Difference Between Prepositions and Conjunctions

The words that are part of the nouns, adjectives, verbs, articles, pronouns, adverbs and interjection, have their particular characteristics well demarcated, which facilitates the differentiation between them. However, there are two kinds of words that tend to be confused, such as prepositions and conjunctions, since both are made up of invariable words that serve to establish relationships within sentences, although in a different way.

What are the prepositions?

Prepositions are those words that serve as a link between words in a sentence to give it meaning and that it has coherence. Prepositions are invariable, that is, a grammatical change cannot be applied to them since they have no gender (masculine – feminine), nor number (singular – plural).

The use of prepositions is mandatory to write sentences correctly and their function is to unite or relate words so that together they acquire a meaning, which varies depending on the context in which it is used and the meaning given by the rest of the words. words that accompany it, since they can indicate cause, company, purpose, instrument, place, mode, belonging and time.

In 2009 the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) incorporated some changes in the list of prepositions, considering those that have fallen into disuse today to insert others that have been used with the preposition function. For this reason, the list that is handled today is the following: to, before, under, fits, with, against, from, during, in, between, towards, until, through, for, by, according to, without , on, behind, versus, via.

It should be noted that some words can be used in another grammatical classification, such is the case of “according to”, which works as a conjunction if it accompanies a verb; likewise “until” or “between” that can be taken as adverbs, all this depends on the use that is given to the word, since they only apply as a conjunction when they are used as a link in a sentence.

There are also the so-called prepositional phrases , which act exactly like the preposition but is made up of two or more words, to relate ideas of space, time and manner within a sentence. Some of them are: because of, based on, in favor of, against, around, under, through, so that, by means of, according to, among many others.

What are conjunctions?

Conjunctions are a class of invariable and mostly unstressed words, whose function is to serve as a link between words, phrases or sentences, establishing with their use a sense of equality or hierarchy in the context in which it is applied. Also, conjunctions are used to expand the content that is expressed by linking two simple sentences, thus forming a compound sentence.

According to the type of link that is made through the use of conjunctions, these are classified as coordinating or subordinating.

Coordinating conjunctions , or also known as proper, are those that belong to the same grammatical hierarchy, that is, there is no dependency between words or sentences, so their position can be exchanged without altering the general idea. It is subdivided into:

  • Copulatives: introduce elements that add up (and, and, nor, that)
  • Adversative: used to point out opposites (but, more, although, but, even)
  • Disjunctives: they indicate a choice between several options (or, or, pray, be, well)
  • Distributive: alternate options (some… others, both… like, now… now, this… that one)

Similarly, there are the subordinating or improper conjunctions, which refer to the links that indicate a hierarchy, in which the word or sentence that is placed before the conjunction has a main character over the other syntactic constructions. These can be:

  • Causes: indicate the reason (well, because, since, due to)
  • Comparatives: establish similarities (like, more than, the same as, as well as)
  • Conditional: expresses the need for verification (if, provided that, unless, given that, whenever)
  • Concessive: indicates difficulty without impediment (although, despite the fact that, although, therefore)
  • Consecutive: infers consequence of what is indicated (so, then, so much, so, so)
  • Finals: indicates the purpose or objective (because, to what, so that, so that)
  • Temporal: expresses the time (when, while, before, barely, as soon as)

It is worth noting that conjunctions by themselves do not have a lexical meaning, since their grammatical meaning is operational and varies according to the relationships established with them within a sentence.

Difference Between Prepositions and Conjunctions

  • Prepositions serve as a link between words within a sentence to give it greater coherence, while conjunctions link words or sentences to expand the information, establishing an order between ideas.
  • Conjunctions can be simple or compound, formed by one or more words; on the other hand, prepositions are simple, of a single word.
  • With the use of prepositions, the words become complements to each other; On the other hand, with conjunctions, a sense of equality or hierarchy is established between the words and sentences that make it up.

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