Correct use of English Conjunctions
1. Except is not now used as a conjunction equivalent to unless:
I shall not come unless (Not except) you need me.
2. The use of without as conjunction equivalent to unless is now bad English.
Unless (now without) you apologize, I shall punish you.
I shall not go unless (not without) you do.
3. The adverb like is often wrongly used as conjunction in stead of like as or as:
He speaks as (not like) his father does.
But it is quite correct to say:
He speaks like his father. [Like is here a preposition.]
4. Directly should not be used as a conjunction where as soon as would in every way be better.
As soon as [not directly] the session of 2010 commenced, the Government was pressed to do something for the unemployed.
5. Scarcely should be followed by when, and not by than.
Scarcely had he gone, when (not than) a policeman knocked at the door.
6. No sooner is followed by than, and not by but.
No sooner had he returned than (not but) he was off again.
7. The phrase “seldom or ever” is meaningless. We should say “seldom or never”.
Such goods are made for export, and are seldom or never used in this country.
8. Examine the following sentence:
This is as good if not better than that.
You will notice that as is omitted after “as good”. It is better to say:
This is as good as, if not better than, that. But the best way to correct the sentence is to recast it, thus:
This is as good as that, if not better.
9. Care should be taken, when using correlative conjunctions, such as either…..or, neither…..nor, not only….but also, that they are followed by the same part of speech; as,
He lost not only his ticket, but also his luggage.
But the following is incorrect :
He not only lost his ticket, but also his luggage.
Neither is followed by nor, not by or.
He washed neither his hands nor (not or) his face.