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Conjunction Rules

Rules Related to Conjunctions that are used in pair

Questions are framed by using wrong pair of conjunction in competitive exams; therefore, we should learn conjunctions with their pairs.  

1) Scarcely/ Hardly is followed by When/ before.

Hardly had the doctor reached then the patient died. (incorrect)

Hardly had the doctor reached when the patient died. (correct)


2) No sooner is followed by than.

No sooner had the hockey match started then it began to rain. (incorrect)

- No sooner had the hockey match started than it began to rain. (correct)

Questions are usually framed by using then in place of than.

♦ Note: Invert form of Verb is used with sentence starting with hardly, scarcely, no sooner, seldom, never & rarely. (Already discussed in Adverb (Rule 6)) like in the above example it would have been incorrect to write-

- Hardly the doctor reached when the patient died. (incorrect)


3) Although/ though is followed by yet or comma (,).

- Though he worked hard but he failed. (incorrect)

- Though he worked hard yet he failed. (correct)


4) Both is followed by and.

Both Kohli as well as Rahane will play today. (incorrect)

Both Kohli and Rahane will play today. (correct)


5) Between is also followed by and.

Questions are generally framed by using to after between.

- The briefing will be held between 2 pm to 4 pm. (incorrect)

- The briefing will be held between 2 pm and 4 pm. (correct)


6) Else is followed by but.

Questions are generally framed by using than after else.

- It is nothing else than pride. (incorrect)

- It is nothing else but pride. (correct)


7) Rather/ other is followed by than.

- I would rather buy a cycle than a car. (correct)


8) Whether is followed by or.

- I don’t know that he was present or not. (incorrect)

- I do not know whether he was present or not. (correct) [if can also be used in place of whether]

→ This example is important.  


9) Lest is followed by should.

♦ Lest is a negative word, therefore we should not use not/ negative word after Lest.

- Work hard lest you fail. (incorrect)

- Work hard lest you should not fail. (incorrect) [usage of not with lest is not allowed]

- Work hard lest you should fail. (correct)


10) Not/ Never is followed by or.


11) Neither is followed by nor & either is followed by or.

- I have found that he is neither willing nor capable. (correct)


12) Not only is followed by but also.

- He is not only strong but also brave. (correct)

♦ Note: Neither—Nor, Either—Or, Not Only—But also join the same part of speech. [Imp]

Like in the above example, it is incorrect to write

- Not only he is strong but also brave. (incorrect)

[correct pair of conjunction is used but pairs are not joining the same part of speech; but also connects adjective (brave) while not only connects pronoun (he); since there are two adjectives in the sentence, we should pair conjunctions with adjectives]

- He is not only strong but also brave. (correct)

Similarly, try to find error in the given sentence.

-I have found that neither he is willing nor capable. (incorrect)


13) The same is followed by that/ as.

♦ That is used when the corresponding verb gives a clear meaning.

- This is the same car that I wanted. (correct)

Here, the verb (wanted) is clearly expressed, but if we use a pronoun (mine) in place of I wanted, we have to use as in place of that.

- This is the same car as mine. (correct)


14) So/ as is followed by as.

as--as is used in both positive & negative sentences while so--as is used in negative sentences only.

- It’s not as easy as that. (correct) [negative sentence]

- It’s not so easy as that. (correct) [negative sentence]

But if we write-

- It’s as easy as that. (correct) [positive sentence]

We cannot write

- It’s so easy as that. (incorrect) [positive sentence]

♦ Note: We have discussed in Adjective (Rule1) that pairs so….as & as…as are used in positive degree for comparison.


15) Such is usually followed by as, but sometimes we use that when a sentence expresses a cause or result.

- Wild animals such as white tigers are becoming rare. (correct)

- Nisha’s exam anxiety was such that it affected her performance. (correct) [expressing cause/result]


16) too is followed by to

- It’s never too late to learn. (correct)


17) We should use: seldom or never or seldom if ever (correct)

- Seldom or never she plays with us (correct)

We should not use: seldom if never or seldom or ever.  (incorrect)

- Seldom or ever she plays with us (incorrect)