FANBOYS — Coordinating Conjunctions

Join words, phrases and clauses

fan dancer
 

 

FANBOYS

TWO INDEPENDENT CLAUSES

A coordinator expresses a relationship (reason, addition, negation, contrast, option, contrary outcome, or result) between two like (same kind) words, phrases or clauses. Without coordinators, the reader is left to guess the relationship between two related sentences in a paragraph.

CONNECTOR CLAUSE 1 CLAUSE 2

*FOR

reason

Fans love to watch Anna.

She dances beautifully.

AND

addition,
conjunction

She is a graceful dancer.

People enjoy watching her.

NOR   

and not

She hasn't taken dance lessons.

She doesn't need to.

BUT

contrast

Her technique is unconventional.

Her lines are extraordinary.

OR   

option,
disjunction

She can fill an audience with joy.

She can bring people to tears.

*YET

unexpected
outcome, concession

Other dancers try to imitate her style.

They have not succeeded.

*SO   

result

She is talented.  

She will attract fans for many years to come.

TWO COORDINATED CLAUSES

A coordinator joins two clauses of equal syntactic importance into one sentence and clarifies the relationship between the two parts.  Adding coordinators to written or spoken English improves the flow of the words and the ability of the reader or listener to comprehend the content.

COMPOUND SENTENCE / COORDINATE CLAUSES

Fans love to watch Anna, for¹ she dances beautifully. 

Fans love to watch Anna because she dances beautifully.

She is a graceful dancer, and people enjoy watching her.

 

She hasn't taken dance lessons, nor does she need to.

Her technique is unconventional, but her lines are extraordinary.

 

She can fill an audience with joy, or she can bring people to tears.

Other dancers try to imitate her style, yet they have not succeeded.

She is talented, so she will attract fans for many year to come. (result)

clause – an independent clause (traditional) / a finite clause (linguistic description)  See Finite / Nonfinite.

A coordinating conjunction— a coordinator: (1) joins or coordinates two or more items— words, clauses, or sentences—of similar grammatical structure (clause, phrase or word; ((2) is placed between, not before, the two elements that it joins; (3) allows  the elements before and after it to be exchanged without affecting the meaning. ( A+ B = B + A)

A subordinating conjunction—a subordinator (1) joins an element (clause, phrase or word) that is dependent on the main clause; (2) joins a grammatical element that is equal or unequal; (3) can be placed with its subordinated clause before or after the main clause; (4) does not allow the elements before and after it to be exchanged without affecting the meaning of the sentence.. (A + B ≠ B + A)   

*for, yet and so share properties of both coordinators and subordinators. See coodinator vs. subordinator properties below.

 

 

 

In Context

WITHOUT COORDINATORS
Fans love to watch Anna. She dances beautifully. She is a graceful dancer. People enjoy watching her. She hasn't taken dance lessons. She doesn't need to. Her technique is unconventional. Her lines are extraordinary. She can fill an audience with joy. She can bring people to tears. Other dancers try to imitate her style. They have not succeeded. She is talented. She will attract fans for many years to come.

WITH COORDINATORS
Fans love to watch Anna, for¹ she dances beautifully. She is a graceful dancer, and people enjoy watching her. She hasn't taken dance lessons, nor does she need to. Her technique is unconventional, but her lines are extraordinary. She can fill an audience with joy, or she can bring people to tears. Other dancers try to imitate her style, yet they have not succeeded. She is talented, so she will attract fans for many years to come.

audience (N) – a group of people who come to watch and listen to someone speaking or performing in public

bring to tears (expr.) – cause someone to feel deep emotion (cause to cry)

extraordinary (Adj) – exceptional, remarkable, amazing

fan (N) – (1) something that creates a cool current of air; (2) a person who is an admirer, a follower; a sports fan

¹for (connector) – reason  "because" (uncommon in US-Eng)

graceful (Adj) – moving in a smooth, attractive, pleasing way

imitate (V) – mimic, perform or act like

lines (N) – the artistic outline of the body (silhouette) in dance

many years to come (expr.) – a long time in the future

succeed (V) – manage to do something that you desired to do

talent (N) – having a special ability to do something, as in the arts

tears (N) – a drop of salty liquid that comes out of the eyes when crying

technique (N) – training; skills in a particular art

unconventional (Adj) – not following the usual standards, individualistic

unique (Adj) – the only one, like no other

yet (adverb) – up to now, so far; He hasn't arrived yet.

yet (connector) – unexpected outcome; contrary to exception 

 

FANBOYS is an acronym made from the first letter of each coordinator shown below.

Also see Clause / Fragment and Subject / Predicate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coordinators

Join "like" Structures

 

 

 

Words, Phrases and Clauses

COORDINATED SUBCLAUSAL ELEMENTS

A coordinator joins like elements from same categories: two nouns, noun phrases, verbs, verb phrases, adverbs, adverb phrases, adjectives, adjective phrases, prepositional phrases. [sub-clausal]

ELEMENT A COORD ELEMENT B

She waved  a fan  (NP)

and 

a feather (NP)

She lost her balance  (VP)

but 

did not fall ( VP)

Did she dance in the afternoon ( PP)

or 

in the evening ( PP)
 

COORDINATED CLAUSES

A coordinator also joins clauses. In traditional grammar, the clause following the coordinator is called a dependent clause. In linguistic description, two finite clauses are said to be coordinates of the coordinator.

CLAUSE A COORD CLAUSE B

She waved a fan  (CL)

, and    

then she waved a feather.    (CL)

She lost her balance (CL)

, but

we did not notice it. (CL)

Did she dance in the matinée (CL)

, or  

did she cancel the performance? (CL)

 

Finite / Nonfinite clause; NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; Compcomplement; Det – determiner; Adj –  adjective; AdjP – adjective phrase; PP – prepositional phrase; P – preposition; Sub – Subordinator

coordinate (V) – place in equal order, rank, division

subordinate (V) – place in a lower order, rank, division

See Grammar Notes (below) for terms in various grammar systems.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coordinated Clauses

Require Punctuation

 

 

 

Using a comma vs. a semicolon to join clauses

TWO INDEPENDENT CLAUSES SPECIFICALLY RELATED

use a commaThe use of a comma before a coordinator depends on clause length. A shorter clause may be joined without a comma; however, a longer, more complicated clause is joined with a comma to aid the reader in understanding which parts are being coordinated.

COMMA

Jack took a taxi, and Karen drove home. 

 Jack took a taxi and Karen drove…

Jack didn't want help, nor did he ask for it.

Jack didn't want help nor did he ask…

Jack wanted to go late, but Karen didn't.

Jack wanted to go late but Karen didn't

Karen had to go, so she called a friend who lived nearby to come, pick her up and drive her home.  

TWO INDEPENDENT CLAUSES SOMEHOW RELATED

use a semicolonA semicolon may also be placed between two independent clauses when the ideas of the two clauses are closely related. No coordinator is used; the relationship must be understood (guessed) from the context.

SEMICOLON

Jack took a taxi; Karen drove home. (addition)

Jack didn't want help; he didn't ask for it.  (negative addition)

Jack wanted to go late; Karen wanted to go on time.  (contrast)

Karen had to go; she called a friend who lived nearby to come, pick her up and drive her home. (result)

 

comma use – "In coordination, punctuation is commonly used to separate one coordinate from the next. The comma is the default mark; under certain conditions, however, a semicolon (but not a colon) is used instead… (Huddleston 20 §3.2.1) 

"Usually a comma immediately precedes the conjunction" (Azar 16-4)

heavy vs. light punctuation — "For some writers, this comma use is an example of "heavy" punctuation. These writers opt for "light" punctuation – no commas." (Huddleston 1727, 1746) (Swan 510.4)

Also see comma use in Comma Series.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coordinator / Subordinator

Do FANBOYS share the same properties?

called a taxi
 

 

1) Join Like Grammatical Elements

COORDINATOR

A coordinator joins or coordinates elements of equal status; they are syntactically alike. (i.e., two clauses,  NPs, VPs, PPs, infinitives, or gerunds). FANBOYS—for, and, nor, but, or,  yet, and so— are NOT like subordinators in this repect.

