Fans love to watch Ang. He dances beautifully. Ang appears on stage with a giant fan. People are captivated by his creative and magical performance. He doesn't dance in the traditional way. He doesn't want to. His technique is very precise. The effect is breezy. He can relax an audience with the easy flow of his movement. He can shock them with a vibrant color change of his fan and costume. Other dancers try to imitate his style. They have not succeeded. He is imaginative and talented. He will attract fans for many years to come.
Fans love to watch Ang, for he dances beautifully. Ang performs with a giant fan, and people are captivated by his creative and magical performance. He doesn't dance in the traditional way, nor does he want to. His technique is very precise, but the effect is breezy. He can relax an audience with the easy flow of his movement, or he can shock them with a vibrant color change of his fan and costume. Other dancers try to imitate his style, yet they have not succeeded. He is imaginative and talented, so he will attract fans for many years to come.
FANBOYS—for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so
TWO INDEPENDENT CLAUSES
Without coordinators, the reader is left to guess the relationship between two words, phrases or clauses. By selecting a particular coordinator, the writer clearly expresses the relationship as reason, addition, negation, contrast, option, contrary outcome, or result.
Fans love to watch Ang.
He dances beautifully.
Ang appears on stage with a giant fan.
People are captivated by his creative and magical performance.
He doesn't dance in the traditional way.
He doesn't want to.
His technique is very precise.
The effect is breezy.
He can relax an audience with the easy flow of his movement.
He can shock them with a vibrant color change of his fan and costume.
Other dancers try to imitate his style.
They have not succeeded.
He is imaginative and talented.
He will attract fans for many years to come.
TWO COORDINATES IN ONE CLAUSE
A coordinator joins two words, phrases or clauses of equal syntactic importance into one structure and clarifies the relationship between the two parts. Adding coordinators to written or spoken English improves the flow of words and the ability of the reader or listener to comprehend the content.
FOR — REASON
Fans love to watch Ang,
for¹ he dances beautifully.
"for the reason that"
AND — ADDITION / CONJUNCTION
Ang appears on stage with a giant fan,
and people are captivated by his creative and magical performance.
NOR (NOT OR) / DISJUNCTION
He doesn't dance in the traditional way,
nor does he want to.
BUT — CONTRAST
His technique is very precise,
but the effect is breezy.
"in contrast" "unexpectedly"
OR — OPTION / ALTERNATIVE / DISJUNCTION
He can relax an audience with the easy flow of his movement,
or he can shock them with a vibrant color change of his fan and costume. "one of the two options"
*YET — CONCESSION / NON CAUSE-EFFECT
Other dancers try to imitate his style,
yet they have not succeeded.
"even so" "unexpectedly"
*SO — RESULT / CAUSE-EFFECT
He is imaginative and talented,
so he will attract fans for many years to come.
"as a result"
¹for – a coordinator relating reason "because" (uncommon in US-Eng) He couldn't go home, for he had no home.
audience (N) – a group of people who come to view a performance in a public place
breezy (Adj) – airy and free-flowing, like wind blowing though something
captivate (V) – attract and hold the attention
context (N) – the background or surrounding situation that helps us interpret meaning
concession (N) – admit that something does not logically fit with the previous statement; give away a point in an argument or in a game (He spent a year in France, yet he cannot converse in French!)
conjunction (N) – In traditional grammar, "conjunction" is another word for "connector" (a word that joins a dependent to the main clause). However in linguistics (and mathematics), this term is reserved for the logic function: A + B "both" or "and". Caffeine is found in coffee and tea. See Conjunction, Exclusion, Disjunction; also Either…or Logic.
connector – is a general term for a word that joins a word, phrase or clause to a main clause. In traditional grammar, this is called a "conjunction". See What is a Connector?
A coordinator joins equivalent or like structures such as two nouns, verbs, adverbs, adjectives and so on. The coordinates may come from different categories if they function similarly in the clause. He seemed old (Adj) and tired. (Participle)She likes parties (N) and dancing. (Ger). She dances gracefully (Adv) and in a fluid manner (PP).
