Conjunctions and Linking Phrases
(Conjonctions et Phrases Conjonctives)

Coordinating Conjunctions

A coordinating conjunction 'coordinates' two equivalent elements in a sentence, that is, words belonging to the same grammatical category (nouns + nouns, verbs + verbs, independent clause + independent clause, etc.). The most commonly used coordinating conjunctions in French are:

mais but
ou or
et and
donc so, thus
or so, now
ni ... ni neither ... nor
car for
puis then

With the exception of or, all of these conjunctions can be used to link adjectives, nouns or verbs within a sentence.

In addition, ou, et, ni, car, mais, donc, and puis are also used to combine two clauses into one: Ou, or, puis, donc, mais indicate a link between two separate sentences. Or, mais and puis are usually placed at the very beginning of the second sentence. Donc is usually placed either at the beginning or right after the conjugated verb of the second sentence.

Subordinating Conjunctions

A subordinating conjunction links an independent clause to a dependent clause. An independent clause is any clause that can stand alone to form a grammatical sentence. A dependent clause, on the other hand, cannot stand alone and thus 'depends' on the main clause in order to form a complete thought.  The most commonly used subordinate conjunctions are:

que that
pendant que as, while
quand when
lorsque when
depuis que since (indicating time)
tandis que while, whereas
puisque since
parce que because

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