Try sofatutor for 30 Days

Discover why over 1.6 MILLION pupils choose sofatutor!

Coordinating Conjunctions

Do you want to learn faster and more easily?

Then why not use our learning videos, and practice for school with learning games.

Try for 30 Days

Ø 4.2 / 5 ratings
The authors
Team Digital

Basics on the topic Coordinating Conjunctions

Conjunctions – Introduction

Conjunctions connect groups of words, ideas, clauses or sentences. They help you turn simple sentences into complex sentences, and make your writing more interesting. One of the most common types of conjunctions is a co-ordinating conjunction.

Co-ordinating Conjunction – Definition

What is a co-ordinating conjunction? A co-ordinating conjunction links two or more words, clauses, phrases or sentences. These two ideas or sentences are equally important and independent.


Co-ordinating Conjunctions – List

There are seven co-ordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. When someone asks you What is the co-ordinating conjunction? - use FANBOYS, the acronym formed from the first letters of each of the seven conjunctions.


initial letter co-ordinating conjunction
f for
a and
n nor
b but
o or
y yet
s so

Next time you are wondering Is “so” a co-ordinating conjunction?, or, Is “but” a co-ordinating conjunction?, or, Is “which” a co-ordinating conjunction?, you will be able to figure it out with the help of the chart above.

Co-ordinating Conjunctions – FANBOYS Examples

What does a co-ordinating conjunction do? It can be used to link words, phrases and clauses. Let’s have a look at different ways we can use co-ordinating conjunctions.

First, we can use them to link different words.

Here’s how nouns, verbs and adjectives are linked with the help of co-ordinating conjunctions:

  • Will you sing or dance? (verbs)
  • Jake will not eat peas* nor carrots. (nouns)
  • The weather is cool yet enjoyable. (adjectives)

Apart from words, we can also use co-ordinating conjunctions to connect phrases.

For example:

  • Rose saw her new ball and got excited.
  • They ate an apple pie but didn’t enjoy it.

Co-ordinating conjunctions are also used to link two independent clauses. In this way, we can make a compound sentence using a co-ordinating conjunction.

Here are a couple of co-ordinating conjunction sentence examples:

  • I don’t like apples, so I chose bananas.
  • She joined the basketball team, for she is really good at sports.

Pay attention to the usage of a comma and a co-ordinating conjunction: when we combine two independent clauses, we use a comma before a co-ordinating conjunction.

Co-ordinating Conjunctions – Summary

Let’s review what we learned about co-ordinating conjunctions.

  • Co-ordinating conjunctions are used to link two or more words, clauses, phrases or sentences. These ideas are equally important and independent.
  • There are seven co-ordinating conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. We can use the acronym FANBOYS to remember them.
  • When we link two independent clauses with a co-ordinating conjunction, we use a comma before a conjunction.

Now you know a lot about co-ordinating conjunctions! For extra practice, you can find co-ordinating conjunction worksheets, activities and videos on our website. Each co-ordinating conjunction worksheet will help you apply things you have learnt from this article!

If you want to learn more about how to make a compound sentence with a co-ordinating conjunction, and whether a co-ordinating conjunction replaces a full stop, check out this video on compound sentences.

Additional Information about Conjunctions

Frequently Asked Questions about Co-ordinating Conjunctions

What's a co-ordinating conjunction?
What are the 7 co-ordinating conjunctions?
What is the function of a co-ordinating conjunction?
Which sentence correctly uses a co-ordinating conjunction?
When should you include a comma before a co-ordinating conjunction?

Coordinating Conjunctions exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Coordinating Conjunctions .
  • What are conjunctions and why do we use them?


    When we use conjunctions, we put things together. What is another way we can say that?

    Look at the sentence below. But is our conjunction as it connects sprinkles and cones. Does this make the sentence more complex or simple?

    Look at the two sentences:

    • It was a tall mountain.
    • It was a tall and unusual mountain.
    Which is less interesting? Which is more interesting? Remember this when completing number 3.


    1) Conjunctions connect groups of words, ideas and sentences.

    2) They help form complex sentences.

    3) They make your writing more interesting.

  • What can a coordinating conjunction bring together?


    Coordinating conjunctions always join equally important, independent or stand alone elements.

    Paragraphs are typically made up of three or more sentences. Conjunctions can only join two elements so we can eliminate that option.

    There are only 4 correct options.


