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Lesson 62

  1. Conjunctions
  2. Examples
  3. Exercises
  4. Describe the picture


Lesson 62 Conjunctions – Part 6 (Correlative Conjunctions)

Correlative conjunctions are sort of like tag-team conjunctions.

They come in pairs, and you have to use both of them in different places in a sentence to make them work.

They get their name from the fact that they work together (co-) and relate one sentence element to another.

Correlative conjunctions include pairs such as “both/and,” “either/or,” “neither/nor,” “not/but” and “not only/but also.”
So now let us see how to say such correlative conjunctions in Tamil.

In today’s lesson we will be dealing

  1. Or
  2. Either/ or
  3. Neither nor

Either…or and neither…nor are correlative conjunctions. They are used to introduce alternatives.


1.a. Usage of ‘or’


While we speak a sentence that has ‘or’, it is a choice between two things. So in Tamil we add ‘-aa’ to both the choices, be it nouns or verbs.

Waiter : Vanakkam. Sollunga sir. Ungalukku enna venum Good evening sir. Tell me. What do you want?
Prakash : Enakku coffee venum I need some coffee.
Waiter : Sari. Cold coffee-a, special coffee-a? Edhu venum? Ok.Do you want cold coffee or special coffee?
Prakash : Special coffee venum. Saapida enna irukku?.I want a special coffee. What is there to eat?
Waiter : Biriyaani-um fried rice-um irukku. Ungalukku Biriyaani –a fried rice-a? Edhu venum? There is Biriyaani and fried rice. Which one do you want? Biriyaani or fried rice.?
Prakash : Enakku chicken biriyaani venum. I want a chicken biriyaani.
Waiter : Sir, unga bill? Panamaa? Card-a? Sir, about your bill. Is it cash or card?


1.b. Usage of ‘Or’


While we speak a sentence that has ‘or’, it is a choice between two things. So in Tamil we add ‘-aa’ to both the choices, be it nouns or verbs.

Meena: Kavitha, eppadi irukke? Unakku enna kuzhandhai? Aan kuzhandhaiyaa, pen kuzhandhaiyaa? Hello Kavitha. How are you? Is it a boy or a girl?
Kavitha: Aan kuzhandhai. Unakku enna? Aanaa? Pennaa? A boy baby. What about you? Boy or a girl?
Meena: Enakku, pen kuzhandhai.It is a girl
Sunitha: Hello Kavitha, unakku ippo enna maasam? Ezhaa? Ettaa? Hey Kavitha, which month is it, for you? Seven or Eight
Meena: Kavitha-vukku idhu onbadhaavadhu maasam. It is the ninth month for her.

Use –a for the or:

  1. What do you like? Coffee or Tea.
  2. Are you going to US or UK?
  3. When is dad coming? Today or tomorrow?
  4. Are you coming to the movies or not?
  5. Do you like a pineapple juice or an apple juice.


2a. Usage of Either/ Or

Either / or – used in a sentence in the affirmative sense when referring to a choice between two possibilities. In Tamil, we add the word –illana, when we are framing a either/ or sentence.

Let us try to join to sentences.

Avan ippo saapiduvan.Avan apramaa saapiduvan. Avanoda viruppam.

Avan ippo, illanaa apramaa aapiduvaan. Avanoda viruppam. (He will either eat it now or later. It’s his wish.)

Also you have to remember one important thing. A singular subject will have a singular verb conjugation or the same happens when it is a plural verb.

Avan Delhi-kku, illanaa Mumbai-kku povaan. (He will be going either to Delhi or Mumbai.)

Avaroda pasanga, padipaanga, illanaa vilayaaduvaanga. (His kids either study or play.)


Let’s see an example:


Teacher : Madhan, aduththa vaaram, palli pottigal irukku..Nee drawing-la illanaa painting-la kalandhukkol.There are school competitions next week. Take part either in drawing or in painting competition.
Meena : Naan kooda drawing-la illana painting-la kalandhukka poren. I am also going to take part either in drawing or painting competition.
Teacher :Illa. Meena, nee pechchu potti-la illanaa rangoli potti-la kalandhukko.No, Meena. You take part in either the oratory or the rangoli competition.


Now try to combine the following dialogues..

Madhan: Sari teacher. Naan drawing potti-le kalandhukkuren. Appadi illanaa, painting potti-le kalandhukkuren.Okay teacher. I will take part in the drawing competition. Or the painting competition.
Meena: Naan kooda pechu potti-le kalandhukkuren. Appadi illanaa, rangoli potti-le kalandhukkuren.I too will take part in the oratory or the rangoli competition.


2b. Either/ Or


While we use –illanaa for the either/ or sentence, there is also another way of saying either or. Follow the example here:

Brinda :Amma, inge ennoda vaguppu pasanga ennai kelli seiyiraanga.Mom, my classmates are making fun of me.
Neengal-aavadhu, appa-aavadhu inge vaanga.Either you or dad come here.

Sometime we also use ‘-aavadhu’ to the nouns in the sentence.

Idhai paththi, en teacher kitta-aavaadhu, en Principal kitta-aavadhu sollunga.. Please report this either to the teacher or to the Principal.
Amma: Brinda enna pratchanai? Naanum appa-um velai-la irukkom.What is the problem? I and dad are at work.

