For your students to become more sophisticated writers, teaching correlative conjunctions is a must. Correlative conjunctions will allow your students to vary sentence structures and communicate specific relationships in their writing.
- both… and
- not only… but… also
- either… or
- neither… nor
- whether… or
Teach the Function of Each Correlative Conjunction
For students to correctly use correlative conjunctions, they must know the different functions of each. Correlative conjunctions express different relationships and apply to specific contexts.
- Both & and are used to express that two options are possible.
- Not only & but also are used to create emphasis.
- Either & or are used to provide a choice between two alternatives.
- Neither & nor are used to make two negative statements.
- Whether & or are used to present two possibilities.
Correlative Conjunctions and Parallel Structure
Teach students that correlative conjunctions should only join words and phrases of equal weight. In other words, the words or phrases that follow the correlative conjunctions should have similar grammatical structures.
- Unequal Weight: Our tour guide must be familiar with both the country and be able to speak the language.
- Equal Weight: Our tour guide must be familiar with both the country and the language.
Correlative Conjunctions Subject-Verb Agreement
If you connect two subjects with a correlative conjunction, the second subject must agree with the verb that follows. Click here if your students need help with subject-verb agreement.
- NOT in Agreement: Before dawn, either my siblings or my mom wake me up.
The verb (wake) does not agree with the second subject (mom).
- Agreement: Before dawn, either my siblings or my mom wakes me up.
Now the verb (wakes) agrees with the second subject (mom).
Khan Academy Correlative Conjunctions
Khan Academy offers a wonderful mini-unit on correlative conjunctions. I love how the video breaks down the meaning of correlative and connects it to the function of these conjunctions. The video is short and sweet (a little over 3 minutes), and there are some useful practice activities that follow.
Correlative Conjunctions Anchor Chart
The functions and examples of these five common correlative conjuncts make a great anchor chart. Complete the anchor chart with students, and then revisit it when needed. It’s also useful for the correlative conjunctions mini-book (below).
FREE Correlative Conjunctions Mini-Book
This free mini-book is a personal version of the anchor chart. Students can complete the mini-book as they reference the anchor chart. There are two versions one the mini-book. There is a complete version and a blank version. Students can take their own notes in the blank version. Just enter your email address in the form below, and I will immediately send this to you. If you don’t see it in your inbox, check your spam/promotions folder. To ensure delivery, avoid using a school email address.
Correlative Conjunctions Curriculum Unit
This grammar unit has everything you need to teach correlative conjunctions. It includes a PowerPoint lesson, practice printables, task cards, sketch notes, an interactive notebook activity, and an assessment. These tools will allow you to thoroughly teach and assess correlative conjunctions in just one week.