Coordinating Conjunction | Definition, Examples of Coordinators (FANBOYS)

FANBOYS Conjunctions! When you are joining together tow words, phrases or clauses which have an equal grammatical rank, you will need to use a coordinating conjunction. However, this concept may seem pretty intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be.

Learn the list of coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS) in English with example sentences and how to use FANBOYS conjunctions in English sentences.

What are Coordinating Conjunctions?

In this section, we are going to be looking at the various different coordinating conjunctions used in the English language. We are also going to be taking a look at how they work within a sentence and the rules surrounding them. This will help you in making your conjunctions more fluid and native sounding.

Coordinating conjunctions are connecting words that join two similar constructed words in a sentence. Some of the coordinating conjunctions are for, but, or and, nor, so and yet.

Coordinating conjunctions resemble subordinating conjunctions only that the subordinates join the dependent and independent clauses while the coordinators join strictly two complete sentences.

When two independent clauses are linked to form a compound sentence, there should be a comma before the coordinating conjunction. Again, when two adjectives, nouns, verbs, or adverbs, are linked, for instance, in the cases of compounds predicates, putting a comma is not necessary.

You use a coordinating conjunction “for,” “and,” “nor,” “but,” “or,” “yet” or “so” to join individual words, phrases, and independent clauses. If a clause can stand alone as a sentence, it is an independent clause.

Coordinating conjunctions can also be referred to as coordinators. Note that you can also use the conjunctions “but” and “for” as prepositions.

Compound Predicate and an Independent Clause

The two common uses of coordinating conjunctions are to join two verbs to make a compound predicate, and independent clauses to make a sentence. Below are the two scenarios;

Independent Clause

Independent clauses have both a verb and a subject; therefore, they can make meaning on their own. For example;

  • He was afraid of getting home late. He managed to make a call.

The above are two independent clauses and to combine them you can use a comma or a semicolon plus coordinating conjunction as illustrated below;

  • He was afraid of getting home late, so he decided to make a call.

Even though the two independent clauses are linked, each keeps its verb and subject. Joined them without a comma or conjunction, will result in a comma splice error.

Compound Predicate

A compound predicate is a situation whereby one subject is shared by more than one verb in a sentence. The sentence below has a compound predicate.

  • He wondered when she would get home and decided to call.

The sentence does not appear to have much difference from the independent clauses but it’s good to note that “she” is a subject that is being shared by two verbs, that is, “decided” and “wondered” since she did both. In the sentence above, there is no comma before “and” and consequently no independent clause because the whole sentence has only one subject.

Can Sentences Start with Coordinating Conjunction?

Coordinating conjunction can technically appear at the beginning of the sentence. When this happens, it breaks the monotony of the sentences and puts more emphasis on them.

However, the issue of using coordinating conjunctions at the beginning of the sentences is in constant disagreement. There are many in favor of it and also a large number against it. According to author David Crystal, many English teachers banned this style of writing to their students in the 19th century because the students overused it. Alternatively, they should have warned them. Therefore, generations of children were and are advised even to date to avoid using coordinate conjunctions at the beginning of the sentences.

Moreover, there has never been authority behind this kind of condemnation. And it is not among the rules laid down by the grammarians. It should be used but sparingly to avoid confusing the flow and clarity of your writing. When starting a sentence with coordinating conjunction, think critically on its effect on your piece and its usefulness.

Coordinating Conjunctions Examples

  • We listened eagerly, for he brought news of our families.
  • She didn’t speak to anyone, and nobody spoke to her.
  • I don’t expect children to be rude, nor do I expect to be disobeyed.
  • They rushed to the hospital, but they were too late.
  • I will go shopping, or I will go camping.
  • Kelly was a convicted criminal, yet many people admired him.
  • I was feeling hungry, so I made myself a sandwich.

FANBOYS Conjunctions List | Image

FANBOYS Conjunctions!!! Learn list of coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS) in English with example sentences and how to use FANBOYS conjunctions in English sentences. 

An easy way to remember these six conjunctions is to think of the word FANBOYS. Each of the letters in this somewhat unlikely word is the first letter of one of the coordinating conjunctions.

Conjunctions List & Examples

Conjunctions in English