EQUAL ELEMENTS ONLY

Karen went home, for she didn't feel well. (Clause + Clause)

Karen went home, for not feeling well. (Clause + Gerund)

Karen called a taxi, and she left.  (CL+CL)

*Karen called a taxi, and leaving.  (CL+GER)

Karen didn't complain, nor did she insist.

Karen didn't complain nor insisting.

Karen went to a show, but she didn't feel well. (CL+CL)

*Karen went to a show, but not feeling well. (CL+GER)

Karen wanted to walk, or she wanted to take a taxi.

Karen wanted to walk or take a taxi.

Karen wanted to walk or taking a taxi.

Karen wanted leave early, yet she stayed late.

Karen wanted leave early, yet to stay late.

Karen went home, so she could rest. (CL+CL)

*Karen went home, so resting.    (CL+GER)

SUBORDINATOR

A few subordinators (e.g., before, after, when, while) can subordinate an element of equal or unequal status such as a noun phrase NP , adverb phrase AdvP, adjective phrase AdjP, prepositional phrase PP, or gerund clause GER.

EQUAL OR UNEQUAL ELEMENTS

Karen went home when she didn't feel well. (Clause + Clause)

Karen went to a show when not feeling well / when ill. (CL + GER or Adj)

Karen called a taxi before she left.  (CL+CL)

Karen called a taxi before leaving / before us / before 9 p.m.  (CL + N)

Karen felt ill after she arrived. (CL+CL)

Karen felt ill after her arrival. (CL+ NP)

Karen went home when she needed to rest. (CL+CL)

Karen went home when needing rest / when tired. (CL+ GER / Adj)

Karen could go home if she needed to rest. (CL+CL)

Karen could go home if needed / if necessary.

Karen stayed though she was tired.

Karen stayed though tired.

 Karen called a taxi because she was tired  (CL+CL)

Karen called a taxi because tired.

 

 

* not used / ? borderline usage (requires a special context)

like (Adj) — of the same form, appearance, kind, character, amount, etc

"Coordinates must be syntactically alike" (Huddleston  15.2.1.b) 

Also see elements that follow After / Before / Since / When.

 

 

 

 

2) Are Placed Mid-position Only

COORDINATOR

A coordinator is placed between, not before, the two clauses that it joins.  All FANBOYS—for, and, nor, but, or,  yet, and so— are placed mid-position.

COORDINATOR  MID-POSITION ONLY

Karen wanted to leave, for she had a headache.

*For she had a headache, Karen wanted to leave. 

Karen wanted leave, and we wanted to stay.

*And Karen wanted leave, we wanted to stay.

Karen didn't complain, nor did she insist.

*Nor did she complain, she didn't insist.

Karen wanted leave the theater early, but we wanted to stay.

*But we wanted to stay, Karen wanted to leave.

Karen wanted to walk, or she wanted to take a taxi.

*Or Karen wanted to walk, she wanted to take a taxi.

Karen wanted to leave, yet she stayed and watched the end of the show.

*Yet she stayed and talked, Karen wanted to leave.

Karen wanted to leave the theater, so she called a taxi.

*So she called a taxi, Karen wanted to leave.

SUBORDINATOR

A subordinator and its clause may be placed before or after the main clause. That is to say, subordinators support "fronting", but FANBOYS do not.

SUBORDINATOR — FRONT OR MID-POSITION

Karen wanted to leave because she had a headache.

Because she had a headache, Karen wanted to leave.

Karen wanted leave, while we wanted to stay.

While Karen wanted leave, we wanted to stay.

 

Karen wanted leave , whereas we wanted to stay.

Whereas Karen wanted leave, we wanted to stay.

Karen wanted to leave though the show hadn't ended.

Though the show hadn't ended, Karen wanted to leave.

 

* not used / ? borderline usage (requires a special context)

theatre (EN-Br)  theater (EN-US)

"Impossibility of fronting an expanded coordinate" (Huddleston 15.2.1.d)

 

 

 

 

3) Allow the Reversal of Clauses ( A + B = B + A)

COORDINATOR ( A + B = B + A)

The elements joined by a coordinator are reversible. That is, the re-ordering of the coordinated clauses does not affect meaning or acceptability of the sentence.  FANBOYS— and, or, nor and but are reversible.