The sentence below is one way of saying –illana for the either /or. Try using –aavadhu and frame the sentence again.Use, -aavadhu and frame the sentence below:

Naan, thaathaa illanaa paati kitta soldren. Avanga varuvaanga.


Use ‘illana ‘ or ‘-aavadhu’ to frame these either/ or sentences.

  1. Either my father or my mother will come to the meeting.
  2. Suren will sleep either on the mat or the bed.
  3. My neighbours either listen to music or watch tv the whole day.
  4. Either Avinash or Ahalya has to go to the market
  5. He must go work either in a hotel or in a restaurant.
  6. You should take either swimming classes or dance classes.

Use ‘illana ‘ or ‘-aavadhu’ and frame some sentences for this picture.


3a. Usage of neither/nor


Neither / nor – used in a sentence in the negative sense when you want to say that two or more things

  1. That did not/ will not happen.
  2. That is/ was not true.

We should know the negatives of all the verbs and modals as well inorder to get these neither/ nor sentences right.

Shrijan, nee enna grade edhuthu-irukke?Shrijan, what grades have you scored?
Nee sariyaa padikka-um illa, paritchai-la sariyaa ezhudha-vum illa.You neither studied well nor wrote your exams well.
Naan-o unnoda appa-o un report-la kai-ezhuththu poda maatom.Neither I nor you dad will sign your report card.
Inimel, unakku mobile-um kidaiyaadhu, video games-um kidaiyaadhu.You will neither get your mobile nor your video games.
Inimel, nee friends veetukk-o unnoda football clubkk-o poga mudiyaadhu.And hereafter, you will go neither to your friends’ house nor to your football club.

We see a lot of negation in these sentences. So one has to know more about the negatives of the verbs, inorder to get these sentences right.

Nee ozhungaa padi, illanaa boarding school-kku poganum.. Better learn well, or you will go to the boarding school.


3b. Usage of neither/nor


Neither / nor – used in a sentence in the negative sense when you want to say that two or more things

  1. That did not happen
  2. That is/ was not true

Let us see another example.
Priya :Hey, Veena-oda appa periya panakkaara-o thozhil adhibar-o illa.Hey Veena’s dad is neither a rich man nor a great businessman.
Hema :Aamaa. Avanga amma kooda Miss Universe 1970-o oru periya model-o kidaiyaadhu/ illa.Yes. Even her mom, is neither Miss Universe 1970 nor a great model.
Pratika : Appadiyaa. Appo, ava sonnadhu ellam poiyaa?? Is it? Then, is everything she told was a lie.
Hema :Idhu mattumaa! Avalukku Bharathanatyam aada-vo, Veena vaasikkavo theriyaadhu. Ellam poi!Not only this! She knows neither to dance Bharathanatyam, nor play Veena. Everything is a lie.
Priya :Idhukku munnaadi ava endha potti-kkum ponnadhum illa, endha parisum vaanginadhum illa.She hasn’t gone to any competition or has won any prize, so far.


Frame these neither/ nor sentences.

  1. Neither he nor she will come home tomorrow.
  2. This drink is neither cool nor refreshing.
  3. My neighbours neither listen to music nor watch tv.
  4. She will neither cry nor speak.
  5. You come or not, I am surely going to play football.

Use ‘illana ‘ or ‘-aavadhu’ and frame some sentences for this picture.



Try to frame sentences in Tamil:

1. Venum/ vendum:

2. biriyaani:

3. panam:

4. illanaa:

5. maasam:

6. Aan kuzhandhai:

7. Aduththa vaaram:

8. kalandhukko:

9. pechchu potti :

10. vaguppu:

11. kelli seiraanga:

12. kai-ezhuththu:

13. panakkaarar:

14. thozhil adhibar:

15. Bharathanatyam:

16. Aada theriyum:

17. vaasikka:

18. poi:

19. potti:


Pudhu Vaarthaigal:

Biriyaani – a special Indian dish
Venum/ vendum – want
Panam – money
Kuzhandhai – baby
Aan – male/ man
Penn – Female/ woman
Maasam – Month
Onbadhaavadhu – Ninth
Aduththa vaaram – next week
Potti – competition
Kalandhukko – take part/ participate
Pechchu potti – Oratory
Rangoli – An art form, made from colored powders.
Vaguppu – Class
Kelli – Bully/ make fun
Kelli sei – To make fun of
Teacher kitta – To the teacher
Pratchanai – Problem
Thozhil adhibar – Business man
Kai-ezhuththu – Signature
Panakkaarar – Rich man
Poi – Lie
Aada – To dance
Vaasikka – To play an instrument



  1. He cooks dinner. Or she cooks dinner.
  2. Either he or she cooks dinner.
  3. She can have tea. Or she can have coffee.
  4. She can have either tea or coffee.
  5. He washes the clothes himself. Or he asks her to wash them.
  6. He either washes the clothes himself or asks her to wash them.

Combine the following pairs of sentences using the right conjunctions:

  1. I don’t like Stephen. I don’t like Peter.
  2. He keeps the keys himself. Or he leaves them with his wife.
  3. He did not come. He did not call.
  4. He wasn’t wearing a shirt. He wasn’t wearing a coat.
  5. He will not come here. He will not send a representative.
  6. He may attend the function. Or his wife may attend the function.
  7. Give me freedom. Or give me death.
  8. He must have done this. Or his brother must have done this.

Try to describe the picture: