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Conjunctive adverbs

What is a conjunctive adverb?

Conjunctive adverbs are parts of speech that are used to connect one clause to another. They are also used to show sequence, contrast, cause and effect, and other relationships.

Like other adverbs, conjunctive adverbs may be moved around in the sentence or clause in which they appear. This is just one of the things you’ll need to remember; additional rules for using conjunctive adverbs follow:

  • Always use a period or semicolon before the conjunctive adverb when separating two independent clauses. Conjunctive adverbs are not strong enough to join independent clauses without supporting punctuation.
  • Use a comma if a conjunction such as and, but, or, or so appears between the conjunctive adverb and the first clause.
  • Use a comma behind conjunctive adverbs when they appear at the beginning of a sentence’s second clause. The only exception to this rule is that no comma is necessary if the adverb is a single syllable.
  • If a conjunctive adverb appears in the middle of a clause, it should be enclosed in commas most of the time. This is not an absolute rule and does not normally apply to short clauses.

Examples of Conjunctive adverbs

The conjunctive adverbs in the following examples are in bold for easy identification.

  1. Jeremy kept talking in class; therefore, he got in trouble.
  2. She went into the store; however, she didn’t find anything she wanted to buy.
  3. I like you a lot; in fact, I think we should be best friends.
  4. Your dog got into my yard; in addition, he dug up my petunias.
  5. You’re my friend; nonetheless, I feel like you’re taking advantage of me.
  6. My car payments are high; on the other hand, I really enjoy driving such a nice vehicle.

Conjunctive Adverb Exercise

The following exercises will help you gain greater understanding about how conjunctive adverbs work. Choose the best answer to complete each sentence.

  1. You need to put more effort into your work; ________________, you won’t get a passing grade.
    1. Moreover
    2. Otherwise
    3. Unless
    4. Instead

    Answer: 2. You need to put more effort into your work; otherwise, you won’t get a passing grade.

  2. We wanted to spend the day at the beach; ______________________, it rained so we stayed home.
    1. Moreover
    2. Unless
    3. However
    4. Additionally

    Answer: 3. We wanted to spend the day at the beach; however, it rained so we stayed home.

  3. She is a very smart girl; ­­­­­­­­­­­­__________________, it’s not at all surprising that she gets such good grades.
    1. Again
    2. Besides
    3. Contrarily
    4. Therefore

    Answer: 4. She is a very smart girl; therefore, it’s not at all surprising that she gets such good grades.

  4. Jared is a millionaire; __________________, his brother Jeremy is always flat broke.
    1. In contrast
    2. Accordingly
    3. Again
    4. Likewise

    Answer: 1. Jared is a millionaire; in contrast, his brother Jeremy is always flat broke.

  5. He felt he couldn’t tell the truth about what happened; ___________________, he lied.
    1. In contrast
    2. Likewise
    3. Undoubtedly
    4. Instead

    Answer: 4. He felt he couldn’t tell the truth about what happened; instead, he lied.

Conjunctive adverbs List

There are many conjunctive adverbs – in fact, there are many more of these than there are common conjunctions. Here is a comprehensive list of conjunctive adverbs.

Would you like to learn more? Click here to learn how to use colons correctlyin a sentence

  • Additionally
  • Again
  • Almost
  • Anyway
  • As a result
  • In addition
  • Besides
  • Certainly
  • Comparatively
  • Consequently
  • Contrarily
  • Comparatively
  • Consequently
  • Conversely
  • Elsewhere
  • Equally
  • Eventually
  • Finally
  • Further
  • Furthermore
  • Elsewhere
  • Hence
  • Henceforth
  • However

Exercises Part 2

You need to put more effort into your work; ________________, you won’t get a passing grade.

  1. I love to eat toffees; _____________, people often give them to me at holidays.
    A. nevertheless B. accordingly C. however D. also
  2. The tree has developed a large crack over the years; ____________, it will have to be cut down for safety’s sake.
    A. for example B. however C. eventually D. likewise
  3. It would be nice to spend our vacation on the beach in Jamaica: ________________, it would be fun to hike the Swiss alps.
    A. on the other hand B. as a result C. indeed D. therefore
  4. Instead

Answer Key:
1 – B. I love to eat toffees; accordingly, people often give them to me at holidays.
2 – C. The tree has developed a large crack over the years; eventually, it will have to be cut down for safety’s sake.
3 – x. It would be nice to spend our vacation on the beach in Jamaica;on the other hand, it would be fun to hike the Swiss alps.

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