What Are Conjunctive Adverbs? (with Examples)

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What Are Conjunctive Adverbs? (with Examples)

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 Adverbs

The following are conjunctive adverbs:
  • also
  • consequently
  • furthermore
  • however
  • incidentally
  • indeed
  • likewise
  • meanwhile
  • nevertheless
  • nonetheless
  • therefore
Conjunctive adverbs are also known as transitional phrases. They act like a bridge (i.e. provide the transition) from one idea to the next idea. The following are also transitional phrases:
  • as a result
  • as a consequence
  • for example
  • on the contrary

Examples of Conjunctive Adverbs in Sentences

Here are some examples of conjunctive adverbs in sentences:

  • The instructor's English is poor; consequently, they all failed the exam.
  • The instructor's English is poor. Consequently, they all failed the exam.
  • I know Mr Evans was drunk; however, I am not responsible for his actions.
  • I know Mr Evans was drunk. However, I am not responsible for his actions.
  • You failed to meet the deadline; therefore, the deal is off.
  • You failed to meet the deadline. Therefore, the deal is off.
  • Do Not Use a Comma before a Conjunctive Adverb

    When 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:
    • The instructor's English is poor, consequently, they all failed the exam.
    • I know Mr Evans was drunk, however, I am not responsible for his actions.
    • You failed to meet the deadline, therefore, the deal is off.
    Note: A conjunctive adverb bridging two independent clauses is followed by a comma but not preceded by one.
    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:
    • I normally like toffees, however, I dislike these ones.
    Read more about run-on errors.
    Read more about starting sentence with however.
     
     

    Take a longer test on conjunctive adverbs.


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