REVERSIBLE

Karen wanted to leave, and we wanted to stay.

We wanted to stay, and she wanted leave.

Karen didn't complain, nor did she insist.

She didn't insist, nor did she complain.

Karen wanted to leave, but we wanted to stay.

We wanted to stay, but Karen wanted to leave.

Karen walked home, or she took a taxi.

Karen took a taxi, or she walked home.

 

SUBORDINATOR ( A + B ≠ B + A)

The elements joined by a subordinator are not reversible. That is, the order of the clauses affects the interpretation or makes the sentence unacceptable. FANBOYS for, so and yet  are not reversible.

NOT REVERSIBLE

Karen wanted to leave, for it was late.    (for – reason)

*It was late, for she wanted to leave. (not reversible)

Karen wanted to leave early, yet she stayed late.

*Karen stayed late, yet she wanted to leave early.

Karen wanted to leave, so she called a taxi.

*Karen called a taxi, so she wanted to leave.

OTHER SUBORDINATORS — NOT REVERSIBLE

Karen called a taxi before she left.   (After/ Before/ When, etc.)

*Karen left before she called a taxi. (not reversible)

Karen walked though she was tired.

*Karen was tired though she walked.  

Karen called a taxi because she needed to leave.   (Because / though)

*Karen needed to leave because she called a taxi.

 

* not used / ? borderline usage (requires a special context)

"Order of coordinates—In the simplest cases, the order of bare coordinates is free, s o that we can change the order without discernible effect on interpretation or acceptability…" (Huddleston 15 §1.4)

 

 

 

4) Cannot Be Placed Contiguously (one after the other)

COORDINATOR

Words in the same category should share similar usage. We would not expect to be able to use two coordinators in a row.  FANBOYS' but or or cannot be placed after and.

*Karen wanted to leave, and but we didn't. (?)

*Karen wanted to leave, and or we didn't. (?)

SUBORDINATOR

However, FANBOYS' yet and so can be placed after and or but. Therefore, we can conclude the usage (function) of yet and so differs from and and but.

Karen wanted to leave, and yet we didn't.

Karen wanted to leave, but yet she stayed.

Karen had a terrible headache, and so she took an aspirin.

~Karen took an aspirin, but so she had an allergic reaction.

 

 

Conclusion

FANBOYS are an unusual grouping of words because they differ in function.   And, but, or and nor share properties of coordinators. However,  for, yet, and so share properties of coordinators and subordinators.

 

 

 

 

 

Common Mistakes

Focus and Solutions

 

 

 

Error and Solution

ERROR   

*We went food shopping, and bought dinner. (clause + phrase)

 

 

*We bought meat, and vegetables.  (noun + noun) 

*We went food shopping and he washed the car.   (clause + clause)

Place a comma before "and" when joining two independent clauses – both elements have a subject and a verb. 

We bought meat, vegetables, and fruit.   (OK – items in a series)

*Leave your luggage with your responsibility.  (?)

Pop-Q Leave

SOLUTION

We went food shopping and bought dinner. 

We went food shopping as well as bought dinner. 

We went food shopping plus bought dinner. 

Not only did we go food shopping, but also we bought dinner.

We went food shopping, then we bought dinner. 

We went food shopping, and we bought dinner.

We went food shopping. Also, we bought dinner.

We bought meat and vegetables.

A comma is unnecessary before and when joining two small similar sentence elements—verb phrases, noun phrases, adjective phrases, adverb phrases, and so on. 

We went food shopping, and he washed the car.

We went food shopping.  And he washed the car.

We went food shopping; he washed the car. (semicolon)

We went food shopping. He washed the car. (period)

We bought meat, vegetables and fruit.
Place a comma after items in a series. The last item is joined with an optional comma before
and.  (See "Oxford Comma".)

We bought meat, vegetables, and fruit.  

You may leave your luggage, but it is your responsibility to watch it.

