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Definition and Basic Infomation

A conjunction, simply defined, is a connecting word.


The purpose of using conjunctions is to establish rational relationship between different sentences or different parts of sentences.


Study the following sentences to understand this concept. In the following examples, same sentences (I was working and she was watching TV) are connected, but the rational connection between them changes basing on the conjunction used.

  • She was watching TV while I was working. (Both actions are simultaneous.)
  • She was watching TV, while I was working. (Both actions are contrasted.)
  • While she was watching TV, I was working. (The relationship might be either expressing simultaneous actions or contrasting. This ambiguity makes this sentence questionable in formal English.)
  • Since I was working, she was watching TV. (My working was the reason for her watching TV.)
  • I was working, because she was watching some program on TV. (Her watching TV is the reason for my working.)
  • I was working, for she was watching TV. (Just like the earlier sentence, this conjunction also establishes causal relationship. However, the earlier sentence emphasizes the reason whereas this sentence emphasizes the result.)
  • Though I was working, she was watching some program on TV. (the concept here is of contrast. This contrast may be in different ways. She was expected to work along with me or she was disturbing me!)

It is this understanding of the rational relationships that is indirectly tested in G-matic sentence. We shall have some practice on this concept of rationality at the end of this section.


Types of Conjunctions

There are mainly three types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions and subordinating conjunctions.


Coordinating Conjunctions

These conjunctions connect concepts that are of equal importance. Thus, neither of the elements combined is subordinate to the other. Thus, both of the connected clauses are considered main clauses.


List:
 and, but, nor, or, so, yet, for

  1. And
    This conjunction combines two similar grammatical elements: words, phrases and clauses. When clauses are connected, both the clauses connected are main clauses as neither depends on the other for the completion of meaning.

Study the following examples.

  • The committee studied the problem carefully and methodically. (Two adverbs are connected by and.)
  • The problem is tricky and sensitive. (Two adjectives are connected by the conjunction.)
  • The issue has become complicated because it is sensitive and because the parties involved are adamant. (Two because clauses are connected.)
  • Ravi has run out of money and the tuition is to be paid. (Two clauses are combined.)
     
    Any sentence above can be written as two sentences without and. Both sentences are equally important for the sense of the sentence. Study this example.
  • The committee studied the problem carefully. The committee studied the problem methodically.

If you observe the sentence closely, you understand how the common words are omitted and how the conjunction is placed between non-common words. If you repeat any common word(s), it results in grammatical redundancy, which is discussed in the chapter on Style and G-matic implications.

? The committee studied the problem carefully and it also studied it methodically. (The italicized words are grammatically redundant.)

*The committee studied the problem carefully and methodically. (This sentence is concise.)


And
family of words: many words serve the same purpose as the conjunction and performs. The following is the list of such words. (Remember, some of them are prepositions or adverbials.)


List:
 too, as well (as), also, in addition (to),besides, further(more), moreover, both… and, not only … but also.

  • study the following examples and understand the sense as well as G-matic problems.
  • In addition to chess, he can play basketball (= he can play chess and basketball.)
  • In addition to playing chess, he writes books on the techniques of playing the game. (= he plays chess and writes books on techniques of playing the game.)

? Besides Andrew, Julius likes Robert. (= both Andrew and Julius like Robert/Julius likes both Andrew and Robert. Sentences of this kind, creating ambiguity, are not acceptable in formal English.)

  1. But
     
    The conjunction but expresses some kind of contrast between two parts of the sentence. It is to be noted that but combines two grammatically similar elements only. Both the clauses combined are not dependent on the other for the completion of the sense. Thus, these are also main clauses. Even this conjunction, just like and, should combine grammatically similar units.
  • The situation is volatile, but manageable. (Two adjectives are contrasted.)
  • They studied the problem slowly, but methodically. (Two adverbs are contrasted.)
  • The management is ready to offer some concessions, but the workers’ union is not ready to dilute any of its demands. (Two main clauses are combined.)

