Introduction to conjunctions for IELTS exam

In this lesson, we are going to provide the function of the conjunctions in IELTS exam.


What exactly is a conjunction?

The word junction means to conjoin. The conjunction is something that joins together. It joins together single nouns, verbs and adjectives. Getting a sense of how the conjunction works, joining together dependent and independent clauses.


Example 1:

"He had never gone hiking before, but decide to do so in Park Hill"


Here, we have the conjunction "but". "But" is a conjunction that shows contrast. For the first part of the sentence, he had never gone hiking before. If I put a period there, that is absolutely fine. The subject had never gone hiking. That is a really long verb. After the word, "but". He had decided to do so in Park Hill. 


But where is the subject if we just take this part? There is none. You can see that we are combining an independent clause with a dependent clause here. Usually, when you have two independent clauses you would have a comma. He had never gone hiking before, and now all of a sudden, he wants to go to Park Hill.



Example 2:

"To challenge myself, I could either climb Mount Whitney or run a marathon."


Sometimes conjunctions can just combine two things like Mount Whitney or a marathon. That is the conjunction. Here, he wants to do either one of two things, and that's why we have the conjunction "or". 


Example 3:

"Exercising every morning, eating healthily, learning to breathe properly, Michael had fully prepared himself for the hike, yet he was still unable to reach the top of the mountain."


There is a conjunction connecting these phrases. These phrases are just fragments. They are not sentences. They are not independent clauses or dependent clauses, because dependent clauses need subjects and verbs. These are just exercising every morning, there is no subject there. But they are phrases joined with the word "and". 


We are gonna have an independent clause, because we do not have a sentence yet. These are just a series of fragments, joined with the conjunction "and". When you combine two independent clauses, you will always need a conjunction.