Last Updated : 28 Nov 2014



Definition :
Some conjunctions are used in pairs. Conjunctions which are thus used in pairs are called Correlative Conjunctions or Merely Correlative.

Conjunctions which are used in pairs are called Correlative Conjunctions. A term used of a construction in which two parts of a sentence are linked together by two words – one word belonging to one part and the other word belonging to the other.

Some Important Correlative Conjunctions


both and not ... but neither... nor
either ... or not only... but also whether... or
though ... yet

Although some of these conjunctions can stand on their own, when used in a correlative sense, both words must be present:


Not only ... but also
Mr.Rao not only smokes but also drinks
He not only acts but also writes his own plays
Dad not only washed the car, but he also polished it
Maria not only skis but also snowboards
He not only robbed the poor child but also murdered her
Either ... or
Either you want to go or you don’t
You must either pay the bill at once or return the goods
It is either a parrot or a crow
Either you or he has to go to the market
You can do your homework either now or after dinner
Whether ... or
Only God knows whether he is alive or dead
I will see him whether you like it or not
It all depends on whether it rains or not
She couldn’t decide whether to stay in bed or get up and take a shower
Do you know whether Luke or Robin are coming to dinner?
Both ... and
She speaks both English and French
Both popcorn and peanuts are popular snacks at sporting events
Both the manager and the clerk were happy
Sam ran faster than both Jems and David
Both His sister and brother are married
Though ... yet
Though he is suffering a lot, yet he does not complain
Neither ... nor
It is neither useful nor ornamental
Neither her sister nor her mother was there
He is neither a knave nor a fool
Neither Jack nor Jill enjoyed the outing
Neuer having neither masculine nor feminine gender


Note that many words can be used as prepositions, adverbs, or conjunctions. The definition of these words actually depends on how they are used within the sentence.
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