Linking Equality and Relation Between Ideas

💭Correlative conjunctions are used to link or connect clauses that have equality and relation between ideas.

A correlative conjunction is one of a pair of conjunctions that work together to connect equal parts of a sentence. The second member of a pair of correlative conjunctions is also a coordinating conjunction.

Take a look at the following:

both… and
either… or
whether… or
neither… nor
not only… but also
scarcely… when
hardly… when
no sooner… than

As suggested by their name, correlative conjunctions correlate, or work together in pairs, to join phrases or words.


I both respect and have gratitude for my class teacher.

Tom usually either walks to work or takes his bicycle.

You must decide whether you stay or you go. 

Neither the basketball team nor the football team is doing well.

He was not only taken to prison but also given a sound beating.

I had scarcely entered through the gate when I received an important message and had to rush back immediately.

Hardly had they spoken these words when the door opened and the man himself stood before them.

No sooner did she learn to ski, than the snow began to thaw.


Just like coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions join words, phrases, or independent clauses of equal importance and structure.

Take a look at the following correlative conjunctions:

If… then
Just as… as
as much… as
rather… than


If you and your roommate tend to wake up late, then nobody will get to work on time.

Bowling is just as fun as skeet shooting.

There is as much information as there are self-help books.

She’d rather play the drums than sing.


Be careful with the following correlative conjunctions.

Not only… but also, either… or, and neither… nor all require special attention. These must have two parts. 

For instance, you can have two main clauses like this that has two verbs:

Professor Jones not only gave the students a long speech but also assigned a lot of homework.

Or you can have two nouns:

Professor Jones gave the students not only a long speechbut also a lot of homework.

Whatever choice you make, just confirm that you have two equal grammatical units after both parts of the correlative conjunction.


😊Correlative conjunctions can join two verbs, two nouns, two adjectives, two phrases, or two independent clauses (sentences.)