Home » Intermediate English Grammar » Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs act as conjunctions because they connect independent clauses. They act as adverbs because they also modify one of the independent clauses.

  • We spent the afternoon in the park; later, we went for a bicycle ride by the lake.
  • The kiln was broken; consequently, we could not finish our ceramics project.

Some common conjunctive adverbs include the following:

  • afterwards
  • anyway
  • besides
  • consequently
  • eventually
  • finally
  • for example, for instance
  • however
  • instead
  • later
  • likewise
  • nevertheless
  • next
  • now
  • otherwise
  • still
  • then
  • therefore
  • thus
  • unfortunately

Conjunctive adverbs only connect independent clauses; that is, clauses that can stand on their own as complete thoughts. Conjunctive adverbs are usually preceded by a semicolon and followed by a comma.

  • I would like to buy a new car; however, I will settle for a used one.
  • You need to study more; otherwise, you will flunk calculus.

If the two independent clauses are very short and closely related, it is also acceptable to use a comma rather than a semicolon before the conjunctive adverb, and no comma after it.

The same idea expressed by a conjunctive adverb can often be expressed by a coordinating conjunction.

  • I would like to buy a new car, but I will settle for a used one.

The choice between conjunctive adverbs and coordinating conjunctions is purely a matter of style and personal preference. Conjunctive adverbs tend to sound more formal than coordinating conjunctions.

  • I could not find your house; therefore, I called to ask for directions.
  • I could not find your house, so I called to ask for directions.

Independent clauses joined by conjunctive adverbs can also be separated into complete sentences by placing a period after the first independent clause.

  • I could not find your house. Therefore, I called to ask for directions.

Leave a Comment

error: Alert: Content is protected !!