Connectives (by So dog, Pan & Todd)

There are two types of connectives we usually use.

. Coordinating Connectives

The following are some very common examples.

And       but       or      neither…nor…   both…and…

either…or…   not only…but also…   whether…or…



1.     Peter and Mary were invited to my birthday party.


2.     Sir, do you want coffee or tea?


3.     I don’t feel good but I still want to continue my work.


4.     Whether he gets married or not is none of your business.


Grammar knowledge about “either…or…” and “neither…nor’’

either…or…that means you can choose one in two choices.

You can serve the food either with sugar or salt.

In this case, that’s you have to choose sugar or salt to serve the food.


neither…nor…that means you can’t choose any choice at all.

You can serve the food neither with sugar nor salt.

In this case, that’s you can’t choose sugar and salt to serve the food.

. Subordinating Connectives

When   because   although   If    wherever   in case

As far as   As long as   As soon as   As though   in order that

On condition that    because of the fact that   owing to the fact that


As there are so many subordinating connectives, it would be clearer to group them together according to their functions.


A.   Showing ‘contrast’

Although = though   yet   whereas   while   no matter how

However   nevertheless   nonetheless   on the other hand

In spite of   despite   in stead of




1.     Could I have a cup of cola instead of lemon tea?

                  (+)               (--)


2.     Although he tries hard, he will not pass the test.

               (+)             (--)


3.     I don’t know him, yet I can get his help.

        (--)                (+)


4.     Peter is clever. On the other hand, he is very proud.

         (+)                           (--)


Grammar knowledge about “However

This word can be put into the head or middle of a sentence but it has different word orders and its meaning also be changed.


1.     However + adj. / adv. + s + v, ………

In this case, however means no matter how.

e.g. However hard he tries, he will not pass the test.


2.     SVO. However, SVO.

In this case, however means but.

e.g. He tries hard. However, he will not pass the test.


How to use “despite” right?

Despite + N. + SVO.

Despite his poverty, he is content with what he has.



B. Showing ‘reason’

Because  =  since  =  for  =  as   that’s why   as (so) long as

Due to the fact that    owing to the fact that   that’s the reason why

Because of   owing to   as a result of   due to   thanks to



1.     I can’t travel every year as I don’t have enough money.

          (result)                 (reason)


2.     Todd gets sick. That’s why he can’t come to our party.

       (reason)                    (result)


3.     Owing to the fact that there are only a few people who want the activity, (reason) we will have to cancel it. (result)


4. Because of his laziness, Pan failed in the school examination.

           (reason)(n.)             (result)



C.   Showing ‘result’ or ‘consequence’

so   so that   such that   as a result   therefore   as a consequence

consequently   hence   thus   such / so …as to   so / such…that



1.     Caskey is a quiet person; hence he is unwilling to speak up in class.

              (reason)                    (result)


2. He failed the entrance exam. (reason)   Thus, it would be impossible for him to enter university. (result)


3. Walter Li is so devoted (reason) that he always looks for better ways to teach his student. (result)

>>So + adj. + that + SVO


Grammar knowledge about “so….that” and “too….that’’

Students usually use “so…that” and “too…that” to show the result but they are not the same.


So + adj. + that + SVO

This case means someone / something because of the ‘adj.’ and then makes something happen. (因太以致)


Too + adj. + that + SVO

This case means someone / something because of the ‘adj.’ and then something can’t be happened.


Here is an example…

He is so fat that he can jump high.

He is too fat that he can jump high.


The first and second sentences are correct in grammar but seem don’t make scene whereas only the first sentence is incorrect. It is because the second sentence using ‘too…that’. That means ‘he can jump high’ this motion can’t be happened. Therefore, the first sentence should be changed like this

He is so fat that he can’t jump high.


Grammar knowledge about “so….that” and “so that’’

What are the different of these two connectives?


If you use so…that, the reason should be an adjective.

