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grad 09

Using Coordinating Conjunctions
by Pat

Coordinating conjunctions and a comma can join two independent clauses to make a compound sentenc

An independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.

Writers use coordinating conjunctions to connect ideas and join short, choppy sentences into longer sentences.

The following sentences are independent clauses or simple sentences.  

           David worked hard.  He got a raise.

We can join the sentences to make one compound sentence.

          David worked hard, so he got a raise.

The coordinating conjunction (so) shows result. (Getting a raise is the result of David’s hard work.) Notice the comma before so.


There are 7 coordinating conjunctions. FANBOYS will help you to remember them.

F       for     means reason (same meaning as because)

A    and    means in addition or additional information

N    nor    means negative choice (not either)

B       but    means contrast (same meaning as however)

O    or    means choice (either), can mean if not)

Y       yet     means contrast (same meaning as but)

S       so      means result (same meaning as therefore)


Many tourists visit British Columbia, for they enjoy its natural beauty.

The bus tour included Stanley Park, and it went to Grouse Mountain.

Some people did not like the rain, nor did they like the fog.

George wanted to take more pictures, but he could not find his camera.

They could choose the walking tour of Chinatown, or they could go to Granville Island. The tourists had to show a ticket, or they could not see the show.

Linda wanted to see Chinatown, yet her husband chose Granville Island.

They were tired after a full day of sightseeing, so they went to sleep early.


Now, practice using coordinating conjunctions by trying the following quizzes:

Basic Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordination Quiz

Also, try writing your own compound sentences using different coordinating conjunctions. For additional practice, use new vocabulary from a recent class, and ask a teacher to mark your sentences.


(September 24, 2006)

Visit Last Week's Feature: Collocations: Words that Work Together

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