The same grammatical redundancy discussed earlier is possible even with this conjunction.

  ? The situation is volatile, but it is manageable. (The italicized words are grammatically redundant.)

*     The situation is volatile, but manageable. (This sentence is concise.)


But
 family of words: many words function the same way as the conjunction but does. The following is the list of such words. (Some of them might be subordinating conjunctions, prepositions or sentence adverbials.)


List: 
though, although, even though, whereas, while, nevertheless, however, in spite of, despite. (The first five are subordinating conjunctions and the last two are prepositions.)

  • Despite his hard work, Jones failed in the test. (= he worked hard, but failed in the test.)
  • Though problem is tricky, it is not unmanageable. (= the problem is tricky, but not unmanageable.)
  1. Or
     
    The conjunction or expresses alternative. Grammatically similar words are to be combined with or. Just like any other coordinating conjunctions, it combines main clauses also.

Study the following examples.

  • The book is available in the library or in the nearby book stores. (Two prepositional phrases are connected by using or.)
  • You can correct the problem or replace the part. (Two verbs are connected by or.)
  • You can come to my house or I will come to your house. (Two main clauses are connected by or.)

The Or family of words: the words that express similar relations are just a few: either … or, neither… nor.

  • The problem can be seen from either sociological or economical perspective.
  1. So
     
    The conjunction shows the causal relation between two clauses in the sentence. Generally, it combines only main clauses.

Study the following examples.

  • The global warming has reached alarming levels, so immediate action is necessary.

So family of words: many words establish causal relation between clauses, just as so does.


The list:
 therefore, as, since, because, for, given that, thus a result, consequently.

  1. Nor and yet
     
    Nor, as a coordinating conjunction, can combine two sentences on its own. However, it is mostly used as a correlative with neither … nor. The subject verb inversion is needed with this use of nor.

Study the following example.

  • She cannot understand English, nor can she understand the local language.
  • She has not completed the work, nor does she want to.
     
    Yet, as a coordinating conjunction, can be used like but.
  • The accident look terrible, yet none of the passengers in the car died. (Yet is used with the sense of but.)
  1. G-matic implications of coordinating conjunctions
     
    i. We know that and is used to extend the thought, but to contrast the thought and or to express the alternative. You should be careful in the use of these because the careless use of these two might result in irrational expressions. However, you should note that the confusion in the use of conjunctions is a rare testing point in G-matic sentence correction.

Study the following examples.

* The professor might be in his office and in the class room. (The use of and is not logically acceptable because a person can be in one place or in the other.)

* The professor might be in his office or in the class room.

  1. Sometimes, we use and with yet. The same is the case with conjunctions but and nor. These two combinations are optional. Study the following examples, which are correct. The use of two conjunctions is NOT considered redundancy.

* The theory has not been accepted beyond reasonable doubt, but nor has it been fully rejected.

*The concept of this word game is simple, and yet complex enough to keep the kids engaged.


Correlative Conjunctions

These conjunctions are paired conjunctions, i.e., each conjunction contains two words. G-matic English tests the mismatching of these conjunctions.


List:
 both… and, not only… but also, either… or, neither … nor, whether… or.

Easy parallelism questions are generated using these conjunctions. They must always combine similar grammatical elements; the words present immediately after these words must be of same grammatical category.

Study the following examples to understand this concept.

*For more than 1100 years, Indus valley dominated both Northern India and most of what is now Pakistan. (The phrases after two words of correlative conjunction are parallel representing places.)

*Almost all ancient civilizations tried to explain the phenomena around them either by invoking supernatural powers or by attributing them to the power of Mother Nature. (The two prepositional phrases present after the correlative conjunction are grammatically same elements.)

  1. G-matic errors are introduced by mismatching these paired conjunctions. Study the following examples.

* The Indus Valley Civilization, which dominated the region between 2600 BC to 1900 BC, is famous not only for its world’s first underground sewage system as well as for its sophisticated public works system.

