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Conjunctive Adverbs

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Overview:

Transitional expressions help your writing flow smoothly. One type of transitional expression, the conjunctive adverb, also serves to connect independent clauses that are coordinate. In other words, conjunctive adverbs are used to link together two ideas with similar subjects and emphases while helping your writing to flow.

Conjunctive adverbs are usually placed between two independent clauses following a semicolon and followed by a comma. When conjunctive adverbs occur anywhere else in the sentence, they are usually separated from the rest of the sentence by commas. Occasionally, a conjunctive adverb will begin a sentence, in which case it will be followed by a comma.

Here is a list of conjunctive adverbs:   

To show addition or another face

again

also

besides

finally

further

furthermore

moreover

To show contrast or change an idea

anyway

however

instead

nevertheless

otherwise

contrarily

conversely

nonetheless

To show time

meanwhile

next

then

now

thereafter

To show result

accordingly

consequently

hence

henceforth

therefore

thus

incidentally

subsequentl

 

To show a specific case

namely

specifically

To show comparison

likewise

similarly

To strengthen a point

indeed

To return to your point after conceding

still

nevertheless

To recognize a point off your main point

certainly

undoubtedly

Consider the following examples:   

    The weather is beautiful today; therefore, I think I’ll ride my bike to the beach.

    The weather is beautiful today. I think, therefore, I’ll ride my bike to the beach.

    The weather is beautiful today. Therefore, I think I’ll ride my bike to the beach.

Style Matters:

A conjunctive adverb serves to join together, and create a smooth transition between, two ideas with similar emphases. Try looking at your own writing and locating two simple sentences that might be more effective if joined together by a conjunctive adverb. Remember, however, to avoid overusing them. Always try to use a variety of sentence types to keep your writing interesting.


Copyright (C) 2010. All rights reserved.

This handout is part of a library of instructional materials used in California State University, Long Beach’s writing center, the Writer’s Resource Lab. Educators and students are welcome to distribute copies as long as they do so with attribution to all organizations and authors. Commercial distribution is prohibited.