Common errors with conjunctions
A conjunction is merely a connecting word. It has no other function in the sentence. In most languages of European origin, clauses are joined together by conjunctions in similar ways. However, students who speak non-European-type languages often experience some problems in using English conjunctions correctly.
One conjunction for two clauses
One conjunction is enough to join two clauses.
- Although he is poor, he is honest.
- He is poor but he is honest.
- (NOT Although he is poor, but he is honest.)
- Because I liked him, I tried to help him.
- I liked him so I tried to help him.
- (NOT Because I liked him, so I tried to help him.)
Correct use of some conjunctions
Unless means if not, so it will be superfluous to introduce another not into the following clause.
- Unless you give the keys of the safe, you will be shot.
- OR If you do not give the keys of the safe, you will be shot.
- (NOT Unless you do not give the keys of the safe, you will be shot.)
- Take care lest you fall. (NOT Take care lest you do not fall.)
- Take care lest you should fall.
- Book your tickets early lest you should miss this chance.
Than, as and that
Than is used after comparative adjectives and adverbs. As and that are not used after comparatives.
- She is taller than me.
- (NOT She is taller as me.)
- (NOT She is taller that me.)
- She has got a bigger house than I have.
As is used in comparisons of equality. Than and that are not used in this way.
- My hands were as cold as ice.
- Your eyes are the same colour as mine.
Sections in this article
Common errors with adverbs New!
Common errors with conjunctions New!
Expressing a condition
Expressing a concession or contrast
Common errors with adjectives
Common errors with pronouns
Common errors with nouns and noun phrases
Causative use of Have