The correlative conjunction not only must be followed by but also. But in the given sentence, as well as is incorrectly used. (Even the prepositional pair problem is corrected in the following.)

*The Indus Valley Civilization, which dominated the region between 2600 BC and 1900 BC, is famous not only for its world’s first underground sewage system but also for its sophisticated public works system.

Example
During the periods of economic prosperity, business organizations tend to finance not only weaker projects, whose profits margins are low by industry standards, and even innovative projects that are only a good investment when the risk in financing is low.
A. and even innovative projects that are only a good investment
B. but even innovative projects also that are a good investment only
C. but also innovative projects that are a good investment only
D. but only to innovative projects that are a good investment
E. as well as innovative projects that are only good investments
Solution
Explanation: the part of the sentence before the underlined part is with a correlative conjunction not only, which must be followed by but also. The underlined part does not contain this needed correlative conjunction. Moreover, the intended sense that the innovative projects are good investment only when the risk in financing is lowis not given because of the misplacement of only.
Option A: not only is incorrectly used with and. The adverb only is misplaced.
Option B: the use of even along with not only… but also is redundant.
Option C: correct. This option correctly uses the required correlative conjunction and only is correctly placed.
Option D: not only is followed by a noun phrase whereas but also is followed by a prepositional phrase (only to innovative projects). This results in absence of parallelism with correlative conjunction. Thus, this option is wrong.
Option E: as well as is wrongly used and only is misplaced.

 

Subordinating Conjunctions

Grammatically speaking, the conjunction that introduces a subordinate clause is a subordinating conjunction. A subordinate clause, by definition, cannot give complete sense on its own, but has to depend on main clause for the completion of sense.

Study the following examples.

  • Because the effect of technology on arts has become wide-spread, computer art forms are gaining momentum.

In this example, the clause starting with because cannot give complete meaning on its own and so, it is called subordinate clause and the second clause is a main clause. The conjunction because is subordinating conjunction.


Conceptually speaking, subordinating conjunctions introduce ideas that are subordinate to the ideas expressed by main clause. This implies that the idea expressed in the main clause is the principal concept of the sentence, whereas the idea expressed in a subordinate clause introduces a minor detail about some element of the main clause.


The subordinating clauses may describe a noun or some aspect of verb/action.

  1. Subordinating conjunctions that start adjective clauses
     
    An adjective clause is usually a relative clause that describes a noun. This clause usually starts with relative pronouns (which, that, who, which etc.). We have already discussed this clause in details in the earlier chapters.
  • First January, which was the first day of year as per Gregorian calendar, had been adopted as the first day of year in many countries even before the adaptation of that calendar.

The purpose of the relative clauses is to describe the noun present before that. We have discussed the implications of this in the chapter Pronouns and G-matic implications.

  1. Subordinating conjunctions that start noun clauses
     
    The subordinating conjunctions that introduce a noun clause are that, if/whether, or any question word.
     
    We have discussed this thoroughly in the chapter 6 Nouns – G-matic Perspectives.
     
    The optional and mandatory use of that, which is discussed in that chapter is an extremely important G-matic testing point!
  2. Subordinating conjunctions that start adverbial clauses
     
    As we have noted in the chapter Words and Word Groups, adverbials and adverb clauses add infomation about the time, place, reason, result and purpose of the action denoted by the verb.
     
    The various syntactic relations given by the subordinating conjunctions are given here briefly.
    1. Temporal (time) relationship
       
      The adverbial clauses that give the time of action of main clause are usually started with the following subordinating conjunction.
       
      List: after, as long as, as, as soon as, before, once, since, till, until, when, whenever, while.

Study the following examples.

  • Agriculture, and thus human settlements, gained ascendency over hunter-gatherer life-style only after animals were domesticated. (The conjunction after establishes temporal relationship between domestication and agriculture.)
  • The company has made profits since it was started. (This sentence too brings out the time relation between the two parts of sentence.)
     
