Common mistakes with conjunctions

May 4, 2012pdf

Here is a list of mistakes students often make in the use of conjunctions.

  • Incorrect: The teacher asked that why I was late.
  • Correct: The teacher asked why I was late.

Not all verbs can be followed by a that-clause. Ask is one of them. What’s more, one conjunction is enough to join two clauses – we do not use two.

  • Incorrect: When I reached there then it was raining.
  • Correct: When I reached there, it was raining.

We need just one conjunction to join two clauses.

  • Incorrect: No sooner we reached the station, the train left.
  • Correct: No sooner did we reach the station, than the train left.
  • Incorrect: Not only he abused me but also beat me.
  • Correct: Not only did he abuse me but he also beat me.

When a negative expression comes at the beginning of a sentence, we use an inverted word order. That means the auxiliary verb comes before the subject. Note that only the auxiliary verb is inverted. The rest of the verb goes after the subject.

  • Incorrect: Unless you do not try, you will never succeed.
  • Correct: Unless you try, you will never succeed.
  • Correct: If you do not try, you will never succeed.

Unless means if…not. Therefore it is wrong to use another not in a sentence with unless.

  • Incorrect: There is no such novel which you mention.
  • Correct: There is no such novel as you mention.
  • Incorrect: The doctor asked me to avoid fatty foods such that cakes or hamburgers.
  • Correct: The doctor asked me to avoid fatty foods such as cakes or hamburgers.

Such as can be used with a noun to introduce examples.

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