3.6 Conjunctions and Interjections

Preview

This section of Ch. 3 will cover the following topics:

  • using conjunctions
  • recognizing and avoiding interjections

We have studied six of the eight parts of speech.  The two remaining are the easiest.

Conjunctions

Conjunctions are words that connect. (Think what the word “junction” means: a place where things cross or connect.) Conjunctions connect two or more people, things, places, or ideas. They also can connect two or more parts of a sentence.

The most common conjunctions are “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet,” and “so” (called “fanboys,” after the first letter of each word).  We see them often.  For example:

The small bird flew swiftly towards the tree, but it nearly collided with a crow.  It swerved at the last minute and landed safely.  Neither the crow nor the small bird was hurt, yet both seemed upset.

Other conjunctions, such as “because,” “since,” “after,” “as,” “when,” “while,” and “although,” can begin and connect them to the main part of the sentence. (More about clauses in Ch. 4.)

For example:

The library and its landscaping impress people when they first visit our campus. (“and” joins “library” with “landscaping.” Then “when” joins the main part of the sentence with the dependent clause at the end.)

Graphics

Watch this cartoon video for a fun way to review conjunctions:

Exercise 1

Find any conjunctions in the following sentences.  List them.

  1. Netta has a cheerful attitude while her husband is always gloomy.
  2. Lydia is thoughtful and kind.
  3. Dorian’s math skills are good, although they are not as good as mine.
  4. My handwriting is not worse than yours nor is it better.
  5. Hilton went through drug rehab twice, but the second time seems to have worked.

Interjections

Interjections convey a greeting or show surprise or other emotions.

Interjections are common in spoken English but rare in written English because they are considered very casual. Interjections are like an exclamation point or an emoticon (which also should be avoided in college and business writing). Notice that interjections are usually followed by an exclamation point!

Here is a list of common interjections, but there are hundreds more:

blech gak ouch wow
boo-yah geez rats whoa
darn ha sweet yikes
duh huh ugh yippee
eek oh uh-oh yuck
eww oops whoa yum

Exercise 2

Type up the following sentences, replacing the interjections with words or phrases that express a similar meaning but which are considered appropriate for college writing.

  1. Yikes! I am on time for class.
  2. Bentley is–yippee!–going to summer camp.
  3. When I saw his new car, I was jealous. Sweet!
  4. Whoa, where are you going in that hat?
  5. Pounding my thumb rather than the nail was a big mistake. Ouch!

Graphics

Watch this fun cartoon video to review interjections:

Exercise 3

Re-type the sentences that you used for Ex. 1 in Ch. 3.1 one last time.

Mark all the nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and prepositions using the appropriate highlight color.  If you made any errors on previous exercises, correct them here.

Now, mark any conjunctions by highlighting them in pink and any interjections by highlighting them in gray.

If you have done this series of exercises correctly, every word in every sentence will be identified by the job it is doing. You will have mastered the basics of how words work.

Takeaways

  • Conjunctions are helpful connectors.
  • Interjections show emotion, but should be avoided in college writing.

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