three trains that say, "and" "but" and "or"

Coordinating Conjunctions

The English language has seven coordinating conjunctions, and they’re easy to remember if you can just remember fanboys: (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so)

  • For – Explains reason or purpose (just like “because”) 
    I go to the park every Sunday, for I love to watch the ducks on the lake.
  • And – Adds one thing to another 
    I go to the park every Sunday to watch the ducks on the lake and the shirtless men playing soccer.
  • Nor – Used to present an alternative negative idea to an already stated negative idea
    I don’t go for the fresh air nor really for the ducks. Honestly, I just like the soccer.
  • But – Shows contrast 
    The soccer in the park is entertaining in the winter, but it’s better in the heat of summer.
  • Or – Presents an alternative or a choice 
    The men play on teams: shirts or skins.
  • Yet – Introduces a contrasting idea that follows the preceding idea logically (similar to “but”)
    I always take a book to read, yet I never seem to turn a single page.
  • So – Indicates effect, result or consequence
    I’ve started dating one of the soccer players, so now I have an excuse to watch the game each week.

Using Commas With Coordinating Conjunctions

If a coordinating conjunction is joining together two independent clauses (or complete sentences), it needs to have a comma with it.

Independent clause: The soccer in the park is entertaining in the winter

Independent clause: It’s better in the heat of summer

Combined: The soccer in the park is entertaining in the winter, but it’s better in the heat of summer.

Activity: Creating Complex Sentences

Use the proper coordinating conjunction (for, and, or, but, nor, yet, so) to connect the two sentences (independent clauses) together.

The boy was sad that he lost his dog.   ______________ The boy sat on the curb crying.

The girl ran as fast as she could.   _________________  The girl could not catch up with her balloon.

Mark was the tallest person in the car.  __________ He couldn’t reach the gas pedal.

Gary didn’t want to sit on the sidewalk. __________ There was a scary dog nearby.

A lot of Americans like to eat hot dogs. ___________ I prefer to eat chicken.

The roller coaster was so tall. _________________  I went on the smaller ride.

My mother was nice to me. ____________ She was nice to everyone.

My father loved to cook. _________________ He was never home in time for dinner.

Sometimes the sky seems so far away. __________ Sometimes it seems very close.

I didn’t want to eat the pig. ___________  Did I want to eat the cow

Summers are long and hot.______________ I do enjoy a good sunshower.

When I leave Literacy Source I will be sad. ____________ I will know that I accomplished something though.

Last Updated March 28, 2017