    Conjunctions link two:

    • words
    • clauses
    • phrases
    • sentences

  • How can we join sentences using coordinating conjunctions?


    The conjunction is in bold.

    Keep in mind that coordinating conjunctions join equal parts. That means that the sentence joins:

    • independent clauses
    • adjectives
    • phrases
    • verbs

    Let's look at number one. The sentence begins: "The monkey wouldn't dance..."

    Why might the monkey not want to dance? Which way can we complete the sentence that answers this question.


    1) The monkey wouldn't dance for she was too tired. The conjunction for joins two independent clauses:

    • The monkey wouldn't dance.
    • She was too tired.
    2) The acrobat jumped and swung. The conjunction and joins two verbs:
    • jumped
    • swung
    3) The ringmaster wasn't funny nor interesting. The conjunction nor joins two adjectives:
    • funny
    • interesting
    4) My favourite acts were the trapeze and tight rope. The conjunction and joins two nouns:
    • trapeze
    • tight rope.

    5) The elephant walked on stage but got spooked. The conjunction but joins two phrases:

    • The elephant walked on stage.
    • He got spooked.

  • Which coordinating conjunction can I use?


    Some of the important things to remember are how these conjunctions are used.

    • And - equal importance
    • Nor - negative
    • So - reason
    • Or - choice
    • But - contrast

    Keep in mind that the sentence with the conjunction should still say the same thing as the two sentences above. Make sure that with the conjunction they still hold the same meaning.

    Think about the second hint and let's look at an example.

    • We haven't gone to the park.
    • We haven't hung out yet.
    We haven't gone to the park nor hung out yet.

    The coordinating conjunction nor joins two phrases "gone to the park" and "hung out yet." It joins the two sentences above, showing that the actions haven't been completed yet without extra information or changing the information in any way.


    1) It is hot and sunny.

    "And" joins two adjectives, hot and sunny, that are equally important to describe the weather.

    2) Koko doesn't like riding bicycles, so she skateboarded.

    "So" joins two verbs, riding bicycles and skateboarding, that are independent clauses.

    3) Pip wants to go to the park but it is raining every day.

    "But" joins two phrases showing contrast between what Pip wants to do and the weather.

    4) Do you want to play board games or watch a film?

    "Or" joins two activities, playing board games and watching a film, giving a choice to the person being asked the question.

  • Where are the coordinating conjunctions?


    Don't forget the fanboys acronym to help you remember the different coordinating conjunctions.

    Be sure to look carefully at the sentence.

    All coordinating conjunctions connect words or clauses that are either equally important, independent or can stand alone.

    Separate the ideas in the sentences to check.

    Lets look at an example: Jake will not eat peas nor carrots.

    The coordinating conjunction nor joins peas and carrots showing the two vegetables Jake will not eat.

    The coordinating conjunctions are:

    • for
    • and
    • nor
    • but
    • or
    • yet
    • so


    1) Would you rather cycle or walk to school?

    The coordinating conjunction or connects two ways of getting to school.

    2) Koko doesn't like tennis nor basketball.

    The coordinating conjunction nor connects two nouns tennis and basketball with a negative connotation.

    3) Pip was excited, so he ran to post his letter.

    The coordinating conjunction so connects two independent clauses which describe Pip's actions.

    4) I must have fruit and vegetables daily to grow stronger.

    The coordinating conjunction and connects two nouns, fruit and vegetables, showing they are equally important.

  • Rewrite the two sentences using a coordinating conjunction.


    Keep in mind the different types of things that can be joined by conjunctions: verbs, nouns, adjectives, phrases or independent clauses.

    Look at the sentences and think about what is being joined to help you select the correct conjunction.

    Some of the important things to remember are how these conjunctions are used.

    • And - equal importance
    • Nor - negative
    • For - reason
    • Or - choice
    • But - contrast


    1) Pickles didn't like chocolate nor vanilla ice cream.

    "Nor" joins two nouns, chocolate and vanilla, to show two choices of ice cream flavours that Pickles feels negatively about.

    2) He was busy and tired.

    "And" joins two adjectives, busy and tired, to show two adjectives that describe the boy in the sentence.

    3) I rarely eat ice cream, for I live far away from the ice cream shop.

    "For" joins two independent clauses that describe why they don't eat ice cream often because of where they live in relation to the ice cream shop.

    4) Do you like roller skating or riding a bike?

    "Or" joins two verbs skating and riding which gives a choice between two activities.