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Linguapress English Grammar

Conjunctive adverbs

Coordinating and subordinating words 2 :
Conjunctive adverbs such as however or therefore

For other types of connectors, see conjunctions.
 Definition :
Conjunctive adverbs belong to the family of words known as connectors; they are a type of sentence adverb used in order to express a particular relationship between a first clause and a second clause that follows

Conjunctive adverbs :

These are very similar to subordinating conjunctions. The biggest difference is that conjunctive adverbs can frequently be used in a variety of positions within the subordinate clause, whereas subordinating conjunctions MUST stand at the start of the subordinate clause.

Conjunctive adverb : the position in the clause is flexible
  1. They bought a new car; it was however still too small for their family.
  2. They bought a new car; it was still too small for their family, however
  3. They bought a new car; however it was still too small for their family.
  4. They bought a new car; it was still too small however for their family.
Subordinating conjunction; only one position is possible
  1. Although they bought a new car, it was still too small for their family.

    Here are some of the most common conjunctive adverbs
  • Also, besides, furthermore, additionally, so   (additional or consequential)
  • Therefore, thus, consequently, so   (consequential)
  • Alternatively, similarly,    (comparative)
  • However, nevertheless, otherwise   (contrastive)
  • Special case:  too

Usage :

While they are both "connectors", It is important to distinguish between conjunctive adverbs and subordinating conjunctions, as they are not used in the same way. There are differences at two levels, as this table shows.

Secondary clause..... With a conjunctive adverb With a subordinating conjunction 
Examples Also, however, therefore, in fact, nevertheless, moreover,
so (meaning therefore or  and the same is true for)
Although, as, because, before, until, while, since,
so* (in the sense of purpose),  so that
Position of the secondary clause in the sentence Fixed: It must follow the main clause It can either precede or follow the main clause
Position of the connector (adverb or conjunction) within its clause. Often flexible Fixed: It must come at the start of the secondary clause

The case of too

Too means the same as also, but is used after the clause to which it applies (examples 15 and 16 below). Too can also be used as an intensifier at the end of a secondary clause introduced by and .

Different meanings of so

So, as a conjunctive adverb, can either express
  When so, is used to introduce an additional action, it is necessary to invert the subject and the auxiliary .  The same goes for the negative equivalent of so, which is nor. (Examples 6 et 7).
   For so with the meaning of purpose, see subordinating conjunctions.
   For a general overview , see specific page on Uses of So .

  1. I bought a new shirt;  I also bought some new shoes
  2. I bought a new shirt; also I bought some new shoes.
  3. I bought a new shirt; I bought some blue suede shoes also
  4. This is good cheese; besides it's made locally.
  5. There's no more beer, so we'll have to drink lemonade.
  6. I went to San Francisco last summer; so did my brother.
  7. I didn't go to San Francisco, nor did my brother.
  8. They won the state lottery, therefore they are now rather rich.
  9. He found the solution; thus he was able to finish the project in time.
  10. He found the solution;  he was thus able to finish the project in time.
  11. You can cross by ferry; alternatively you can take the Channel Tunnel.
  12. They bought a new house; it was however still too small for their family.
  13. They bought a new house; it was still too small for their family, however.
  14. Stop making that noise, otherwise I'll call the police.
  15. John went to London; Mary went there too
  16. I saw John and Mary too

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