LEVEL V: Correlative conjunctions (explanation and exercises)

Hi there!:

Today in class, I explained three special cases to consider when working with Correlative Conjunctions:

1. Rule of proximity:

The verb which follows two subjects joined by a correlative conjunction must agree with the second subject, NOT the first:

  • Either my brother or my mum look looks after our cat when we’re away on holiday.
  • Either my brother or my parents looks look after our cat when we’re away on holiday.
  • Neither the manager nor his assistant are is here today.
  • Neither the manager nor his assistants is are here today.
2. Not only used at the beginning of a sentence:
When not only is used at the beginning of a sentence and joins two clauses, the auxiliary verb of the not only clause is placed before the subject. This is a coordinating conjunction.
Not only did  I applaud, but I also stood up.
move overmove auxiliary before subject
I applauded the performance, and I stood up.
Not only do  I like to watch moviesbut I also like to see plays.
move overmove auxiliary before subject
I like to watch movies, and I like to see plays.   move over
3. When Neither…nor begins a sentence:

When Neither…nor begins a sentence and joins two verbs, the axillary verb precedes the subject.

I didn't take a vacation. I didn't ask for sick leave.

Neither did   I   take vacation, nor did I ask for sick leave.
move overmove before subjectMove the auxiliary verb in front of the subject. 

Now, practice what we learned today with this exercise. Print it and answer it for tomorrow:


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