    We should note this time relation can be expressed by many of the above conjunctions acting as prepositions. We have noted that a noun or noun phrase can act as the prepositional object.

Study the following examples in which the conjunctions used above are used as prepositions.

  • Agriculture and thus human settlements gained ascendency only after the domestication of animals.
  • The company has made profits since its inception.

G-matic implication:

The choice between using a preposition and using conjunction is a question of preference. However, stylistically speaking, a long phrase after preposition is likely to cause confusion, and thus, a clause with conjunction is preferable. With short phrases, prepositional phrases make the sentences concise and we should prefer them in such instances.


?
Often partly because there was the threat of hurricanes, many coastal regions in the world had sparse population until the advent of automobile tourism.

* Often partly because of the threat of hurricanes, many coastal regions in the world had sparse population until the advent of automobile tourism.

Although both sentences are correct, the second one is concise and that a possible right option in G-matic English.

* In the United States, women have better access to health care than men because they have higher rates of health insurance coverage.

? In the United States, women have better access to health care than men because of their having higher rates of health insurance coverage.

Though both sentences are correct, the second one with the preposition (because of) is with awkward and long phrase. Thus the first one with clause is preferable.

  1. causal relationship
     
    The adverbial clauses that give the reason for the action in main clause are usually started with the following subordinating conjunctions.

List: as, because, since, given that.

  • Since the artifacts discovered in Peru reflect a pre-Incan style, the archaeologist concluded that Incan culture was not the earliest culture in the region. (The subordinating conjunction since states the clause that gives reason for the action in main clause.)

G-matic implication:

It is important to note that even prepositions, such as because of and due to, express the reason – result relationships in sentences. However, we should note that prepositional phrases are stylistically preferable when the reason phrase is relatively simple. Clause with one of the above conjunctions is stylistically preferable when the reason given contains long and complex infomation .


?
Physical and direct exploration of the sun is not possible in near future because of the interference and spoilage, by the space weather generated by the sun, of the power generation and infomation transmission systems of the satellites.

* Physical and direct exploration of the sun is not possible in near future because the space weather generated by the Sun interferes with and spoils the power generation and infomation transmission systems of the satellites.

Both sentences are grammatically correct; how-ever, the concept in the second sentence is easily comprehended. Thus, the second one is stylistically preferable.

  1. Contrast or concession
     
    The subordinate clause of contrast or concession shows an exception to the expected result or contrast. We need to use the following subordinating conjunctions.

List: although, though, even if, even though, while, whereas.

  • Though the government pumped money into economy and cut the interest rates to stimulate the economy, there was no tangible improvement in the state of economy because of the high unemployment rate. (There was no improvement despite government’s pumping money – a situation contrary to the expectations. This expresses the concession in the sentence structure.)
  • Venturesome companies undertake implementation of innovative technologies that are not fully established, whereas conservative companies go after proven technologies. (this sentence is contrasting two types of investments done two different groups of companies.)

The use of correct subjects is important in sentences showing contrast. Sometimes, when the subject is changed, the contrast is not effectively expressed.


To understand this concept, study the following sentences carefully.

  • ? While the gist of theory of relativity is quite easy to state, many find it quite difficult to understand the details and implications of the theory.

The contrast here is this: the gist is difficult to state and the details are difficult to understand. Instead of contrasting these two concepts, the sentence is comparing the gist being easy to state and many finding it difficult to understand. The sentence is better expressed in the following way.


* 
While the gist of theory of relativity is quite easy to state, the details and implications are quite difficult to understand.

? During early 1950’s, only ten percentage of management graduates wanted to become entrepreneurs, whereas entrepreneurship is the goal of more than thirty percent of management graduates in 1990’s.

* During early 1950’s, only ten percentage of management graduates wanted to become entrepreneurs, whereas, in 1990’s, more than thirty percent management graduates wanted to become entrepreneurs.

