Commas and Coordinating Conjunctions (FANBOYS)

What are coordinating conjunctions?

Coordinating conjunctions are used to hitch a number of grammatical parts of equal significance. These parts could possibly be nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and even entire phrases and impartial clauses. All of us use coordinating conjunctions each day. However are you utilizing them appropriately?

Let’s take a look at:

  • Tips on how to use FANBOYS as coordinating conjunctions — together with a number of examples
  • How coordinating conjunctions are completely different from subordinating conjunctions
  • Whether or not it’s correct to start out a sentence with a coordinating conjunction
  • And why “nonetheless” isn’t included in FANBOYS

Right here’s all the things you must learn about FANBOYS.


3. NOR

NOR as a conjunction is used to introduce the second detrimental clause in a sentence. It means “additionally not.” Let’s take some examples of NOR.


  • I’ve by no means talked to that man, nor do I need to do it.
  • We don’t need to purchase this automobile, nor do we have now cash to take action.
  • She doesn’t have a boyfriend, nor does she need to have one.
  • I’m not your good friend, nor do I need to be.
  • He didn’t purchase something, nor did he pay the remaining quantity.
  • I haven’t met her but, nor have I knowledgeable her in regards to the shock celebration.

Be aware that the serving to verb is coming earlier than the topic within the second clause regardless that it’s not an interrogative sentence. That is known as inversion. it typically occurs in interrogative sentences, however nor clauses additionally observe the inversion.

NOR can also be utilized in a correlative conjunction. It is part of the conjunction ” neither… nor.” Let’s take some examples of NEITHER…NOR.

  • We’re neither your folks nor your enemies.
  • She neither known as me final night time, nor messaged me.
  • Neither you nor I’m the correct match for this job.

Starting with and, however or or

What grammarians must say about starting a sentence with and or however :

and. 3 There’s a persistent perception that it’s improper to start a sentence with And, however this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by normal authors from Anglo-Saxon instances onwards. An preliminary And is a helpful help to writers because the narrative continues.  The OED gives examples from the 9c. to the 19c. (Burchfield and Fowler 52)

however.  2 Used originally of a sentence. The widespread public perception that However shouldn’t be used originally of a sentence appears to be unshakable. But it has no basis. In sure sorts of compound sentences, however is used to introduce a balancing assertion of the character of an exception, objection, limitation or distinction to what has gone earlier than; typically, in its weakest kind, merely expressing disconnection, or emphasizing the introduction of a definite or impartial reality. In such circumstances, however is mostly positioned after a semicolon, however it may legitimately be positioned originally of a sentence and incessantly is. (Burchfield and Fowler 121)

and 1. All people agrees that it is all proper to start a sentence with and, and practically all people admits to having been taught at some  time prior to now that the follow was unsuitable.  Most of us suppose the prohibition goes again to our early college days.  Bailey 1984 factors out that the prohibition might be meant to right the tendency of youngsters to string collectively impartial clause or easy declarative sentences with ands… (Merriam-Webster 93)

however 1. A part of the folklore of utilization is the assumption that there one thing unsuitable in starting a sentence with however : "Many people had been taught that no sentence ought to start with however .  If that is what you realized, unlearn it—there isn’t a stronger phrase initially.  It proclaims whole distinction with what has gone earlier than, and the reader is primed for the change." —Zinsser 1976  (A number of extra quotes and examples are included.) (Merriam-Webster 211) Starting a sentence with a conjunction. There’s a widespread perception—one with no historic or grammatical basis — that it’s an error to start a sentence with a conjunction comparable to and , however , or so .  In truth, a considerable proportion (typically as many as 10 %) of the sentences in first-rate writing start with conjunctions.  It has been so for hundreds of years, and even probably the most conservative grammarians have adopted this follow. Charles Allen Lloyd’s 1938 phrases pretty sum up the scenario because it stands even immediately: "Subsequent to the groundless notion that it’s incorrect to finish an English sentence with a preposition, maybe the most wide-spread of the various false beliefs about using our language is the equally groundless notion that it’s incorrect to start one with ‘however’ or ‘and’. (CMOS 5.191) Starting a sentence with and or another coordinating conjunction (however, or or nor ) may be an efficient means—if not overused—of giving particular consideration to the thought that follows the conjunction. No comma ought to observe the conjunction initially of a brand new sentence except a parenthetical aspect happens at that time. (Sabin 1101)

Fanboys Punctuation / Fanboys Comma Rule / Fanboys with out a Comma

Two components of a sentence when related with Fanboys are at all times divided by a comma. The comma is used to divide two components as a result of every is a separate entity, and has a distinct concept. Fanboys are used to attach these two components, and the concepts, however the comma reveals the place one half stops and the opposite begins.

So, a comma at all times divides the 2 components of a sentence and the Fanboys.

  • , for / , and / , nor / , however / , or / , but / , so

Compound sentences with out Fanboys

Compound sentences may be created with out Fanboys. Since Fanboys are solely one kind of conjunction, you can too use the opposite varieties. Compound sentences may be created with correlative conjunctions, or subordinating conjunctions.

