The role of a conjunction is rather straightforward. Its job is to connect. Conjunctions are used to link words, phrases, and clauses together and provide a smooth transition between ideas. Adverbs are words that modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs and they can be used as conjunctions as well. When they are, they’re known as conjunctive adverbs.
What Are Conjunctive Adverbs?
Conjunctive adverbs function as conjunctions to ease the transition between ideas in a sentence or between sentences. They accomplish this task by showing comparison, contrast, sequence, cause-effect or other relationships between ideas.
When conjunctive adverbs are used to join two main clauses, it acts as a coordinating conjunction by connecting two separate and complete ideas. To connect two clauses you use a semicolon, not a comma. The pattern goes like this:
Main clause; conjunctive adverb, main clause
Here is a sentence example:
If a conjunctive adverb is used at the beginning of the sentence then use a comma immediately afterwards. For example:
Sometimes the interruption of flow is weak so a comma isn’t necessary.
Here is another example of proper comma use.
Examples of Conjunctive Adverbs
Some of the most common conjunctive adverbs are:
Example Sentences Using Conjunctive Adverbs
Note that all of the above adverbs are words that connect ideas. A few sentence examples may help you in deciding how to use them.
The above sentences demonstrate how conjunctive adverbs create smooth transitions between ideas. You can see how they show comparison, contrast, sequence, or cause-effect and usually occur between independent clauses or sentences. Once you recognize them and understand the punctuation rules for using conjunctive adverbs, you’re sentences will flow much more smoothly with clear, concise meaning.