  1. Purpose
     
    Adverb clauses showing the purpose usually start with in order that and so that. These conjunctions express the purpose of the action in the main clause.
  • The scientists are conducting experiments so that they can verify the validity of the theory. (The so that clause gives the purpose of the action in the main clause.)
  • Some companies invested money in high security bonds so that they could minimize the risk. (The in order that clause gives the purpose of investing money in highly secure bonds.)
     
    To express the purpose, we can use even to + V1, in order to or so as to. The above sentences can be rewritten in the following way.
  • The scientists are conducting experiments to verify the validity of the theory.
  • Some companies invested money in highly secure bonds to minimize the risk.

Use of to infinitive in these examples makes the sentence concise whereas the subordinate clauses make them wordy.

  1. Result
     
    The adverb clauses showing the result of the main clause usually with so … that or such … as.

Look at the following example.

  • The situation is so tricky that it needs our immediate attention.
  • The salesman was such a courteous man as I found it really hard to reject.

Generally, it has been quite common to use such… that. This is quite acceptable in informal English. However, strict formal expression needs such … as. This is, of course, not a hard and fast rule in G-matic expression. I have found both these uses in original GMAT questions. Thus, I leave this point to your discretion.

  1. Manner
     
    Adverb clauses that indicate manner generally start with as if or as though.
     
    These clauses express the manner in which the action in main clause is done. Whether we use subjunctive mood or declarative mood changes the meaning of the sentence.

Study the following examples to understand this difference.

  • He talks as if he is the in charge of the project. (This means that I can deduce that he may be the boss.)
  • He talks as if he were the in charge of the project. (the use of subjunctive indicates a situation contrary to reality. I know that he is not the in charge.)

Conjunctions
Select appropriate conjunction from among the conjunctions given in the brackets. The sentence should, after your selection, should make logical sense.

  1. ------------- (although/when/since) the initial goal of finding many of the lost literary works of antiquity at Oxyrhynchus was not achieved, many important Greek texts were found during the excavation of the site.
  2. ---------- (because, after, whereas) any financial crisis in the economy generally characterized as the failure of entire financial system, the real failings often occur in the banking system resulting in wrong channeling of resources.
  3. Any innovation in biology or in medicine can become a tool of profit for businesses only after a long period, -------- (so, so that, because), its implications on the everyday life can be realized in the long run only.
  4. -------------- (because, as though, though) both of the authors are equally popular, Graham Green embraces the genre of thriller catering to the needs of common reader, ----------- (after, so, whereas) Evelyn Waugh resorts to the comedy and farce.
  5. Interest in cold fusion, a nuclear fusion under the condition of room temperature and pressure, has dramatically increased ---------- (before, so that, after) nuclear fusion was reported in a tabletop experiment during the electrolysis of heavy water.
  6. The demarcation between hunter-gatherer societies that procure food directly from plants and animals in the wild and other societies that rely on domestication of animals and plants is not clearly defined ------------ (thus, though, as) many contemporary societies combine both strategies to sustain their population.
  7. The ascendency of infomation technology and globalization present a dilemma for business organization; companies need networks to capitalize on resources, ---------- (but, as well as, also) markets, ------------ (whereas, when, because) the networks themselves present the risks of infiltration and infringement of proprietary rights
  8. Tipis, primitive conical tents usually made of animal hides or thick bark from birch trees, are traditionally associated with Native Americans in general, ----------- (so, so that, but) Native Americans from places other than the Great Plains mostly used different types of dwellings.
  9. Thermoregulation, the ability of an organism to maintain its body temperature within a certain range, ----------- (unless, even if, even when) the surrounding temperatures are outside that range, is quite important for the survival of that organism, ---------- (whereas, thus, because) body temperatures outside that range impede vital processes in the body.
  10. ----------- (As, Though, after) the Kansas – Nebraska bill of 1854 was enacted to ease the tensions between the south and the north, because the south could, as per the law, expand the slavery to new territories, ----------- (so that, so, but) the north still had the right to abolish slavery in its states, the act was proved counterproductive, --------- (but, or, and) contributed to the instigation of the Civil War.