She waved a fan (NP)
a feather. (NP)
She lost her balance (VP)
did not fall. (VP)
Did she dance in the afternoon (PP)
in the evening? (PP)
She dances gracefully (Adv)
in a flowing manner. (PP)
A coordinator also joins clauses. In traditional description, the clause following the coordinator is called a dependent clause. In linguistic description, two finite clauses are said to be coordinates of the coordinator. Most writers separate the clauses with a comma if both clauses can stand independently.
She waved a fan,
then she waved a feather. (CL)
She lost her balance,
we did not notice it. (CL)
Did she dance in the matinée,
did she cancel the performance? (CL)
She dances gracefully (Adv)
she dances in a flowing manner. (PP)
¹equivalent / like structures —Note that the coordinates may come from different word categories capable of functioning in the same way, such as adverbials (She dances gracefully [Adv] and in a fluid manner [PP].) modifiers (He seemed old [Adj] and tired [Participle].) subject/object (He liked parties [N] and dancing [Gerund Cls].)
COORD (N) – coordinator; in grammar a word that coordinates, joins two words, phrases or clauses. See above.
coordinate (V) – place in equal order, rank, division
subordinate (V) – place in a lower order, rank, division
The use of a comma before a coordinator depends on the 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.
Jack took a taxi, and Karen drove home.
Jack took a taxi and Karen drove home.
Jack didn't want help, nor did he ask for it.
Jack didn't want help nor did he ask for it.
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 good friend who lived nearby to pick her up and take her home.
TWO INDEPENDENT CLAUSES SOMEHOW RELATED
A 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.
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 a good friend who lived nearby to pick her up and take 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)
A word category includes words that share the same properties, "function in the same way". Do FANBOYS have the same properties and therefore, belong to the same word category? Let's test the FANBOYS to see if they belong to the same word category.
A coordinating connector (1) joins elements that are syntactically alike or of equal status (e.g., noun–noun, verb–verb, phrase–phrase, clause–clause), (2) carries weak meaning [See And, But, Or.] (3) is not part of either element that it joins.
EQUAL ELEMENTS ONLY
joins like elements
Karen went home, for she didn't feel well. (Cls + Cls)
Karen went home, for*not feeling well.(Cls + Ger)
⇒ "For" joins like elements–only.
Karen called a taxi, and she left. (like: Cls + Cls)
Karen called a taxi, and *leaving.(Cls + Ger)
⇒ "And" joins like elements–only.
Karen didn't complain, nor did she insist. (Cls + Cls)
Karen didn't complain nor *insisting.(Cls + Ger)
⇒ "Nor" joins like elements–only.
Karen went to a show, but she didn't feel well. (Cls + Cls)
Karen went to a show, but *not feeling well.(Cls + Ger)
⇒ "But" joins like elements–only.
Karen wanted to walk, or she wanted to take a taxi. (Cls + Cls)
Karen wanted to walk or take a taxi. ( VP + VP)
Karen wanted to walk or *taking a taxi.(Cls + Ger)
All FANBOYS(for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so) share the property of joining like elements—only.
A subordinating connector (1) joins elements that are syntactically like or unlike, (2 & 3) carries meaning as the head of the word or structure that it joins. (See Connective Prepositions — when, before, after, as, if, though because.)
EQUAL OR UNEQUAL ELEMENTS
joins like and unlike elements
Karen went home when she didn't feel well. (Cls + Cls)
when not feeling well. (Cls+ Ger)
when ill. (Cls+ Adj)
⇒ "When" joins elements alike and unalike.)
Karen called a taxi before she left. (Cls+ Cls)
before leaving. (Cls+ Ger)
before us. (Cls+ N)
⇒ "Before" joins elements alike and unalike.
Karen felt ill after she arrived. (Cls+ Cls)
after her arrival. (Cls+ NP)
⇒ "After" joins elements alike and unalike.
Karen went home as she needed to rest. (Cls+ Cls)
as *needing rest.(Cls+ Ger)
as *tired.(Cls+ Adj)
⇒ "As" joins elements alike and unalike.
