks to work or takes his bicycle.
-Either you stop making noise or you go to your room.
Hardly/when -The teacher had hardly begun to speak when he was interrupted.
-I had hardly started to show the graphs when the lights went off.
Neither/nor -Hugo was neither willing nor able to chair the meeting.
-He bought neither the red nor the blue jacket.
Not/but -The problem is not a lack of money but a lack of planning.
-It's not a question of difficulty but a fear of making a mistake.
Not only/but also -Diana not only plays the piano but also sings.
-Not only am I going to buy a dress but also shoes to match.
No sooner/than -No sooner had I arrived than they all started to argue.
-The boy had no sooner started to explain than his mother got angry.
Rather/than -They’d rather go to the beach than play tennis.
-I'd rather live in the country than in the city.
Scarcely/when -We had scarcely started our meal when the phone rang.
-Tom had scarcely reached the intersection when the car broke down.
So/that -The girl was so weak that she could hardly lift her head.
-The road was so icy that it was dangerous to drive.
Such/that -It was such a cold day that we decided to stay indoors.
-He had such a headache that he couldn't concentrate.
What with/and -What with her job and the children she doesn't have much free time.
-What with the virus and the bad weather we were confined indoors for weeks.
Whether/or -Jack didn’t know whether to call or to send a letter.
-You've got to go to school whether you like it or not.

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Please note that British English spelling is used on this website.

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