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What is the main difference between connectives and conjunctions?

Discussion in 'Primary' started by eggles, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. I struggle to understand the difference between connectives and conjunctions. Can anyone explain the difference in simple terms.
  2. Connectives tend to link sentences and paragraphs whilst conjuctions tend to link within a sentence. However I am happy to be corrected if that is wrong!
  3. tafkam

    tafkam Occasional commenter

    Well, conjunctions are a real thing and connectives aren't.

    Okay, so maybe it's not that simple.
    Conjunctions are a word class which perform a specific function: they join two (or more) clauses within a sentence, such as:
    It was raining and I was walking home
    I wore my coat although it was sunny out
    I ran home because I was late.

    Connectives is a term often used to include conjunctions (particularly some of the subordinating conjunctions which help to form complex sentences), but also includes a wider range of words and phrases which are usually used to support cohesion at text level. For example, I have just used the connective 'for example' to indicate that I am giving an example to illustrate the previous sentence. Furthermore, I can use words such as 'furthermore' to suggest that I am going on to discuss the matter further.
    On the other hand, I might use a phrase like 'on the other hand' to suggest I am changing topic slightly to talk about a different point of view.
    All of these phrases are connective phrases which help to guide the reader through the text and through changes and continuations of topics.
    By Y7 I try to teach these functions separately. Unfortunately, my experience of KS2 suggests that connectives is just used a blanket word to mean "stick these posh words in and it might help you get a level 5!"
    I tend to refer to them as "sentence level connectives" and "text level connectives" where students are hooked on the word - but keep relabelling the sentence level ones as conjunctions. I have a couple of posters which I made , available on resources:

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