Karen could go home if she needed to rest. (Cls+ Cls)
if needed. (Cls+ Ger)
if necessary. (Cls+ Adj)
⇒ "If" joins elements alike and unalike.
Karen stayed though she was tired. (Cls+ Cls)
*though tired.(Cls+ Adj)
despite her tiredness.(Cls+ NP)
⇒ "Though" joins elements alike and unalike.
Karen called a taxi because she was tired (Cls+ Cls)
*because tired.(Cls+ Adj)
because of her tiredness. (Cls+ NP)
⇒ "Because" joins elements alike and unalike.
None of the FANBOYS can join unlike elements. However, words that are subordinating connectors (connective prepositions) can.
*not used / ~ borderline usage (requires a special context)
coordinate (N) – something of the same order, degree, or rank
subordinate (N) – something of a lower order, degree, or rank
as (P) – since, because
equal status – for example, a noun and a gerund are not alike, but they can both function as objects: He likes tennis and cycling. (They are equal but not alike.)
like (Adj) — of the same form, appearance, kind, character, amount; Coordinators join like elements.
like (Prep) — in the same way as, of the same kind as; He was like a son to me. (prep) / He felt like he had a son. (connective prep.)
syntactically — grammatically; from the word syntax – the rules for the usage of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language
"Restriction to binary constructions" X (and) Y and Z. (Huddleston 15 §2.11)
"Coordinates must be syntactically alike" (Huddleston 15 §2.1.b)
A connector that coordinates content ("constituents") may only be placed between the two coordinate clauses. Note how the coordinators below are logical in the middle position but make no sense in the initial position.
Karen wanted to leave, for she had a headache.
*Forshe had a headache, Karen wanted to leave.
no initial placement
Karen wanted leave, andwe wanted to stay.
*AndKaren 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 early, butwe wanted to stay.
*Butwe 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, yetshe stayed until the end.
*Yet she stayed and talked, Karen wanted to leave.
Karen wanted to leave the theater, so she called a taxi.
*Soshe called a taxi, Karen wanted to leave.
None of the FANBOYS(for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so) support fronting. They may only be placed between the two coordinates (coordinated clauses), not before them.
A connector that subordinates content may be placed before or after the main clause. Note that the meaning of the clause does not change with this initial placement.
FRONT OR MID-POSITION
Karen wanted to leave aftershe got a headache.
After she got a headache, Karen wanted to leave.
initial placement OK
Karen wanted to leave as she was feeling bad.
As Karen was feeling bad, she wanted to leave.
Karen was feeling fine before the show started.
Before the show started, Karen was feeling fine
Karen wanted leave though we wanted to stay.
ThoughKaren wanted leave, we wanted to stay.
Karen wanted leave becauseher head hurt.
Because Karen's head hurt, she wanted to leave.
Karen wanted to leave thoughthe show hadn't ended.
Thoughthe show hadn't ended, Karen wanted to leave.
We all decided to leave together whenKaren asked.
When Karen asked, we all decided to leave.
All connective prepositions (when, before, after, if, because) share the property of fronting. They may be placed in front of both the clauses.
*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)
A connector that coordinates content such as and, but and or share the property of reversibility. That is, interchanging the coordinates (clauses) does not affect the meaning of the sentence.
Karen wanted to leave, andwe wanted to stay.
We wanted to stay, and she wanted leave.
reversible, meaning stays
Karen didn't complain, nor did she insist.
She didn't insist, nordid she complain.
Karen wanted to leave, but we wanted to stay.
We wanted to stay, butKaren wanted to leave.
Karen walked home, or she took a taxi.
Karen took a taxi, orshe walked home.
NOT ALL FANBOYS ARE REVERSIBLE
Karen wanted to leave, forit was late. (for – reason)
*It was late, for she wanted to leave. (not reversible)
Karen wanted to leave early, yetshe stayed late.
*Karen stayed late, yetshe wanted to leave early.
Karen wanted to leave, soshe called a taxi.
*Karen called a taxi, so she wanted to leave.
