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Conjunctive adverbs

What is a conjunctive adverb?

Conjunctive adverbs are parts of speech that are used to connect one clause to another. They are also used to show sequence, contrast, cause and effect, and other relationships.

Like other adverbs, conjunctive adverbs may be moved around in the sentence or clause in which they appear. This is just one of the things you'll need to remember; additional rules for using conjunctive adverbs follow:

  • Always use a period or semicolon before the conjunctive adverb when separating two independent clauses. Conjunctive adverbs are not strong enough to join independent clauses without supporting punctuation.
  • Use a comma if a conjunction such as and, but, or, or so appears between the conjunctive adverb and the first clause.
  • Use a comma behind conjunctive adverbs when they appear at the beginning of a sentence's second clause. The only exception to this rule is that no comma is necessary if the adverb is a single syllable.
  • If a conjunctive adverb appears in the middle of a clause, it should be enclosed in commas most of the time. This is not an absolute rule and does not normally apply to short clauses.

Examples of Conjunctive adverbs

The conjunctive adverbs in the following examples are in bold for easy identification.

  1. Jeremy kept talking in class; therefore, he got in trouble.
  2. She went into the store; however, she didn't find anything she wanted to buy.
  3. I like you a lot; in fact, I think we should be best friends.
  4. Your dog got into my yard; in addition, he dug up my petunias.
  5. You're my friend; nonetheless, I feel like you're taking advantage of me.
  6. My car payments are high; on the other hand, I really enjoy driving such a nice vehicle.