 Keys

  1. Although: there is a contrast between initial goal not being achieved and another goal being achieved. Thus, to express this contrast, we need to use although. Other two conjunctions do not make logical sense.
  2. Whereas: to show the contrast, we need to use whereas. As there is neither causal nor temporal relation, the other two conjunctions are illogical in the context.
  3. Because: the second clause expresses the reason for the first. Thus, the conjunction because is correct.
  4. Though, whereas: the last two clauses depict contrast between the genres chosen by two authors. These two being diverse, we need to use the conjunction whereas in the second blank. As the first clause is neither the reason nor a clause of description of manner, we cannot use because or as though. So the right conjunction is for the first blank is though.
  5. After: the second clause is the reason for the first one. However, this relation cannot be expressed by any of the given options. The conjunction before is not possible because of the tense structure and the sense is also not logical. So that cannot be used as the second clause is not the purpose. Thus, the possible option is after.
  6. As: if you study the sentence carefully, you can understand that the second clause is the reason for the first clause. Thus, as is the correct choice.
  7. As well as, whereas: companies need networks to capitalize on both resources and markets. Thus, we need to use as well as for the first blank. As the second clause after semicolon shows contrast, we need to use the conjunction whereas.
  8. But: the two clauses are used to show the contrast between general perception and reality. Thus, the required conjunction is but.
  9. Even when, because: the situation demands the mention of time during which the organism maintains the body temperature. Thus the required conjunction in the first blank is even when. Using the other options makes the sentence illogical. The last clause tells us why it is crucial for survival. Thus, the second blank requires because.
  10. Though, but, and: the act was enacted to ease tensions, but it proved counterproductive. There is a conflict between these two. To express this contrast, we need to use though in the first blank. There is another instance of contrast between the south having freedom to expand the slavery and the north having the right to abolish slavery. Thus, second blank requires but. The concept of being counterproductive is extended in the next clause. Thus, the last blank requires and.

Absence Of Conjunctions–Run-on Sentences/Fused Sentences–G-Matic Error

 When two sentences (main clauses) are combined into a single sentence, we need to use a conjunction to establish the relation between them. If we do not do so, the combination of clauses results in two types of errors: comma splice error and Run-on/fused sentence.


Comma splice: 
comma splice is an error resulted when two sentences are connected incorrectly by a comma, whereas a conjunction is needed to connect them.


Look at the following examples to understand this error.

* I have stopped eating sweets, I want to reduce my weight.

*I have stopped eating sweets; I want to reduce my weight.

*I have stopped eating sweets, for I want to reduce my weight.

*Because I want to reduce my weight, I have stopped eating sweets.


We can correct this type of error by using a semi-colon or a relevant conjunction. Our choice should depend on the clarity resulting from the correction. Of the three corrections, the last is preferable because it clearly establishes the relation between the two main clauses.

*Learning sciences, such as physics and biology, outside the classroom develops appreciation of the subjects in the formative years of the students, such appreciation is quite necessary for the dedicated study of the subjects at more advanced levels.

* Learning sciences, such as physics and biology, outside the classroom develops appreciation of the subjects in the formative years of the students, for/because such appreciating is quite necessary for the dedicated study of the subjects at more advanced levels.


Run-on/Fused sentences:
 when two main clauses are combined without using any form of punctuation and conjunction, the resultant sentences are called fused or run-on sentences. These sentences are corrected just as the errors of comma splice are corrected.


Study the following sentences, which are fused sentences and their corrections.

* Beer contains alcohol wine and spirit also contain alcohol in a greater degree.

* Beet contains alcohol; wine and spirit also contain alcohol in a greater degree.