Leave your luggage at your own risk.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coordinators

Beginning a sentence with and, so or but

miracle puppy
 

 

The Miracle Puppy  (article without punctuation)

An old cage with five puppies was left outside of an Oklahoma animal shelter but the animal shelter was overcrowded and the puppies were very weak. There was no more room for five puppies so they had to euthanize (kill) them.

All of the puppies except one died. In fact, they euthanized one puppy twice but he wouldn't die  so instead they decided he was a miracle puppy and found him a good home!

 

euthanize (V)  "mercy kill"

miracle (N) – extraordinary

"Oklahoma Puppy Survives Euthanasia, Will Now Get A Home." Oklahoma City, News9. 2 Mar 2011. Web. 5 Feb 2014. <http://www.news9.com/global/story.asp?s=14167428>.

 

 

 

 

Mid-sentence vs. Initial sentence Position

MID-SENTENCE

For some writers, a coordinator (and, but, so, or, yet) is only used between two independent clauses (separated by a comma.) That is, a coordinator should not be used at the beginning of a sentence. 

The animal shelter was overcrowded, and the puppies were very weak.

There was no more room for five puppies, so they had to euthanize them. kill

They euthanized one puppy twice, but he wouldn't die.   (contrast)  

The vet decided he was a miracle puppy, and he found him a good home!
 

AT THE BEGINNING OF THE SENTENCE

For many writers, including journalists and academic writers, a coordinator is used both between two clauses and at the beginning of a sentence. 

The animal shelter was overcrowded.  And the puppies were very weak.  (emphasis)

There was no more room for five puppies.  So they had to euthanize them. (emphasis)

They euthanized one puppy twice.  But he wouldn't die.  (emphasis)

So the vet decided he was a miracle puppy. And he found him a good home!

 

euthanize (V) – "put to sleep", kill in order to end pain and suffering

over crowded (Adj) – too many items in a space

veterinarian / vet (N) – doctor who treats animals

Pop-Q "but" | The miracle puppy's story

 

 

 

 

 

Beginning with "and" or "but"

Grammarian's Comments

 

 

 

What grammarians have to say about beginning a sentence with and or but:

and. 3 There is a persistent belief that it is improper to begin a sentence with And, but this prohibition has been cheerfully ignored by standard authors from Anglo-Saxon times onwards. An initial And is a useful aid to writers as the narrative continues.  The OED provides examples from the 9c. to the 19c. (Burchfield and Fowler 52)

but.  2 Used at the beginning of a sentence.  The widespread public belief that But should not be used at the beginning of a sentence seems to be unshakable.  Yet it has no foundation.  In certain kinds of compound sentences, but is used to introduce a balancing statement of the nature of an exception, objection, limitation or contrast to what has gone before; sometimes, in its weakest form, merely expressing disconnection, or emphasizing the introduction of a distinct or independent fact.  In such circumstances, but is most commonly placed after a semicolon, but it can legitimately be placed at the beginning of a sentence and frequently is.  (Burchfield and Fowler 121)

and 1. Everybody agrees that it's all right to begin a sentence with and, and nearly everybody admits to having been taught at some  time in the past that the practice was wrong.  Most of us think the prohibition goes back to our early school days.  Bailey 1984 points out that the prohibition is probably meant to correct the tendency of children to string together independent clause or simple declarative sentences with ands...   (Merriam-Webster 93)

but 1. Part of the folklore of usage is the belief that there something wrong in beginning a sentence with but: "Many of us were taught that no sentence should begin with but.  If that's what you learned, unlearn it—there is no stronger word at the start.  It announces total contrast with what has gone before, and the reader is primed for the change." —Zinsser 1976  (Several more quotes and examples are included.) (Merriam-Webster 211)

Beginning a sentence with a conjunction. There is a widespread belief—one with no historical or grammatical foundation — that it is an error to begin a sentence with a conjunction such as and, but, or so.  In fact, a substantial percentage (often as many as 10 percent) of the sentences in first-rate writing begin with conjunctions.  It has been so for centuries, and even the most conservative grammarians have followed this practice.  Charles Allen Lloyd's 1938 words fairly sum up the situation as it stands even today: "Next to the groundless notion that it is incorrect to end an English sentence with a preposition, perhaps the most wide-spread of the many false beliefs about the use of our language is the equally groundless notion that it is incorrect to begin one with 'but' or 'and'. (CMOS 5.191)

Beginning a sentence with and or some other coordinating conjunction (but, or or nor) can be an effective means—if not overused—of giving special attention to the thought that follows the conjunction. No comma should follow the conjunction at the start of a new sentence unless a parenthetical element occurs at that point. (Sabin 1101)

 

Also see (Azar 16-4)

Resources are listed below.

