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Conjunctions

What is a conjunction?

So, you know what a sentence is. Often it is a subject, a verb, and an object (SVO). For example: "The president signs the document." But not all expression can be squeezed into simple SVO sentence. Often there is a clause added to the sentence. For example: "The president signs the document because he believes in the cause."  The word because connected the clause "he believes in the cause" to the main sentence, "The president signs the document."

In short then: the conjunction connects the sentence and the clause. Sometimes you can start with the clause, followed by the sentence: "Because he believes in the cause, the president signs the document."

How many types of Conjunctions do you get in Afrikaans?

In Afrikaans we have three groups of clauses. In each group the verb goes in a different place.

The Verb-Second group is the easiest -  nothing changes in the word order. Both the sentence and the clause have 'normal' word order -- i.e. the subject, then the verb. There are just a few conjunctions that fall in this group.

The Verb-last group has the verb, then object, then the verb at the end. It would be like this: "The president signs the document because he in the cause believes." The list of conjunctions that push the verb to the end of the clause include a group of conjunctions that end with -dat. All questions words (such as who, when, where, why, what) that are used in a statement becomes verb-last conjunctions. For example: "I know where the map to the treasure is."

The verb-first group is when the verb follows directly after the conjunction. So the subject is second. The conjunction 'then' is an example. "First add the sugar to the flour, then add a bit of cinnamon." Another example: "I will walk to the store and then will I ask for the newspaper."

Each of these lessons below will help you master the production of sentences using each of these conjunction groups. For English speakers, the verb-second clauses will be easy, but the verb-last clauses will take practice to make that a fluid production experience. Repetition my friend, mindful repetition!