English for Intermediate Students - CEFR B1 - Lesson 22 of 25

Correlative Conjunctions

Read and listen to four conversations using the grammar.

Conversation 1

Man: Is Bob coming to the party?
Woman: Yes, both he and his wife are coming.
Man: What about Joe and his wife?
Woman: Neither Joe nor his wife can make it.
Man: Oh, that’s too bad.
Woman: Yeah, it is rare when all of us are together.

Conversation 2

Woman: What can I use to make a website?
Man: I would use either Blogger or Wordpress.
Woman: Which one is better?
Man: It depends whether you are making a simple site or a complex site.
Woman: I am making a simple site.
Man: Then I would use Blogger.

Conversation 3

Man: Do you know whether Jack or Sally will give the next presentation?
Woman: It will be Sally I think.
Man: Why not Jack, or Jim for that matter?
Woman: Both Jack and Jim are not as experienced as Sally.
Man: True, they are both newbies.
Woman: Yeah, they will be ready to do it soon though.

Conversation 4

Man: I hear both Jill and Sue will quit soon.
Woman: What will they do?
Man: I am not sure. I think they will either get a new job or go back to school.
Woman: I am really going to miss Jill.
Man: Yeah, neither the office nor the company outings will be the same without her.
Woman: So true!

Correlative Conjunctions

Point 1: Conjunctions link words or clauses together. Correlative conjunctions are a pair of conjunctions that link words or clauses.
  1. Neither Tom nor Sally know how to drive. (neither/nor is the correlative conjunction)
  2. I spoke to both my friends and family to get their advice.
  3. I would like to eat either the salad or the soup.
  4. I can’t decide whether to quit my job or continue working.
Point 2 : Correlative conjunctions link words or phrases or clauses that are equally important and are the same part of speech.
  1. The lady was both kind and friendly.
    (kind and friendly are adjectives)
  2. Whether I liked it or not, I had to finish my assignment on time.
    (‘I liked it’ and ‘not’ are both verb phrases)
  3. It was neither the rice nor the noodles that smelled so good.
    (‘the rice’ and ‘the noodles’ are both nouns)
  4. I was either going to sleep early or stay up late.
    (‘going to sleep early’ or ‘stay up late’ are both verb phrases)
Point 3 : Neither/nor means both options in the clauses are not true.
  1. The boy was neither quiet nor happy.
  2. I was neither going to speak to them nor write to them.
  3. Neither the coach nor the players were happy with the game.
  4. It was neither polite nor practical to decline his offer to help.
Point 4 : Both/and means all the options in the clauses are true.
  1. Both the teacher and the students enjoyed the lesson.
  2. Santa Claus gave the children both sweets and presents.
  3. The professor was both happy and proud of the recent graduates.
  4. We are both short of time and money.
Point 5 : Either/or means at least one of the options in the clauses is true.
  1. If I had to go on holiday, I would choose either the beach or the mountains.
  2. You can ask either the professor or the TA to help you.
  3. I would like either apple juice or orange juice, whichever is available.
  4. We can either drive or take the subway to the concert.
Point 6 : Pronunciation tip! When speaking. pause before the second conjunction.
  1. I neither wanted to eat // nor drink.
  2. The children were both tired // and hungry.
  3. If I were you, I would either call in sick // or work from home.
  4. Whether you are a beginner // or an expert, this is the best place to learn dance.
Answer these questions about the interview.
More Grammar Conversations for Intermediate Students (B1)

Grammar Listening Practice

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-21 Should - Assumptions
Just turn right and you should see it.

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-22 Correlative Conjunctions
Neither Joe nor his wife can make it.

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-23 Non-Defining Relative Clauses
There is a night market, which brings in lots of tourists.

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-24 Indirect Questions
Do you know when we start?

1247 Work from Abroad
B1-25 Phrasal Verbs
Yes, I just backed it up on our remote server.

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