FANBOYS

Exercise

There are only seven coordinating conjunctions in the English language, and they are easily remembered by the acronym FANBOYS:

Coordinating conjunctions signify the relationship between two independent clauses (IC), allowing the writer to specify meaning. In other words, when we construct a compound sentence using a coordinating conjunction, we ask our readers to understand that the two ideas logically relate to each other in the way in which we specify:

 Logic Coordinating Conjunctions Addition and Opposition, Contrast, Concession but, yet Cause for Result or Effect so Choice, Option, Alternative or, nor

In addition to signifying a specific relationship between ideas, the compound structure also tells the reader that the ideas in these clauses are valued equally: one idea is no more important than the other. I may choose to indicate contrast between ideas by using the coordinating conjunction "but," wanting my reader to see the difference(s) between my ideas, yet I am also indicating to my reader that each independent clause should be equally valued.

coordinating
conjunctions

,cc
are
FANBOYS

The pattern for compound sentences using coordinating conjunctions is really quite simple:

IC ,cc IC.

up to table Examples:

L. Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz for his daughter, but the book was much more than a child's story.

Baum's book is a political allegory, yet few people today would recognize the original events in this story.

The Wizard of Oz is a story of economic reform, for Oz is short for ounce and referred to the gold standard, and the characters represented groups in American society.

Baum's original readers did not fail to recognize William McKinley as the bumbling wizard, nor did they fail to recognize William Jennings Bryan as the cowardly lion.

top

Note that in each example the coordinating conjunction, the FANBOYS, is preceded by a comma, just as the pattern specifies; the comma and coordinating conjunction work as a team, and the sentences would be grammatically incorrect unless both team members were present:

Leaving out the comma and using just the FANBOYS results in a run-on sentence.

Using just a comma without the FANBOYS results in a comma splice--and fails to specify the intended relationship.

Email this exercise to your Instructor: