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Home » Module 3 Unit 5: Writing cohesively » Using conjunctions - page 2/8
Unit 1: Planning your essayUnit 2: Structuring paragraphsUnit 3: Introductions & conclusionsUnit 4: Writing persuasivelyUnit 5: Writing cohesively

Types of conjunction

Different types of conjunctions link information in different ways. It is important to know which conjunctions establish which types of links.

There are five main types of conjunction in English.

1. Conjunctions of addition and replacement

Additive conjunctions simply add more information to what is already there. Examples of additive conjunctions include:

and, also, in addition, not only … but also, moreover, further, besides.


The study used a small sample only and was strongly criticized for this reason. Furthermore, the initial premise of the research was considered questionable in the light of previous evidence.


Conjunctions of replacement replace one piece of information with another. That is, they offer an alternative. Conjunctions of replacement include the words:

or, or else, alternatively.


The results could be interpreted to mean that high levels of protein are beneficial to diet generally. Alternatively, they could also mean that high protein levels are only beneficial to severely overweight males.

2. Conjunctions of comparison, contrast and concession

Comparative conjunctions are used to link two ideas that are considered to be similar. Comparative conjunctions include the terms:

in the same way, likewise, just as, both … and.


Reading aloud to young children stimulates their interest in books. Similarly, visiting libraries or book fairs has been shown to increase children’s readiness to engage with print.


Contrastive conjunctions link two ideas that are considered to be different. Examples of contrastive conjunctions include:

but, however, in contrast, on the contrary, instead, nevertheless, yet, still, even so, neither … nor.


This evidence points clearly to a fall in the number of unemployed. On the other hand, anecdotal evidence from reputable charities suggests that the number of people seeking financial support has increased.


Concessive conjunctions are a subgroup of contrastive conjunctions. They are used to contrast one idea with another where one piece of information appears to be surprising or unexpected in view of the other idea. Examples of concessive conjunctions include:

though, although, despite, in spite of, notwithstanding, whereas, while.


Even though money has been poured into literacy programs, literacy levels among 12-15 year olds do not appear to be improving.


For more detail on the use of concessive conjunctions in reporting evidence from source documents, go to Module 2, Unit 4: Using Concessives.