Correlative conjunction instance:

  • Julian stated he would repair the roof by Monday, whether or not he does that may be a completely different story.

Subordinating conjunction examples:

  • I’d get an A on this class, provided that I a get at the least a B- on this final take a look at.
  • We will lastly transfer on to the manufacturing part, now that we’ve all signed the types.
  • There’s at all times aspirin within the drugs cupboard, in case anybody wants it.

There are varied conjunctions within the English language that are used to create compound sentences. Fanboys are one of the frequent ones, however others are additionally used pretty incessantly.

How coordinating conjunctions are completely different from subordinating conjunctions

FANBOYS are most frequently used as coordinating junctions to hitch grammatical parts, as we’ve seen up to now. However they will also be used as subordinating conjunctions. In subordinating conjunctions, the grammatical parts aren’t equal; one relies on the opposite.

Instance of subordinating conjunctions

I began freelance writing so I may earn extra cash.

On this instance, “I may earn extra cash” relies on the clause “I began freelance writing.” This makes “so” a subordinating conjunction on this instance.

Focus and Options

Error and Resolution


*We went meals purchasing, and purchased dinner. (clause + phrase)

*We purchased meat, and greens.  (noun + noun) 

~We went meals purchasing and he washed the automobile.   (brief clauses—non-compulsory comma)

*We went meals purchasing as a result of we had been out of milk and eggs and he took that chance to get his automobile washed whereas we had been busy.    (longer clauses—comma)

We purchased meat, greens, and fruit.   (OK – gadgets in a collection)

*Go away your baggage together with your duty.  (lacking logic, coordinator)

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We went meals purchasing and purchased dinner.

We went meals purchasing in addition to purchased dinner.

We went meals purchasing plus purchased dinner.

Not solely did we meals store, but additionally we purchased dinner.

We went meals purchasing, then we purchased dinner.

We went meals purchasing, and we purchased dinner.

We went meals purchasing. Additionally, we purchased dinner.

We purchased meat and greens.

A comma is pointless earlier than and when becoming a member of two small comparable sentence parts—verb phrases, noun phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, and so forth. 

We went meals purchasing, and he washed the automobile.

We went meals purchasing.  And he washed the automobile.

We went meals purchasing; he washed the automobile. (semicolon)

We went meals purchasing. He washed the automobile. (interval)

Usually, a comma is positioned earlier than "and" when becoming a member of two impartial clauses. Nevertheless, if the clauses are brief or share the identical topic, the comma could also be omitted.

We purchased meat, greens and fruit.

We purchased meat, greens, and fruit.   (See "Oxford Comma".)

Place a comma after items in a series.  A comma is positioned earlier than and if wanted to keep away from confusion. I would like tuna, peanut butter and jelly, and egg sandwiches. 

You could go away your baggage, however it’s your duty to look at it.

Go away your baggage at your individual threat(expression)

Are you able to begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction?

Maybe your instructor taught you that you need to by no means begin a sentence with the FANBOYS. However the reality is, you may. (I simply did.) The explanation your instructor could have taught you this was to discourage you from writing sentence fragments. As soon as you’re previous that developmental stage, nonetheless, there isn’t a cause why you may’t begin a sentence with a conjunction. Let’s differ the examples above.

I don’t need to throw away my sweet bars, nor do I want to hearken to my brother. However I like sweet bar factories. And I need to personal one sometime.

Simply keep in mind to not overuse these sorts of sentences, as a result of too lots of them can sound punchy.

When do you employ a comma?

There’s a easy and efficient take a look at that you should use to find out if a comma is required: Learn every clause that’s joined by the conjunction individually and see if it may stand by itself as a sentence. A clause that may stand by itself is often known as an impartial clause. If either side can stand on their very own, a comma is required earlier than the conjunction.

“I went to the shop, and I purchased some apples.”

Since “I went to the shop” and “I purchased some apples” are each impartial clauses, this comma is required.

Nevertheless, if one of many clauses can’t stand by itself as an entire sentence (aka a dependent clause), don’t separate the clauses with a comma.

“I went to the shop and purchased some apples.”

Since “purchased some apples” is a dependent clause, don’t use a comma earlier than the conjunction.

Conjunctions that join two phrases

The principles for utilizing coordinating conjunctions to hitch grammatically equal phrases are the identical.

He appeared poorly groomed but properly mannered.

By overlaying my past-due payments with a brick, I can put them out of sight and out of thoughts.

Can we begin a sentence with a COORDINATING conjunction?

Although your lecturers have advised you to not do it, the reply continues to be YES. You can begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction if that lets you communication your message successfully.

Most lecturers let you know to not begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction because it finally ends up supplying you with sentence fragments. So, begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction if that’s wanted or useful to strengthen you message. However don’t overdo it. Observe that the earlier two sentences begin with a coordinating conjunction (SO, BUT).