He is so fat that he can’t jump high.


If you use so that, the reason should be a clause.

It is raining, so that the picnic should be canceled.



D.   showing “purpose”

so that   in case   for the purpose that = in the hope that

in order that   lest   for fear that   with a view to + n. / gerund

in order to + v. = so as to + v.   for fear of + n. / gerund



1.     I will catch the earliest train so as to be at the exam centre on time.



2.     Read the instructions very carefully so that you wouldn’t miss a rule.



3.     Todd brought an umbrella in case it might rain.(aim)



E.   showing “condition”

as though   as if   whenever   in case   if   unless   as long as

lest   provided that   on condition that   except that   if only   or




1.     If you want to go to the party, you have to finish your homework first.



2.     She closed all the windows lest anyone knew what she is doing.



3.     The roof leaks whenever it rains.




F.    showing “comparison”

as…as   not as…as = not so…as   …than   indeed   in fact

as a matter of fact   actually



1.     I don’t mind at all. Indeed/In fact/Actually, I’m pleased to help.



2.     Pan is always as busy as a bee.


3. We had a hotter summer this year than we had last year.



G.  showing “time”

after   before   as   as soon as   when   while   once   since

whenever   till   until   only when   no sooner…than   during

following   no later than   meanwhile   then   afterwards



1.     It started raining heavily as I went out of doors.


2.     She read the book until she fell asleep.


3.     We still have five minutes left. Meanwhile, let’s sing a song.



H.   showing “addition”

also   in addition   furthermore   moreover  besides  in addition to



1.     Shopkeepers should be alert to security matters. Also/In addition/ Furthermore/Moreover/Besides, they should prevent staff theft.


2.     In addition to/Besides security matters, shopkeepers should be alert to staff theft.


Grammar knowledge about “besides” and “except’’

Many students may be confused besides with except.


If a word is behind besides, it means the word is included.

If a word is behind except, it means the word is not included.



- Besides me, everyone is working right now.

>>That means now I am working too.


-Except me, everyone is working right now.

>>That means now I am not working.



I.      showing “list”

First at all   firstly   first   second(ly)   third(ly)   lastly   finally

Last but not least



1.     If you want to be good in English, first you must read more, second you must write more, third you must speak more and last but not least/finally/lastly you must expose yourself more to English.


Grammar tips

In the writing, if use ‘firstly’ to start list points and the order connectives must be put –ly at the back of the words. (secondly, thirdly)

If you use ‘firstly’ at the beginning but use ‘second’ then, you will be deducted marks from this mistake.



J.     showing “conclusion”

All in all  In short   Having said that   In conclusion   On the whole

As a conclusion  In brief  To conclude   To sum up   To summarize



1.     In brief, the motion should be carried.


2.     To conclude, we should try our best to have a better future.


3.     To sum up, the future is not for us to see but to build.


Test on connectives (circle the answers)

1.     The thief ran away _____ he saw the police.

A. whenever   B. till   C. as soon as   D. then


2.     They both feared ______ honored their teacher.

A. also   B. and   C. but   D. as well


3.     He broke the vase ______ his father punished him.

A. since   B. after   C. because   D. so


4.     I don’t know ______ he will come here or not.

A. if   B. when   c. whatever   D. before


5.     He’s _______ caught a train to Tai Po or gone there by bus.

A. nor   B. only   C. neither   D either


6.     I am not going to the party _______ I’m invited.

A. except   B. as   C. unless   D. since


7.     He was absent _______ he had fever.

A. because   B. because of   C. since   D. the reason of


8.     The child neither eats _______ drinks anything.

A. nor   B. or   C. and   D. either


9.     Mr. Li will not punish you _________ you hand in your homework.

A. as far as   B. as long as   C. as well as   D. as soon as



Answer for the test

1.     C

2.     B

3.     D

4.     A

5.     D

6.     C

7.     A

8.     A

9.     B