Grammar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Glue Words

Some glue words have a superpower: they can change their function, depending on their place within a sentence.

Consider the fanboy, "but".

"But" is a coordinating conjunction; however, in some sentences, it might actually be a prepostion.

I like all the boys but him.

In this sentence, "but" is a preposition.

I like all the boys, but I don't like him.

In this sentence, "but" is a coordinating conjunction (fanboy).

 

How can you tell the difference?

"For" is another such word. When used as an old-fashioned word for "because", it functions as a fanboy (coordinating conjunction). But more commonly, it's just a preposition.

I studied Japanese for many years.

"Many years" is a noun phrase, so "for" (in this sentence) is functioning as a preposition.

I love to watch Anna, for she dances beautifully.

"She dances beautifully" is a clause, so "for" (in this sentence) is functioning as a fanboy (coordinating conjunction).

 

There are only two fanboys that can morph into prepositions:

In addition, a handful of subordinating conjunctions have this superpower:

To determine the function of these words within a sentence, examine the words that follow them.

I went to the park after school.

"School" is a noun; therefore,
"after" must be a prepostion.

I got dressed, after I took a shower.

"I took a shower" is a clause; therefore, "after" must be a subordinating conjunction.

 

He works as a waiter.

preposition

He called my name as I walked by.

subordinating conjunction

 

I ate a candy bar before lunch.

preposition

I ate a candy bar before I ate lunch.

subordinating conjunction

 

I haven't eaten since yesterday.

preposition

I haven't seen him since we went to the beach.

subordinating conjunction

 

You will have to wait till tomorrow.

preposition

I won't be happy till you come back.

subordinating conjunction

 

The pond stays frozen until March.

preposition

I stayed until he arrived.

subordinating conjunction

 

Related:

Don’t confuse because, which is a subordinating conjunction, with because of, which is a preposition.

She got the job because of her experience.

Preposition

We stopped for lunch because I was hungry.

subordinating conjunction

 

Instructions for the Quiz

Determine the function of the underlined word.