Conjunctive Adverbs

In Writing

The function of using conjunctive adverbs in written text is two fold:

  1. Show relationships between sentences
  2. Provide text with COHESION


Conjunctive Adverbs can occur in three basic positions in a sentence.

Initial Position: Most common position | Connects sentences, and shows relationship before second sentence is read

  • It is today’s students who will help drive the needed changes toward clean alternative energy, for they will be the ones to feel the future positive or negative environmental impacts resulting from the energy choices we make today. It will also be their choice as to whether to support the development and use of new, clean, alternative-energy technologies. Therefore, it is in the best interest of all that we educate our youth about HFC technology and its potential as an energy source.

Medial Position: Second most common| Suggests subject is more important than transition for cohesion purposes.  Used most with thus, therefore and however.

  • Plastics such as Plexiglas have certain advantages, as well as some disadvantages. On the positive side, they are lighter than glass and less likely to be damaged by physical shock. They are, therefore, used in large frames and when framed art must be shipped.

Final Position: Least common|Emphasizes the subject and action over the transition.

  • Most important to the sport is the love of training, the trancelike state that endurance sports induce. Says Butts: ” It’s how good you feel inside and outside after a long workout. You get greater levels of energy. You stay toned up. ” # There is risk of overtraining, however .

In Conversation

The most common conjunctive adverbs in conversation are:

  1. Though
  2. so
  3. Then
  4. Anyway


Though is commonly used in conversation at the end of a sentence to express contrast, surprise, or concession.  Can you hear it?

Nate Robinson is small; he sure can dunk, though.


This is an Italian folktale.  There was a little girl who loved pancakes and she wanted her mother to make them for her, but her mother didn’t have a pot to cook them in, and she needed some olive oil.  So, she sent the little girl to Uncle Wolf, and he gave her those things, and he said to her, “When your mother makes the pancakes, have her make some for me too, and bring them back to me when you bring the pot back.”  And the girl said, “Fine.”  So she went home, and her mother made the pancakes, and she ate lots of them, and then her mother made some pancakes for Uncle Wolf, and she gave them to the little girl to bring back to him, and as she was bringing them back, the little girl got hungry, and she lifted up the cover of the pot, and she ate a pancake, and that was so good she ate another one, and that was so good she ate another one, and she finally ate all the pancakes.  And, so she didn’t know what to do, so she put some stones in the pot and covered them up, and took them to Uncle Wolf.  And just left them on his doorstep, and when he discovered what she had done, he said, “I’m going to eat you!”  And the little girl started running through the forest, and he was running after here, and she ran and ran and ran and she got home and she said, “Mother, Uncle Wolf is chasing me and he wants to eat me!”  And her mother said, “Run upstairs and get in bed and get under the covers so nobody can see you.  And she did, and Uncle Wolf came in the house and he, he ran upstairs and he went into the bedroom, and he ate the little girl.

And then

If you’ve ever wondered how to get to Prudential Center from Rutgers-Newark, there’s an easy and simple way, and it’s taking the light rail.  And the way you do it is if you are on University Avenue, you walk down past the Golden Dome, and then you keep walking, and then you make a left to take the light rail, which should be the one crossing the street, not, there’s two, there’s two, to be the one crossing the street on Washington, and then you take the light rail, you take it up to Penn Station, and then from Penn Station the way you can get to Prudential Center, real easily, is when walk out of the light rail you go to the escalator to go  to the gateway center, which is like a bridge that they have, and then you walk down the hallway through the Gateway Center, when you walk out, you wanna walk out and find yourself about a block from Prudential Center.  You’ll be able to see it.  It’s really big.  So, that way you can get there.


Sources: Conrad and Biber (2010); Davies (2006)


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