Saturday, January 24, 2015

Conjunctions: And, But, Or

Conjunctions: and, but, or
Some words are satisfied spending an evening at home, alone, eating ice-cream right out of the box, watching Seinfeldre-runs on TV, or reading a good book. Others aren't happy unless they're out on the town, mixing it up with other words; they're joiners and they just can't help themselves. A conjunction is a joiner, a word that connects(conjoins) parts of a sentence.

Coordinating Conjunctions
The simple, little conjunctions are called coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, yet, for, nor, so.
(It may help you remember these conjunctions by recalling that they all have fewer than four letters. Also, remember the acronym FANBOYS: For-And-Nor-But-Or-Yet-So. Be careful of the words then and now; neither is a coordinating conjunction, so what we say about coordinating conjunctions' roles in a sentence and punctuation does not apply to those two words.)
When a coordinating conjunction connects two independent clauses, it is often (but not always) accompanied by a comma:

·   Ulysses wants to play for UConn, but he has had trouble meeting the academic requirements.

When the two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction are nicely balanced or brief, many writers will omit the comma:

·   Ulysses has a great jump shot but he isn't quick on his feet.

The comma is always correct when used to separate two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction.

Independent clauses can be connected (or separated, depending on your point of view) in a variety of ways. When two ideas come together and either one of them can stand by itself — as its own, independent sentence — the following kinds of punctuation are possible:

1.  Period + start a new sentence
My grandmother refuses to go to bed early. She thinks she's going to miss out on
some of the action.

2.  Comma + a cute little conjunction
My grandmother refuses to go to bed early, and I'm afraid she's going to catch a bad cold.

3.  Semicolon by itself.
Where you have used a semicolon, you could have used a period, but the semicolon, you felt, is better (probably because the independent clauses are so closely related and nicely balanced).

In spite of her cold, my grandmother refuses to go to bed early; she is afraid she will miss something.

4.  Semicolon + big ugly conjunction or other transitional expression
(however, moreover, nevertheless, therefore, as a result, consequently . . . ) followed by a comma.

My grandmother has stayed up late four nights in a row; as a result, she cannot seem to get well.

A comma is also correct when and is used to attach the last item of a serial list, although many writers (especially in newspapers) will omit that final comma:

·   Ulysses spent his summer studying basic math, writing, and reading comprehension.

When a coordinating conjunction is used to connect all the elements in a series, a comma is not used:

·      Presbyterians and Methodists andBaptists are the prevalent Protestant congregations in Oklahoma.

A comma is also used with but when expressing a contrast:

·   This is a useful rule, but difficult to remember.

In most of their other roles as joiners (other than joining independent clauses, that is), coordinating conjunctions can join two sentence elements without the help of a comma.
·   Hemingway and Fitzgerald are among the American expatriates of the between-the-wars era.

·   Hemingway was renowned for his clear style andhis insights into American notions of male identity.

·   It is hard to say whether Hemingway orFitzgerald is the more interesting cultural icon of his day.

·   Although Hemingway is sometimes disparaged for his unpleasant portrayal of women and for his glorification of machismo, we nonetheless find some sympathetic, even heroic, female figures in his novels and short stories.



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