Grammar Lessons: Types of Conjunctions

Types of Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions, also called coordinators.In English the mnemonic acronym FANBOYS can be used to remember the coordinators for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so. Here are some examples of coordinating conjunctions in English and what they do:

  • For presents a reason
  • And presents non-contrasting item(s) or idea(s)
  • Nor presents a non-contrasting negative idea “).
  • But presents a contrast or exception
  • Or presents an alternative item or idea
  • Yet presents a contrast or exception
  • So presents a consequence

More Examples

  1. I normally like to run, but today I am walking.
  2. I like strawberry and chocolate ice cream
  3. I am smarter than my brother, yet he still got a higher grade on the test.
  4. I don’t make good grades, nor do I try very hard in school.
  5. It is raining outside today, so I think I will wear my raincoat.
  6. I don’t like yellow or blue

Directions: try to fill in the blanks using the appropriate conjunction. Use commas if necessary.

  1. My dad _______ I are going fishing this afternoon.
  2. The old man doesn’t have much money _____ he always seems to have nice things.
  3. Either we are going to win ______ they are going to win.
  4. I don’t have much time _____ hurry up!
  5. I want to get there early ____ we should leave soon.
  6. It doesn’t matter whether they get the job ___ not.
  7. I ran after the cat _____ could not catch her.
  8. We played very well ____ we still lost the game.

 Correlative conjunctions

Correlative conjunctions work in pairs to join words and groups of words of equal weight in a sentence. There are six different pairs of correlative conjunctions:

  1. either…or
  2. not only…but also
  3. neither…nor (or increasingly neither…or)
  4. both…and
  5. whether…or
  6. just as…so


  • You either do your work or prepare for a trip to the office.
  • Not only is he handsome, but he is also brilliant.
  • Neither the basketball team nor the football team is doing well.
  • Both the cross country team and the swimming team are doing well.
  • Whether you stay or go is your decision.
  • Just as many Americans love football, so many Canadians love ice hockey.

Subordinating conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions, also called subordinators, are conjunctions that conjoin an independent clause and a dependent clause. Subordinating conjunctions are only used for/in complex sentences and independent clause and a dependent clause.The most common subordinating conjunctions in the English language include after, although, as, as far as, as if, as long as, as soon as, as though,