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

FANBOYS are the cordinating conjunctions


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:



 Coordinating Conjunctions



 Opposition, Contrast, Concession

 but, yet



 Result or Effect


 Choice, Option, Alternative

 or, nor




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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.





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

IC ,cc IC.



grn_tri_up.gif (860 bytes) up to table Examples:

grn_dimnd.gif (95 bytes) L. Frank Baum wrote The Wizard of Oz for his daughter, but the book was much more than a child's story.

grn_dimnd.gif (95 bytes) Baum's book is a political allegory, yet few people today would recognize the original events in this story.

grn_dimnd.gif (95 bytes) 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.

grn_dimnd.gif (95 bytes) 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.



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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:

grn_dimnd.gif (95 bytes) Leaving out the comma and using just the FANBOYS results in a run-on sentence.

grn_dimnd.gif (95 bytes) 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:

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Now, write five to seven compound sentences of your own, using the pattern and five different FANBOYS.  Check each Independent Clause (IC) to make sure you have included a subject and a verb. 

If your instructor has assigned this exercise, check the drop-down list to the left for her or his name.

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