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Coordinating conjunctions

There are only seven coordinating conjunctions in English, and they are "for", "and", "nor", "but", "or", "yet", and "so", otherwise known as the FANBOYS conjunctions. Coordinating conjunctions (along with a comma) are the only conjunctions that can connect two independent clauses.

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Video transcript

- [Voiceover] Hello grammarians. Alright, today I want to start talking about conjunctions, and conjunctions are this part of speech that has a very particular function in English and what it does conjunctions unite words, phrases, and clauses. Let me, let me show you an example. So if you want to talk about two things, you could say it's a peanut butter and jelly. Or if I were going to paraphrase Eddie Izzard, I might offer you the choice of cake or death. You could also describe something as being sad but true. And these three are the most commonly used conjunctions because I would be remiss if I didn't mention the seminal conjunction song that got me into the grammar game in the first place, Conjunction Junction, which I think was written by Jack Sheldon or performed by Jack Sheldon in like, 1973. Schoolhouse Rock. It's great. Look it up. But what I'm going to talk about today is a mnemonic, or a memory aide, called FANBOYS. You may have heard this before, FANBOYS. And this is how we remember the coordinating conjunctions. And you don't need to worry about the name coordinating conjunctions, we'll get to that later. For now, just remember FANBOYS. For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So. FANBOYS. We'll go through how each one of these are used over the next screen. Follow me downstairs! So we've got For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So, and each of them have a different basic function. So let's, let's review them. For has this connotation. You can use it the way you'd use a word like since or because, as in... I do not eat buttons, for they are not food. You can see I'm combining these two little sentences using the word for. We're using this for to explain my reasoning. I do not eat buttons because they are not food, and for is a simpler way to express that. The conjunction and? Very elemental, very important conjunction combines one thing with another as in... The kangaroo robbed the bank and torched the saloon. A rather criminal kangaroo. And you can see we're using and to combine these two ideas. We're saying, this thing happened, this thing also happened, they happened together. Nor is similar to and, but we use it to combine untrue things. We use it to express negation. So if I were going to talk about an angry tree spirit, for example, just to pull an example out of a hat, I could say, she won't leave her tree, nor will she speak with humans. We use but to express exceptions, as in... We used every building material but chewing gum. Chewing gum is the exception to every building material. We or as a conjunction to choose between options... As in, would you rather have a pet bear or a pet giraffe? We ask the hard questions on Khan Academy. Yet is kind of like but, except that we use it to express unexpected things so I'm just going to write, to the contrary! As if I were Sherlock Holmes hollering at a confused Watson. And to the contrary, my good man Watson! This is how we use yet. I'll show you. I want to leave, yet I cannot. So it sets up this kind of push and pull dynamic in a sentence, is what yet does. We set the expectation, I want to leave, and yet here's the unexpected, what I'd say an ironic part, yet I cannot. I want to leave... But unfortunately, or but unexpectedly. When you would say but unexpectedly, just use yet. And finally, the last part of FANBOYS, so shows consequences. Dougal was allergic to sheep, so he skipped the wool festival. Right so, so we're trying to set up that as a consequence of the first clause, Dougal being allergic to sheep, the thing that follows is, because of that, he decided to skip the wool festival. This is FANBOYS, For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. These are all covered in the exercises. You can learn anything. David out.