Coordinating Conjunctions

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Meaning Coordinating Conjunctions
These are conjunctions that are used to join units of equal grammatical rank or structure.
Equal grammatical rank means the units that are joined are equal and similar; i.e. word and word, e.g. ladies and gentleman, men or women, beautiful and intelligent etc.
Phrase and phrase, e.g. the man and the woman, a lady or a gentleman, so beautiful and very intelligent etc.
There are seven COORDINATING CONJUNCTIONS; for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
These conjunctions are often remembered using the acronym FANBOYS where every letter represents one of the seven coordinating conjunctions.

  1. FOR
    This coordinating conjunction is used to join two units of the language to state or explain a reason. It is used to explain why something happens.

a. Let’s not think about the past, for today is a new day.
b. He came to visit his mother, for he heard she was sick.
c. The man did not talk to his wife, for she did not prepare supper.

This conjunction is also a simple preposition. Remember, when it is used as a preposition, a noun, a noun phrase or a pronoun comes after it as a prepositional complement or object of the preposition.
A. The man bought a gift for his girlfriend.
In the above example, for is used as a preposition because a noun phrase comes after it as the prepositional complement(object of the preposition). Moreover, it is not having a connective function in this context, but rather, a relational function, i.e. showing a relationship between the noun phrase (his girlfriend) and another word (gift) in the sentence.
B. The student came for it.
C. The parliamentarians voted for the motion.

In the context where FOR is used as a conjunction, most often, you can use the subordinator, BECAUSE.
a. Let’s not think about the past, for today is a new day.
b. Let’s not think about the past because today is a new day.
This is one way of knowing whether FOR is used as a conjunction or a preposition. If BECAUSE can replace FOR in any sentence without destroying the grammaticality of that sentence, then FOR is used as a conjunction, otherwise, it is used as a preposition.

  1. AND
    It is used to join similar ideas. It adds one thing to another.

i. The man and the woman came here.
ii. John likes reading books and playing games.
iii. Amina is beautiful and intelligent.
It is also used before introducing the last item in a list.
I bought mangoes, tomatoes, oranges and pawpaw.

  1. NOR
    It is used to present an additional negative idea or statement. Anytime it is used, a negative statement has been mentioned earlier.
    USAGE NOTE; The verb order in the clause that is introduced by NOR is inverted. When a statement is inverted, the operator verb comes first followed by the subject, and then then the main verb. E.g. Did he come home?

a. The man did not go for the health walk, nor did he come home.
b. We do not have time, nor have we control over it.
c. She does not like to answer questions, nor does she take note in class.

  1. BUT
    It is used to join two opposing ideas of equal grammatical rank in a sentence.

A. Mobile phone could be a wonderful tool for students, but it interferes with their studies.
B. The man came for the service, but the children refused.
C. The lady learnt hard, but she failed.

  1. OR
    It is used to present alternatives or choices.

I. The students would prefer class exercise or home assignment.
II. The man bought a bicycle or a car.
III. The lady is humble or modest.

  1. YET
    It presents a contrasting idea. This conjunction presents a contrasting idea that follows the preceding idea logically.

a. He is intelligent, yet he failed the exam.
b. She is rich, yet she could not buy the car.
c. The man went to the station very early, yet he missed the car.

Though these two conjunctions are synonymous under some contexts, they are never the same in terms of meaning and usage.
BUT‘ is used to join two opposite ideas.
E.g I greeted him, but he did not respond.
I love him, but he does not love me in return.
This conjunction presents two opposite ideas and nothing else.
However, ‘YET‘ is used to introduce a contrasting idea that follows the preceding idea logically such that, the occurrence of the idea introduced by ‘YET‘ appears as a SURPRISE.
i. He is very intelligent, yet he failed exam.
What we know is that when someone is intelligent, the person passes his/her exam, so the failure of someone who is intelligent should appear as a surprise, as a result, ‘YET‘ is used.
ii. The athlete was injured, yet she won the race.

NOTE; In most instances where ‘YET’ is used, ‘BUT’ can be used, however, it is not all instances that ‘BUT’ is used that ‘YET’ can be used.
A. i. Joseph learnt hard, yet he failed.
ii. Joseph learnt hard, but he failed.
B. i. Christiana celebrates her parents, but John doesn’t celebrate his parents.
ii. Christiana celebrates her parents, *yet John doesn’t celebrate his parents.

These two conjunctions are not really the same, there is a slight difference, because, ‘YET’ introduces a contrasting idea whose occurrence is a surprise in the light of what we expect, however, ‘BUT’ introduces a contrasting or opposing idea. The opposing idea may not necessarily occurs as a surprise.

  1. SO
    This conjunction introduces a clause to indicate an effect or a result. It shows an effect, a result, or a consequence from the action of the earlier clause.
    a. The man is rich, so he has a lot of cars.
    b. The lady passed all her undergraduate courses, so she was awarded a Bachelor’s degree.

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