Coordinating Conjunctions

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Conjunctions are words that link other words, phrases and clauses together in a sentence.

Coordinating conjunctions link parts of the sentence that are equally important. In English, there are seven coordinating conjunctions – and, or, for, nor, but, yet, so.


Using ‘and’ helps us to join two ideas together:

  • There is a house and a woodshed on the picture.
  • Jonathan lives and works in Melbourne.
  • Jane bought a new dress and a small bag.
Note: If there are more than two items in the list, we can use ‘and’ between the final two
items in the list. We use commas (,) between the items:

– There are two plates, two spoons, two forks, and two glasses on the table.


Use ‘or’ to link alternative items, ideas and choices, or to speak about the consequences of an action or event:

  • Would you like tea or coffee? (You must choose one.)
  • Should I visit Italy or France this summer? (You must choose one.)
  • The weather is bad. Put on your hat, or you may catch a cold. (Bad consequence)


Use ‘for’ to show that one part of the sentence is the reason or purpose of the other (similar to ‘because’):

  • I visit this cafe every morning, for I like the coffee they make.
  • Peter often buys new books, for he enjoys reading.
  • Jane and Michael went to Rome, for it was their five-year anniversary.


Use ‘nor’ to join two statements that both show things or ideas that are not true or didn’t happen. The verb in the part of the sentence after ‘nor’ should have a positive form, and the word order in this part should be inverted like a question:

  • I don’t like fishing, nor do I go hunting.
  • Jack can’t play any musical instruments, nor can he dance.
  • Mary doesn’t feel well today, nor does her younger sister Cindy.


Use ‘but’ to contrast two ideas, or join a negative statement to a positive statement:

  • The weather is bad, but we can go for a walk anyway.
  • Kate loves soap operas, but hates sports shows.
  • My friends went on holiday, but they didn’t enjoy it.


Use ‘yet’ to show a contrasting idea that follows the first idea logically. It is similar to ‘but’:

  • This meal is tasty yet a bit spicy for me.
  • Tom likes his new job, yet he misses his old colleagues.
  • They planned to go to the cinema, yet they preferred the theater.


Use ‘so’ to show that one part of the sentence is a consequence of the other (‘cause-and-effect’ relationship):

  • The traffic is heavy on the main road, so the drivers are looking for alternative routes.
  • I don’t like eating out, so I rarely go to restaurants.
  • This movie is long, so I bought some snacks.

Watch this video to learn more about coordinating conjunctions:

See also:

Correlative Conjunctions

Conjunctions of Contrast

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