Skip to Local Navigation
Skip to Content
California State University, Long Beach
English Department banner
Print this pageAdd this page to your favoritesSelect a font sizeSelect a small fontSelect a medium fontSelect a large font
 

Conjunctive Adverbs

Downloadable Version: Conjuctive Adverbs

Overview: Transitional expressions help your writing flow smoothly. One type of transitional expression, the conjunctive adverb, is used to link ideas that contain similar subjects or emphases. A conjunctive adverb can be used at the beginning of a sentence, in the middle of a sentence, or to join two sentences.

  1. When you begin a sentence with a conjunctive adverb, follow it with a comma.

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

 

  1. When you interrupt a sentence with a conjunctive adverb, use a comma before and after it to set it off from the rest of the sentence.

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

 

  1. When you link two independent clauses (two complete sentences) with a conjunctive adverb, use a semi-colon before the conjunctive adverb and a comma after it.

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

 

Note: Many writers make the mistake of using a conjunctive adverb and a comma to link two complete sentences, but this creates a comma splice, which is considered a major error in sentence structure.

 

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

 

Here is a list of common conjunctive adverbs:

To show additionagain

also

besides

finally

further

furthermore

moreover

To show contrast anyway

however

instead

nevertheless

otherwise

contrarily

conversely

nonetheless

To show timemeanwhile

next

then

now

thereafter

To show resultaccordingly

consequently

hence

henceforth

therefore

thus

incidentally

subsequently

To show a specific casenamely

specifically

To showcomparison

likewise

similarly

To strengthen a pointindeed To return to your point after concedingstill

nevertheless

To recognize a point adjacent to your main point: certainly, undoubtedly

 

Practice: A conjunctive adverb creates a smooth transition between two ideas with similar emphases. Read a paragraph or two of your own writing, and locate two simple sentences that might be more effective if joined together by a conjunctive adverb. Rewrite the sentences using an appropriate conjunctive adverb. Remember, however, to avoid overusing them. Always try to use a variety of sentence types to keep your writing interesting.


Copyright (C) 2016. 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.

    LAB-206

    (562) 985-4329

    The WRL is open for tutoring Monday-Thursday from 10 AM to 8 PM and Fridays 10AM-1PM Call or come in to make your appointment.