 

 

 

 

Grammar Notes

Traditional and Linguistic Descriptions

 

 

 

Traditional and Linguistic Descriptions

TRADITIONAL DESCRIPTION LINGUISTIC DESCRIPTION

A conjunction and a coordinating conjunction differ in that a conjunction joins grammatically alike sub-clausal elements, whereas a coordinating conjunction joins grammatically alike clausal elements. (Azar 16-4)  (Swan 510.1–2)

compound sentence– the joining of two independent clauses

In linguistic description, "coordination is the relation between elements of equal syntactic status, and as such contrast with subordination [unequal syntactic structure]."    (Huddleston  "Properties of prototypical coordinators"  15 §2.1)   

compound — the term is limited to the joining of two words: sweetheart, blackbird, copycat, egghead, etc.  [not clauses]

CONJUNCTION FUNCTION TERM

and, but, or
conjunction
— is/was a term for a word that joins two like elements, such as nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or phrases (and in some grammar descriptions, clauses).
  He walks and talks constantly. [sub-clausal elements / clausal elements]

conjunction — is a logic function of A + B "both";   ("and" and sometimes "or") Caffeine is found in coffee and tea. Caffeine is found in coffee or tea. ("both").
disjunction — is the logic function of  A / B "one or the other, but not both", "either"; ("or" / "nor") Would you like coffee or tea?  ("one not the other") 

 Note that "or" in mathmatics is different. A or B = both.See Boolean Operators

COORDINATING  CONJUNCTIONS COORDINATORS

for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so  ("fanboys")
coordinating conjunctions—join independent clauses and the resulting construction is a compound sentence. He is walking around, and he doesn't seem to know where he is going. [clausal elements]

and, but, or —co-ordinating conjunctions (Swan 510)

both…and, not only…but also
paired conjunctions — (Azar 16-3)

and, but, or, nor
coordinators — join a variety of syntactically alike structures both sub-clausal (NP, VP, AdjP, Adv,PP) and clausal.
both…and, not only…but also
focusing adverbs —  (Huddleston 6.7.3) (Swan 24.6)

 

 

CONJUNCTIVE ADVERBS CONNECTIVE ADVERBS

In addition, Besides, Moreover, Furthermore
transitions, conjunctive adverbs — (Azar 16, 19–2-9)

In addition, Besides, Moreover, Furthermore
connective adverbs — (Huddleston8 §19)
linking adverbials — (Biber 10.4.1.4)
discourse marker; connecting adverbs — (Swan 22.1)

 

ADVERBS PREPOSITIONS / COORDINATORS

as well as, in addition to, along with
connectors, adverbs, prepositions — (Azar 16)

also, as well, too  — adverbs (Swan 46-47); also "focusing adverb" (Swan 24.6)

as well as
comparison/coordinator — (Huddleston15 §2.8)
in addition to, along with, including, plus
preposition/coordinator — (Huddleston15 §2.9)
also, as well, too, even
additive focusing modifier — (Huddleston6 §7.3.2)

 

? SUBORDINATORS

 

 

yet, so
connective adverbs (Huddleston 15 §2.10)
linking adverb (Biber 887
subordinator (Quirk 2.4.7.2)

Subordinators — see Connector Review Grammar Notes

CATEGORIES:  NP –noun phrase; N – noun; VP – verb phrase; V – verb; PP – prepositional phrase; P – preposition; AdvP – adverb phrase; Adv – adverb; AdjP– adjective phrase; Adj – adjective: Clause –Finite / Nonfinite

 

 

Resources

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 1

Agent James

hero
 

 

Complete the sentence with a connector.

