Conjunctions vs. Relative Pronouns

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ESL students often have problems in using English conjunctions correctly.

One conjunction for two clauses

One conjunction is enough to join two clauses - we do not normally use two.


The conjunctions so and yet are sometimes used with and.

Relative pronouns

Relative pronouns (e.g. what, which and that) are like conjunctions in some ways: they join clauses like conjunctions do.

Here the relative pronoun who joins the clauses There is the girl and She won the prize.

A relative pronoun acts as the subject or object of the verb that comes after it. Therefore we do not need another subject or object. In the sentence given above the relative pronoun who is the subject of the verb won.

That, when and where

The relative pronoun that is often used instead of which, who and whom.

That cannot be used instead of when or where.

But that--in can mean the same as where.

Sections in this article

Using coordinating conjunctions
The conjunctions and, or and but New!
The conjunction nor
The conjunction yet
Common errors with conjunctions New!

Tenses exercises and worksheets

Mistakes with verbs | Exercise 1
Mistakes with verbs | Exercise 2
Mistakes with verbs | Exercise 3
Mistakes with verbs | Exercise 4

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