A coordinating conjunction joins parts of a sentence (for example words or independent clauses) that are grammatically equal or similar. A coordinating conjunction shows that the elements it joins are similar in importance and structure:
There are seven coordinating conjunctions, and they are all short words of only two or three letters:
- and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so
Look at these examples - the two elements that the coordinating conjunction joins are shown in square brackets [ ]:
- I like [tea] and [coffee].
- [Ram likes tea], but [Anthony likes coffee].
Coordinating conjunctions always come between the words or clauses that they join.
When a coordinating conjunction joins independent clauses, it is always correct to place a comma before the conjunction:
- I want to work as an interpreter in the future, so I am studying Russian at university.
However, if the independent clauses are short and well-balanced, a comma is not really essential:
- She is kind so she helps people.
When "and" is used with the last word of a list, a comma is optional:
- He drinks beer, whisky, wine, and rum.
- He drinks beer, whisky, wine and rum.