  1. Select the response from the list that best completes the sentence. 
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 1-10" button.
1.

2.

3.

4.

5.

6.

7.

8.
  He's undecided.

9.

10.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 2

When Jack is Back

Jack relaxing
 

 

Read for Errors

After a long day, Jack comes home and relaxes for a while. He is usually very talkative, but rather tired. He talks about his activities constantly and in detail. He never asks about my day nor my problems. Then he asks for a glass of water or for a cold soda.

I tell him he can get it himself or do me a favor in the future. He laughs and I tell him I'm serious. (I like to bargain.) He tells me that I'm a nerd, and so I tell him that I am leaving. I tell him that but I get him his soda anyway. I'm fourteen now, and yet my big brother treats me like a little kid.

bargain (V) — an agreement about what each person shall give and take or perform and receive in an exchange.

do a favor (expression) — perform an act of kindness (the person is trying to bargain)

nerd (N) — an intelligent but single-minded person who spends more time studying than pursuing a social life

soda (N) — soft drink; soda pop, a cola, lemon or other sweetened carbonated drink

 

 

 

Is the sentence punctuated correctly?

  1. Select your response—correct or incorrect.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 11-20" button.

 

11.
After a long day, Jack comes home and relaxes for a while.

   

12.
He is usually very talkative, but rather tired.
   

13.
He talks about his activities constantly and in detail.
   

14.
He never asks about my day, nor my problems.
   

15.
Then he asks for a glass of water or for a cold soda.
   

16.
I tell him he can get it himself or do me a favor in the future.
   

17.
He laughs and I tell him I'm serious.
   

18.
He tells me that I'm a nerd, and so I tell him that I am leaving.
   

19.
I tell him that but I get him his soda anyway.
   

20.
I'm fourteen now, and yet my big brother treats me like a little kid.
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Practice 3

Laptops On Fire

Burned out computer
 

 

Read for Errors

I heard some news on the radio about a fire and my family saw it on the television. They said that it was caused by an exploding computer but I didn't understand how. The fire chief called in all his men but he ordered them to stay back.  The building became engulfed in flames so they stood by. The police wanted to inspect the scene of the fire and the fire chief did too. They needed to examine everything for they did not think it was an accident.

The police could not find the source of the fire nor could the fire chief. Either someone set the fire or caused the fire accidentally so they brought in the K-9 unit. Not only did the dogs find the source of the fire but they also found a burned-out computer. The fire chief wanted to close the case yet the police asked to keep it open.

The police will close the case after they verify the computer as the probable cause.

call in (V) — order to come to a work location

close the case (expression) — officially end the investigation, end the search

engulfed (Adj) — surrounded, covered

inspect the scene (V) — examine, look very carefully at the details where something happened

K-9 unit — a special canine (dog) search team

probable (Adj) — likely to occur, find evidence that proves something true

set fire (expression) — start a fire; set the fire (past tense) started the fire

source (N) — the cause of something, the place where it starts

stand by (phrasal verb) — stay, wait for the right moment to act, be ready

they said — an unnamed person having knowledge about something. See impersonal pronoun use.

verify (V) — prove something to be true

 

 

 

 

Edit for Errors

  1. Edit the sentence in the text box. Punctuate the sentences by adding periods and commas. Do not add any words.
  2. Compare your response to the feedback by clicking the "Check" or "Check 21-30" button.

 

21.
I heard some news on the radio about a fire and my family saw it on the television.


22.
They said that it was caused by an exploding computer but I didn't understand how.


23.
The fire chief called in all his men but he ordered them to stay back.


24.
The building became engulfed in flames so they stood by.


25.
The police wanted to inspect the scene of the fire and the fire chief did too.


26.
They needed to examine everything for they did not think it was an accident.


27.
The police could not find the source of the fire nor could the fire chief.


28.
Either someone set the fire or someone caused the fire accidentally so they brought in the K-9 unit. (to search for fire accelerants)


29.
Not only did the dogs find the source of the fire but they also found a burned-out computer.


30.
The fire chief wanted to close the case yet the police asked to keep it open.