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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 have been italicized for easy identification.

Jeremy kept talking in class; therefore, he got in trouble.

She went into the store; however, she didn’t find anything she wanted to buy.

I like you a lot; in fact, I think we should be best friends.

Your dog got into my yard; in addition, he dug up my petunias.

You’re my friend; nonetheless, I feel like you’re taking advantage of me.

My car payments are high; on the other hand, I really enjoy driving such a nice vehicle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer: 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.

Accordingly

Additionally

Again

Almost

Anyway

As a result

Besides

Certainly

Comparatively

Consequently

Contrarily

Comparatively

Consequently

Conversely

Elsewhere

Equally

Eventually

Finally

Further

Furthermore

Hence

Henceforth

However

In addition

In comparison

In contrast

In fact

Incidentally

Indeed

Instead

Just as

Likewise

Meanwhile

Moreover

Namely

Nevertheless

Next

Nonetheless

Notably

Now

On the other hand

Otherwise

Rather

Similarly

Still

Subsequently

That is

Then

Thereafter

Therefore

Thus

Undoubtedly

Uniquely