Mistakes in the use of conjunctions

February 8, 2013pdf

Students sometimes add too many conjunctions because they do not remember exactly how many clauses they have written. Therefore before you submit your work, you have to edit it and make sure that you have the correct number of clauses.

Read the following sentence.

  • Incorrect: I think that the new shopping mall which will improve the economy and create more jobs.
  • Correct: I think that the new shopping mall will improve the economy and create more jobs.

This sentence contains the unnecessary conjunction which. Because of the conjunction ‘which’ the dependent subject of the noun clause (‘the new shopping mall’) has no verb. The clause ‘which will improve the economy and create more jobs’ is an adjective clause modifying the noun ‘shopping mall’. As a result of this the noun clause is incomplete. By removing which you can also remove the adjective clause and create a complete noun clause: that the new shopping mall will improve the economy and create jobs.

More examples are given below.

  • Incorrect: Because the new shopping mall will improve the economy and create jobs, so I support it.

This sentence has just two clauses, but it also has two conjunctions. Since one clause in the sentence must be an independent clause, it must not have a conjunction. In other words, if a sentence has just two clauses, we need only one conjunction.

  • Correct: Because the new shopping mall will improve the economy and create jobs, I support it.
  • Correct: The new shopping mall will improve the economy and create jobs, so I support it.

If a sentence has three clauses, we need just two conjunctions.

  • It was Copernicus who proved that the sun was the center of the universe. (Three clauses and two conjunctions)
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