FourFANBOYSand, nor, but, or share the property of reversibility. Clause order does not matter; it does not affect meaning. [A+ B = B + A]
SUBORDINATED STRUCTURES ( A + B ≠ B + A)
A connective preposition or connective adverb does not permit the reversal of clauses. That is, the order of the clauses affects the interpretation or logic of the clause. Note the inclusion of for, yet and so.
NOT REVERSIBLE [CONNECTIVE PREPOSITIONS]
Karen called a taxi before she left.
*Karen leftbefore she called a taxi.
not reversible, meaning changes
Karen walked though she was tired.
*Karen was tiredthough she walked.
Karen called a taxi because she needed to leave.
*Karen needed to leavebecause she called a taxi.
Karen wanted to leave as she was feeling bad.
*Karen was feeling badas she wanted to leave.
FANBOYS THAT FUNCTION AS SUBORDINATORS
⇒ "for" (functions like a subordinator)
⇒ "yet" (functions like a subordinator)
⇒ "so" (functions like a subordinator)
ThreeFANBOYSfor, yet and so do not share the property of reversibility. Clause order does matter. Changing order affects meaning. These words are more like connective adverbs in this respect.
*not used / ~borderline usage (requires a special context)
"Order of coordinates—In the simplest cases, the order of bare coordinates is free, so that we can change the order without discernible effect on interpretation or acceptability…" (Huddleston 15 §1.4)
Property 4: Coordinators cannot be placed one after the other. (nonconsecutive)
Words of the same word category function (are used) in the same way. For this reason, we would not expect to be able to use two coordinators in a row. They would be repetitive and/or conflict. As expected, the FANBOYS below cannot be used one after the other.
*Karen wanted to leave, andbut we didn't. (?)
*Karen wanted to leave, andor we didn't. (?)
Two FANBOYS but and or cannot be placed after and. Therefore, we would infer that they (and, but, or) function in the same way (are members of the same word category) and are unable to occur together.
The FANBOYS below, however, can occur one after the other. Do they function in the same way or do they function differently? Does one function as a coordinator and the other as a preposition, or do the two words form a paired expression?
Karen wanted to leave, andyet¹ we didn't.
Karen wanted to leave, butyet¹ she stayed.
Karen had a terrible headache, andso² she took an aspirin.
Karen took an aspirin, but *so she had an allergic reaction.
Two FANBOYS yet and so can be placed after and or but. Therefore, we would guess that the usage of yet and so differs from and and but. This is expected of words that are members of different word categories.
*not used / ~borderline usage (requires a special context)
¹ and yet / but yet can be expressed more simply as yet.
² and so can be expressed more simply as so.
FANBOYS are an unusual grouping of words because they do not all function in the same way. And, but, or and nor have the properties of coordinators. However, for, yet, and so have some properties of coordinators and some properties of connective adverbs or connective prepositions. See Connective Adverbs or Connector Overview. Also see "So" Uses.
The above is an example of how words can be analyzed based on their functions. Word (lexical) categories include members with similar functions (uses) called properties. Testing the properties of a word (how the word is used in a clause) is how we determine the category to which a word belongs. See Gerund-Participle page for a closer look at this testing process.
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 they decided he was a miracle puppy and let him live. When the story was posted on Facebook, several people responded and offered him a home!
euthanize (V) – "put to sleep", kill in order to end pain and suffering
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)
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
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]
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] (Lunsford 223)
and, but, or —co-ordinating conjunctions (Swan 510)
both…and, not only…but also paired conjunctions — (Azar 16-3)
coordinating conjunction [clausal] yet, so —(Azar et al. 16-1, 16-4)
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 — 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.
disjunction — is the logic function of A - B "one not the other"; Caffeine is found in black tea but not herbal tea.
exclusion — A / B "one, not both" Would you like coffee or tea?
Word Functions: Subj – subject; Pred – predicate/predicator; Comp – complement: elements required by an expression to complete its meaning (DO – direct object; IO – indirect object); Adjunct – adjunct: elements not required by an expression to complete its meaning (Subord – subordinator; Coord – coordinator); Supl – supplement: a clause or phrase added onto a clause that is not closely related to the central thought or structure of the main clause.
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
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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
some news — vague, unspecific information source; like "some guy", unidentified
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
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