Grammar-QuizzesConnectors › Coordinators

Coordinators  ("coordinating conjunctions")

Relate two elements or structures

X structure diagram
two people and a dog walking
We walk and we talk.
‹ diagram ›
► How is a coordinator a connective? ▼ Explanation of term

A coordinator

  • expresses a meaning of addition, contrast or option/alternative; is a part of neither of its coordinated structures; allows interchangeability of coordinate structures without affecting meaning.
  • functions as a marker that coordinates like (same word kind or equal status) elements or structures—two noun phrases, verb phrases, clauses and so on.
  • takes form as: and (addition), but (contrast), or (option/alternative).  Some grammar systems include for (reason), so (result), and yet (concession) with coordinators. Others do not and place for, so and yet  with connective adverbs

See Connector Overview: Grammar Notes for sources.



Summary of Practices



FANBOYS: join words, phrases and clauses

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

fan boy

She danced and waved a fan. 

She danced and waved a fan, and he played the flute. 

Connector Overview: overview of connective words that relate phrases and clauses

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speaker


The day was cold and windy.

They day was cloudy, windy and also cold.

The wind was strong as well as cold.

Besides being windy, it was also cold.

The day was windy  and cold. In addition, it was dry.

It was bright, clear and windy. Moreover, it was cold.

Coordinators—Addition / Conjunction

And / In addition: join sentence elements and sentences 

Intermediate–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker


Anne is an actress.  Normally, she acts and sings.  

Anne acts, sings and dances.  In addition, she directs theater productions. adds information

You should see Anne. She acts, sings and dances. Moreover, she looks like the main character. adds a conclusive fact

Besides being funny, he is also young and smart.  adds information

Hire him because he is young and smart.  Besides, he is funny!   adds a conclusive fact or argument

And so / too: reduce a repeated verb in a joined clause

Beginning–Advanced ESL

new toy

My brother has a new toy, and so do I.   (American English)

My brother has a new toy, and so have I.  (British English)

My bother got a new toy, and I did too.  

My brother got a new toy,  but I didn't. 

You got a new toy, didn't you?   Yes, I did.  / No, I didn't.

Too / Either: add a positive or negative comment

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

new toy

I am eight today, and my cousin is too.  

I am not a child, and my cousin isn't either.   

I am excited. Me too (informal) / I am too!

I am not worried.  Me either (informal) / I am not either!

Nobody helped me.  Me either (negative pronoun)

We barely understand it. Me either. (negative adverb)


Both and: join sentence elements with paired expressions

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker


Both the movie and the play were good.  

Not only the movie but also the play was good.  

Neither the movie nor the play was good.  

Either the movie or the play was good. I can't remember.  


Either…or / Neither…nor: express one or the other, or both

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

high jump

That store sells Nike or Adidas. (They have one brand.)

You'll can buy the shoes at Macy's or Penney's. (Both)

That store sells neither Nike nor Adidas. (Both not carried)

You can buy the shoes at neither Macy's nor Penney's.  (Both not)

They don't sell Adidas, nor do they think it necessary.  (connective with SV inversion)

But / But still:  state contrast or concession (contrary reasoning)

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

sugar with coffee

like sugar in my coffee, whereas Edward likes black coffee.

I like sugar in my coffee in contrast to Edward who likes none.

One the one hand, I like sugar in my coffee.

On the other hand, Edgard does not!

I shouldn't eat sugar, but still I do.

Though I shouldn't eat sugar, I do.

I shouldn't eat sugar.  Nevertheless, I do.


But / Though: express defeat versus challenge

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

job seeker

Brian planned on attending a job fair, but the line was very long.   (It discouraged him..)

Brian planned on attending a job fair though the line was very long.   (He stood in it anyway.)

But not / Except: state an exception 

Beginning–Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

Picky eater

He likes vegetables but not carrots.

He likes vegetables except (for) carrots.

Jack does nothing all day except [to] eat and sleep

He isn't interested in anything except eating and sleeping.

Jack eats nothing but hamburgers.

Jack ate all but one hamburger. 


Negative Word Forms: express absence, doubt, denial, prohibition and more (Negative Word Forms)

Beginning – Advanced ESL, native speakers

No No's

No one / Not anyone has parked illegally.

His inability / disability was clear to us.

He was unsatisfied / dissatisfied.

Do not park there!  We do not park there.

He would park there, wouldn't he?

We asked him not to park there.

I doubt that he *never / ever helps.

He is neither optimistic nor pessimistic. (paired negative)

His no nonsense approach to life is refreshing. (expression)

Run-on Sentences: identify errors in coordinating words, phrases and clauses

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speaker


My friend and I blogged and read over his shoulder.

My friend blogged, and I read over his shoulder.


Parallel Wording: coordinate like word forms

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speaker

matched cherries - slot machine

*My English is improving slow but surely.

My English is improving slowly but surely.


Connector Diagnostic: identify specific points that need review


Quiz 1: beginning – intermediate

Quiz 2: intermediate – advanced

Connector Paragraph: relate ideas in a paragraph with cause-effect connectors

Intermediate– Advanced ESL, Native Speaker


She looks around to make sure other girls are noticing her.  When asked why she dresses the way she does, she says that she likes it.  ______ it seems that the reason for her behavior is more complex.


See Connectors for a complete summary of connective words.