A conjunctive adverb acts as a link between two sentences or two independent clauses.
The job of a conjunctive adverb is to make it clear how the ideas either side of the conjunctive adverb are related. It also provides a smooth transition from one idea to the next.
Examples of Conjunctive AdverbsThe following are conjunctive adverbs:
Examples of Conjunctive Adverbs in SentencesHere are some examples of conjunctive adverbs in sentences:
Do Use a Comma before a Conjunctive AdverbWhen a conjunctive adverb acts as a bridge between two independent clauses, you cannot precede it with a comma. A conjunctive adverb either starts a new sentence or, if you need a smooth transition between your ideas, is preceded by a semicolon.
Read more about semicolons before transitional phrases.
It is a common mistake to precede a conjunctive adverb between two independent clauses with a comma (especially with the word however.) This is called a run-on error (or a comma fault). For example:
What are adverbs?
What is an independent clause?
Semicolons before transitional phrases
What is a run-on error?
Glossary of grammatical terms
The word however routinely starts a sentence. Occasionally, it can be preceded by a semicolon to give a smooth transition between ideas.
Preceding however (or any conjunctive adverb) with a comma and writing a new sentence is a very common mistake (called a run-on error or a comma-fault error. For example:
Click on the conjunctive adverb: