What Are Coordinating Conjunctions?
Coordinating conjunctions are words that are used to join two or more words, phrases, or clauses within a sentence that are of equal importance and grammatical structure.
Coordinating Conjunctions in English
In English, we have seven coordinating conjunctions. You can see them in the list below:
Coordinating Conjunctions: Functions
Coordinating Conjunctions Joining Words and Phrases
As previously mentioned, coordinating conjunctions can be used to join phrases together. There are different types of phrases, and we can use different coordinating conjunctions to join them. For example:
The officer was talking to a crying woman
two noun phrases
The question was completely clear
two adjective phrases
The fans showed up to support the team
two adverb phrases
We can make
two verb phrases
Can he text
We have flights to
The queen was a beautiful
The bird is singing happily
When you join two nouns and use an adjective and a determiner to modify them, be careful about the position of the adjective and the determiner, as it can change the meaning of the sentence. Compare the examples:
Put on your
both the 'hat' and the 'jacket' is black.
The hat is black, but not the jacket.
Put on your
The hat is black, but not the jacket.
Put on your
It is clear that the ‘hat’ is black and the ‘jacket’ is red.
Now, let us learn more about English coordinating conjunctions that we can use to join words and phrases.
'And' adds a word or phrase to another. Look at the sentences:
I had some bread
He could win the race slowly
When creating a list, it is common to use the coordinating conjunction 'and' before the final item, preceded by a comma. However, in some styles of writing, the comma before the coordinating conjunction is optional. Look at the example:
My favorite meal consists of pasta, hot dogs, soup, salad (,)
'But' as a coordinating conjunction is used to show contrast between two words or phrases of equal importance. Let us see some examples:
The princess has a beautiful face
He is fast
You can join more than two words or phrases using coordinating conjunctions. For example:
The exam was completely clear
three adjective phrases
The officer was talking to a crying woman, a suspicious man,
three noun phrases
'Nor' is a coordinating conjunction that is used to join two negative ideas together in a sentence. It is typically used after the first negative idea to introduce the second negative idea. For example:
Death spares neither small
He never forgives
'Or' is used to express another alternative or a choice. It can be used between two words with the same part of speech as well as two phrases. Look at the examples:
Are you guys having a boy
Would you rather read the book
'Yet' is used to introduce a contrasting idea to something that has already been mentioned in a sentence. It indicates an unexpected or surprising result or outcome. Look at the sentences below:
The food is bad-smelling
She is a smart
Coordinating Conjunctions Joining Clauses
We can use coordinating conjunctions to join independent clauses. When two independent clauses are joined by a coordinating conjunction, we need to put a comma before the conjunction. But if the independent clauses are short it is not necessary to use a comma. Compare the examples:
Alex wants to travel to Germany,
Willy is scared
Now let us discuss English coordinating conjunctions that can be used to join two clauses:
'And' can be used to join two independent clauses. It is used when you want to add or link two complete thoughts that are related to each other. Look at the example:
'But' can be used to join two independent clauses and show contrast between them. Look at the example:
I like chocolate ice cream,
'Nor' is used to connect two negative ideas in a sentence, typically in the second clause, and indicates that neither of the negative ideas is true or applicable. Look at the sentence below:
He didn't take the kids to the zoo,
'Or' can be used to link two alternatives expressed by two independent clauses. Look at the example:
'Yet' is used to introduce a contrasting idea to something that has already been mentioned in a sentence. It indicates an unexpected or surprising result or outcome. It can be used to mean 'but' or 'nevertheless'. Look at the sentences below:
It's a weird-looking dish,
I really want a cola,
We can only use 'so' to join independent clauses, not phrases. It indicates a cause-and-effect relationship between the two clauses. Let us see some examples:
They were out of coffee,
'For' is not commonly used in modern English and is considered somewhat old-fashioned or literary. It is typically used to explain or provide a reason or purpose for something. When used to join two independent clauses, it is synonymous with 'because'. It is important to note that 'for' can only be used to join independent clauses, not phrases or individual words. Pay attention to the examples:
I love taking long walks,
Forget about the past,
Using Coordinating Conjunction to Join Dependent Clauses
Unless you try hard
The man who killed his mother
To text on the phone
Talking to her friends
Coordinating conjunctions are used to connect two or more
|Words||and, but, yet, or, nor|
|Phrases||and, but, yet, or, nor|
|Clauses||and, but, yet, or, nor, so, for|
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