* Beer contains alcohol, but wine and spirit contain alcohol in a greater degree.

Example
Earth’s atmosphere and its magnetic field, most of the time, protect the earth from turbulent solar processes, such as solar flares and solar emissions of charged particles, when charged particles from the sun, sometimes, enter the earth’s lower atmospheric layers, they disrupt radio-communications and power transmissions.
A. when charged particles from sun, sometimes, enter the earth’s lower atmospheric layers, they disrupt
B. but charged particles from the sun enter the earth’s lower atmospheric layers to disrupt
C. but charged particles from the sun, sometimes, entering the earth’s lower atmospheric layers and disrupting
D. while charged particles from the sun, sometimes, enter the earth’s lower atmospheric layers in order to disrupt
E. but, charged particles from the sun, sometimes entering the lower atmospheric layers, disrupt
Solution
Explanation: the sentence after the conjunction when is complete on its own, and the part of the sentence before the underlined part is also an independent clause which needs to be connected to the later part with a conjunction. This needed conjunction is absent, creating comma splice error.
Option A: the whole sentence is with the comma splice error.
Option B: though the comma splice error is corrected by using the relevant conjunction but, the use of infinitive at the end implies the purpose giving the sense that the particles enter the earth’s lower atmospheric layers with the purpose of disrupting. This sense is illogical, and this option is incorrect.
Option C: after the conjunction but, an independent clause is needed. But, by using the two modifier phrases, the option creates the fragment error.
Option D: though the use of the conjunction while is acceptable, the use of in order to is incorrect as it implies purpose.
Option E: correct. This option corrects the comma splice error, and brings out the contrast clearly and concisely.

G-matically Problematic Conjunctions

Test takers become confused in the use of certain conjunctions. These have become testing points in GMAT. Such conjunctions are discussed in this section.

  1. So…that v/s so that
     
    So that is used to imply the purpose of action in the main clause.
     
    So… that is used to result of some quality present after the conjunction so.

Study the following examples to understand this concept.

  • The concern about environmental issues has been so intense that many car manufacturers are now developing hybrid vehicles that are far less polluting than the conventional internal combustion engine vehicles. (The result of the intensity of the issues is given by the that clause.)
  • Many car manufacturers are now developing hybrid vehicles so that they can comply with the environmental laws that have drastically reduced permissible emission levels. (The purpose of developing hybrid vehicles is that they can comply with the laws.)
  • The crystal structure of diamond is so rigid that it can be contaminated by very few impurities, such as boron and nitrogen.

Example
Between 1999 and 2009, many new species have been discovered in the rain forests of the Amazon so that the decade became popular as the Decade of Discovery in the field of biology.
A. Between 1999 and 2009, many new species have been discovered in the rain forests rests of the Amazon so that the decade became popular as the Decade of Discovery in the field of biology.
B. Between 1999 and 2009, many new species have been so discovered in the rain forests rests of Amazon that the decade has become popular as the Decade of Discovery in the field of biology.
C. Many species that are so new were discovered in the rain forests rests of the Amazon that the decade has become popular as the Decade of Discovery in the field of biology during 1999 and 2009.
D. Between 1999 and 2009, so many new species were discovered in the rain forests rests of the Amazon that the decade has become popular as the Decade of Discovery in the field of biology.
E. So many new species have been discovered in the rainforests of the Amazon that the decade, between 1999 and 2009, has become popular as the Decade of Discovery in the field of biology.
Solution
Explanation: the use of so that is illogical because the purpose of discovery is not to make the decade popular as the Decade of Discovery. Moreover, the use of present perfect have been discovered with past time (between 1999 and 2009) is incorrect.
Option A: wrong tense and wrong conjunction so that in the place of required so… that make this option wrong.
Option B: the position of so is incorrect. The sense that many species have been so discovered in the forest that the decade became popular as the Decade of Discovery is incorrect. The emphasis should be on the number of species, not on the verb discovered.
Option C: the conjunction so is incorrectly placed before the adjective new. The sentence does not give the intended logical sense because of this misplacement. Moreover, the position of the prepositional phrase during 1999 and 2009 is wrong in two ways: during is not correct preposition with and and the phrase should logically modify discovered, not has become popular.
Option D: correct. This sentence gives the correct and intended meaning by placing the conjunction correctly and by using the time phrase between 1999 and 2009 near the verb (have been discovered) correctly modified by it.
Option E: this option incorrectly places the time phrase. It also uses the past tense, in the place of required present perfect, for a situation that is true even in the present.
  1. So … that v/s such… as
     
