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Thursday, 28 May 2015

Unpicking the term 'connective': conjunctions and connecting adverbs (conjuncts)

 Until recently many teachers had been confronted in training and literature with the term ‘connective’.  This was used within education for some years to refer to words which linked ideas, but explanation around this term was confusing - for both teachers and children.  Fortunately, the new National Curriculum does not contain this term, but it may be useful to understand what it referred to.

The term was used as an umbrella term for all linking words and phrases, but there was no distinction placed on how these words and phrases could be used for different grammatical purposes.  The following explains the different ‘connectives’.

Compound sentences
Use clauses joined by co-ordinating conjunctions –  most usually and, but, (and) then, yet, or, nor
eg: Suzie had baked a cake for the occasion but it didn’t rise very well.
The children splashed and shrieked in the pool.

Complex sentences
Use clauses joined by subordinating conjunctions - such as because, so, as, when, until, although, if
eg: The pilot jumped from the cockpit  as the plane dived towards the earth. 
As soon as he saw his owner, the dog barked.
Connecting adverbs (conjuncts)
Maintain the cohesion of a text in several basic ways
  • addition – also, furthermore, moreover, in addition
  • opposition – however, nevertheless, on the other hand
  • reinforcing – besides, anyway, after all
  • explaining – for example, in other words, that is to say
  • listing – first(ly), first of all, finally
  • indicating result – therefore, consequently, as a result
  • indicating time just then, meanwhile, later