Conjunctions – introduction to compound and complex sentences

FANBOYS conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, soConjunctions – introduction

Whenever you want to show your proficiency in writing or speaking you should demonstrate that you are capable of writing longer, more complex sentences. It is not possible without a proper conjunction though. Putting two ideas from seperate single sentences into one sentence requires from writers/speakers to use conjunctions. Today, I will present the basic set of conjunctions to use to make logical connection between the ideas you want to sell. This basic set, often described as a mnemonic FAN BOYS, is frequently used by students on level 1-2. For more advanced students I will present more conjunctions in an article to follow shortly.

FAN BOYS – a memory aid to master conjunctions

First set of conjunctions is quite easy to remember. We use a memory aid called MNEMONIC to help your brain process and record all of them. The first letters of each conjunction organized in a proper order create words FAN BOYS which are more friendly for your memory. Each letter stands for one conjunction:

F – for
A – and
N – nor
B – but
O – or
Y – yet
S – so

FAN BOYS – conjunctions that change the meaning

The following examples illustrate how each conjunction changes the meaning of a sentence:

They do not gamble or smoke, for they are ascetics.

They gamble and they smoke.

They do not gamble, nor do they smoke.

They gamble, but they don’t smoke.

Every day they gamble or they smoke.

They gamble, yet they don’t smoke.

He gambled well last night so he smoked a cigar to celebrate.

FAN BOYS conjunctions – exercise

Now, try to use the above mentioned conjunctions in the following examples. Some words you have to use more than once.

1) I like football ______ I like volleyball very much.
2) My sister likes geography _________ she doesn’t like maths.
3) The children did not clean up the room, ________ the parents were angry with them.
4) Can you read ________ write Chinese signs?
5) Are the questions right _________ wrong?
6) It’s not good __________ it’s funny.
7) Would you like tea __________ coffee for your breakfast?
8) Their car is old, __________ it drives beautifully.
9) We always spend evenings outside, __________ we love nature.
10) Do we have English __________ French after the break?

FAN BOYS conjunctions – the exercise answers

Here are the answers to the exercise:

1)and   2)but   3)so   4)or   5)or   6)nor   7)or   8)yet   9)for   10)or

You can download the pdf version of this cheat sheet and the exercise from the download manager below. You can also find an interactive version of the exercise here.


Conjunctions FANBOYS
Conjunctions FANBOYS
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