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Coordinating Conjunctions

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A conjunction is a word that joins two parts of a sentence.

There are two kinds of conjunctions - Coordinating conjunctions and Subordinating conjunctions.

Coordinating conjunctions join two ideas that are equally important and could be independent from each other.

For example:
  • I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch.
  • Maria will go to the movies with her mom or her brother, but not both.
  • Neither John nor his sister is interested in music.
  • Jane wanted popcorn, but there wasn't any.
  • Trina slept late, yet she made it to school on time.

In the above sentences, and, or, nor, but, and yet are coordinating conjunctions.

These are the coordinating conjunctions.

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

A good way to remember these is by the first letter of each conjunction, which makes the word FANBOYS.

Combining Sentences Using Coordinating Conjunctions

  • Coordinating conjunctions can be used to combine two sentences.

Take a look at these sentences and consider how we can combine the two ideas into one sentence.

Lisa plays basketball.

Lisa plays baseball.

How can we combine these two sentences into one, using the coordinating conjunction, and?

Lisa plays basketball and baseball.

Take a look at these sentences and consider how we can combine the two ideas into one sentence.

Lisa plays basketball.

Lisa doesn't play baseball.

What coordinating conjunction would we use to combine these ideas?

Lisa plays basketball but not baseball.

Take a look at these sentences and consider how we can combine the two ideas into one sentence.

Lisa doesn't play basketball.

Lisa doesn't play baseball.

What coordinating conjunction can be used to combine these two sentences into one?

Lisa plays neither basketball nor baseball.

Notice that we added the word 'neither' here. We used 'neither...nor' to create a negation or denial. The negation in the sentence is at the objects (basketball or baseball) rather than at the verb (plays).

Another way to say this sentence is:

Lisa doesn't play basketball or baseball.

In our sentence, however, we didn't negate the verb with 'not' (does not or doesn't), so we had to do it at the object. Hence, we added 'neither' before the word 'basketball'.

Summary
  • A conjunction is a word that joins two parts of a sentence.
  • There are two kinds of conjunctions - Coordinating conjunctions and Subordinating conjunctions.
  • Coordinating conjunctions join two ideas that are equally important and could be independent from each other.
  • These are the coordinating conjunctions.
    • For
    • And
    • Nor
    • But
    • Or
    • Yet
    • So
  • For example:
    • Neither John nor his sister is interested in music.
    • Jane wanted popcorn, but there wasn't any.
  • Coordinating conjunctions can be used to combine two sentences.

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