'Or' is a coordinating conjunction. In this lesson, we will learn how to discuss and use it.
'Or' as a Coordinating Conjunction
'Or' is another coordinating conjunction. Below, we are going to learn all about its meanings and uses:
- When we want to show possibilities and choices, we use 'or'. Take a look:
We could go to the park
Couldn't she choose the yellow bag,
- When we have a negative verb, we can use 'or' to signify that the second action does not happen either. Look:
Linda doesn't want to eat
As you can see, the second action does not take place either.
The little girl has never cried
- When we want to indicate that if one does not do something, there will be bad results, we use 'or'. For example:
Gloriana must defend herself
- When we want to give further information on something/someone, or correct what was said, or give an explanation, we use 'or'. Look:
Here, 'or' has been used to give further information about the subject.
Everything was perfect;
- When we want to prove something, we can use 'or'. Look:
She must be out,
Probably she has accepted the offer
- When we are talking about something we are uncertain of, we use 'or'. Check out the examples:
He was seven,
The movie ends in an hour
Position in a Sentence
As it was mentioned, 'or' is a coordinating conjunction that is used to connect words or phrases. We mainly put it between parts of speech that are similar, or between phrases. Look below:
Maria could write her homework now
Who cares if she betrayed you out of hatred
Please note that we do not start any sentences with 'or' in formal English. It might only happen in some literary genres such as poems.
Idioms with 'Or'
'Or' can also be used in some idioms. Let us learn them below:
- Or no: When we want to indicate that the stated thing will not make any difference. Look:
- Or so: It means approximately. Take a look:
I gathered twenty
As you can see it means nearly twenty people were gathered.
There are a dozen
- Or at least: When we want to emphasize the least someone can do, we use this idiom. Take a look:
I can clean the house
- Or else: This one is used as both a warning and when we want to introduce the second of two alternatives. Take a look:
He always has a cold
Here, the phrase is used to indicate the second of two alternatives.
You have to hand in your report today,
Here, it is indicating that if something is not done, there will be bad results.
It might come in handy to know that we can use 'or' and 'otherwise' interchangeably. Take a look:
Hannah must attend this seminar today
I suggest we reach a final conclusion,
Please note that you do not mistake 'or' with 'OR'. 'OR' is an abbreviation for both the city of Oregon in the United States and also 'operational rooms'.