Conjunctive Adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs are transition words that are often confused with conjunctions. Conjunctive adverbs are adverbs that show a transition between ideas within a sentence. Like other adverbs, conjunctive adverbs can be moved to different parts of a sentence because they are not connecting grammatical parts of the sentence; for example,

These words are call adverbs; however, they feel like conjunctions.
These words are call adverbs; they feel, however, like conjunctions.

The following table list some common conjunctive adverbs.

Conjunctive Adverbs
accordingly besides consequently
furthermore hence however
indeed likewise moreover
nevertheless otherwise then
therefore thus

There is an important difference between conjunctive adverbs and coordinating conjunctions. As previously pointed out, a conjunctive adverb can be moved within the clause that it is part of; coordinating conjunctions, on the other hand, must come before the clause that it joins.

For example:

  • A few years ago, I went to Korea; then my live really began to change.
    A few years ago, I went to Korea; my live, then, really began to change.

  • I come from a large family; however, we are not very close.
    I come from a large family; we are not, however, very close.

  • Several of my relatives live nearby; therefore, we get together often.
    Several of my relatives live nearby; we, therefore, get together often.

  • If coordinating conjunctions had been used in the example sentences above, the conjunction could not be moved from in front of the clause it belongs to.

    For example:

    I come from a large family, but we are not very close.

  • *I come from a large family, we are not, but very close.

  • The first sentence above is an acceptable sentence; the second sentence, however, is not acceptable.

    Practice

    Read the sentence pairs below. On a sheet of paper combine the sentence pairs using a conjunctive adverb.

    To check your answers, click the first sentence of each sentence pair.

  • The phone rang several times. There was no answer.

  • First, I became very relaxed. I fell asleep.

  • It's easy to make mistakes. You should practice everyday.

  • I didn't like the salesman. I would have bought something from him.

  • I have full confidence in the market. I am hesitant to invest a lot of money at this time.