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Coordinate Conjunctions - Glossary of Terms


Co-ordinate Conjunctions

Co-ordinate conjunctions join similar words, phrases or clauses to each other (i.e., to join an adjective to an adjective or a noun to a noun).  The most common co-ordinate conjunctions are: and, but, or, for, nor, so and yet.

The conjunctions and, but and or are the most common by far. 

Examples:

The waiters served sandwiches and cakes. (joins two nouns)
He is a small but aggressive dog. (joins two adjectives)
The manager or his secretary will be with you in a moment. (joins two nouns)
He typed the letter quickly but accurately. (joins two adverbs)

In the examples above, the conjunctions all join words.  As a general rule, when a conjunction joins two words, there is no need to precede it with a comma.  However, when it joins two clauses, it is usual to place a comma before the conjunction.

Examples:

The applicant must be able to sing and dance. (no comma)
The applicant must be able to sing, and she must be able to dance. (joins two clauses - comma required)
 
Interactive example:

 
Pat and I slept, but Julie stayed awake the whole way. [show me the co-ordinate conjunction]
 
Associated pages:
 
What are conjunctions?
Conjunctions and commas
Conjunctions and semicolons
Glossary of grammatical terms
 
 

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