myQBook English Grammar Concepts

Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions connect words, phrases, or clauses. When they connect words or phrases, the words or phrases are usually the same part of speech. When they connect clauses, coordinating conjunctions can only connect two independent clauses; they must also be aided by a comma to do this. Consider the following sentence for example:

"Benjamin and Robert ran and swam at the fundraiser, but Julia threw a party and played volleyball with Jessica."

·         In the first clause of the sentence (before the comma), there are two coordinating conjunctions: two “and”s. The first "and" joins two nouns: "Benjamin and Robert". The second "and" joins two verbs: "ran and swam".


·         In the second clause of the sentence (after the word “but”), the coordinating conjunction "and" joins two phrases: "threw a party" and "played volleyball with Jessica".


·         In between the two independent clauses, the coordinating conjunction "but" joins the two independent clauses with the help of a comma.

You can remember all of the coordinating conjunctions by one simple acronym: FANBOYS: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.


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Subordinate Conjunctions

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