In grammar, a conjunction is a part of speech that connects words, phrases, or clauses that are called the conjuncts of the conjoining construction. The term discourse marker is mostly used for conjunctions joining sentences. This definition may overlap with that of other parts of speech, so what constitutes a "conjunction" must be defined for each language. In English a given word may have several senses, being either a preposition or a conjunction depending on the syntax of the sentence (for example, "after" being a preposition in "he left after the fight" versus it being a conjunction in "he left after they fought"). In general, a conjunction is an invariable grammatical particle and it may or may not stand between the items conjoined.
The definition may also be extended to idiomatic phrases that behave as a unit with the same function, e.g. "as well as", "provided that".
A simple literary example of a conjunction: "the truth of nature, and the power of giving interest". (Samuel Taylor Coleridge's Biographia Literaria)
Conjunctions may be placed at the beginning of sentences: "But some superstition about the practice persists".
- "But she must give security that she will not marry without royal consent, if she holds her lands of the Crown, or without the consent of whatever other lord she may hold them of."—Magna Carta (1215), translated into modern English
- "But we, or our chief justice if we are not in England, are first to be informed."— Magna Carta (1215), translated into modern English
- "And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor."
- "But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively."—United States Constitution (1787)
- "And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof."—United States Constitution (1787)
- "And this power has been exercised when the last act, required from the person possessing the power, has been performed."—United States Supreme Court Judgment (1803)
- "But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground." Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (1863)
- "Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address (1865)
- "So the inquiries can coexist, though there is much overlap between them."
- "And it appears that it was this latter factor which underlay the dismissal of the appeal by the majority. But it seems to me that the question of whether it is fair, just and reasonable is better considered against the background of whether a sufficiently proximate relationship exists."
- "But the earlier decisions in Pratap Narain Singh Deo and Valsala K. were not brought to the notice of the Court in the two later decisions in Mubasir Ahmed and Mohd. Nasir."
- "And now we have Facebook and Twitter and Wordpress and Tumblr and all those other platforms that take our daily doings and transform them into media."
- "So any modern editor who is not paranoid is a fool".
- "And strikes are protected globally, existing in many of the countries with labour laws outside the Wagner Act model."