    To express the result, we need to use a that clause with so and an as clause with such. So the correct combinations are so… that and such … as.
     
    This rule, however, is seldom observed even in formal speech. Strict formal English requires the above combinations.

Study the following to understand the concept.

* The business opportunities presented to a country conducting Olympic Games are so broad that the costs of conducting the games are far outweighed by the revenue from the business in the long run. (The clause starting with that expresses the result of the earlier clause.)

? The machine was such a flawless one that I could not find any problem ever after four hours of probing.

* The machine was such a flawless one as I could not find any problem even after four hours of probing.

You should not confuse this use with the use of such as. The preposition such as introduces examples and the use of like, as we have already discussed in the Chapter 8, brings out comparison.

* Despite the consensus among the nations, environmental protection measures, like the prevention of deforestation, receive little attention in some countries.

* Despite the consensus among the nations, environmental protection measures, such as the prevention of deforestation, receive little attention in some countries.

  1. Whether v/s if:
     
    Both whether and if can be used to report a yes or no question. However, if two or more options are explicitly stated using the conjunction or, you should use whether, not if.

Study the following examples.

*The Minister wanted to know whether /if the reports were ready. (both are equally good.)

* The minister wanted to know if the reports are ready or we need to make any changes in it. (in this example, two options are given using or, and thus, use of if is incorrect.)

* The minister wanted to know whether the reports were ready or we needed to make more changes in it.

We can use only whether after prepositions. Look at the following example.

* We need to decide on if project is to be approved.

*We need to decide on whether the project is to be approved.

The use of if is not advisable in case of creation of ambiguity. Whether is preferable stylistically in such situation. Study the following example

·  ? Tell me if you need some infomation. (This sentence can be interpreted in two ways: tell me whether you need some infomation or if you need some infomation, I am ready to give. This creates ambiguity.)

*Tell me whether you need some infomation.

  1. While, whereas, and although
     
    Sometimes, the use of the above conjunctions creates confusion. Coming to the basics, while is a conjunction which primarily gives the time relationship between two actions. This conjunction is also used to bring out contrast. The conjunctions although and whereas are used to bring out contrast or concession.

Study the following examples to understand the basis uses.

  • The reporters noted down important points while the CEO was delivering the speech.
  • Although the novel was first found to be unfit for publication, Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past is now accepted to be one of the greatest works of twentieth century.
  • We saw a terrible accident while we were coming home.

However, the conjunction while poses some problem because of the two possible uses it is put to. While may be used as a conjunction expressing time relation as well as concessive relation. Because of this, ambiguity is resulted. Let us understand this possibility by studying the following examples.

  • I was working seriously while my roommate was watching TV. (The implication of this sentence is that both actions were simultaneous.)
  • I was working seriously, while my roommate was watching TV. (The implication of this sentence is that I was working seriously, but he is wasting time.)

? While my roommate was watching TV, I was working seriously. (in this sentence, it is not clear whether I am talking about simultaneous actions or I was contrasting.)


When the sentence has possibility of ambiguity, whereas is preferable to express contrast. The conjunction while is to be used in this sense of contrast only when there is no possibility of ambiguity.

* Whereas my roommate is watching TV, I was working seriously

*I was working seriously, whereas my roommate was watching TV.





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