English Coordinating Conjunctions

Overview

This unit introduces the coordinating conjunctions: and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet. These words can combine equal elements, such as nouns, verbs, phrases, or independent clauses.

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A conjunction is a word that connects words or phrases in a sentence that have the grammatical function (noun + noun, verb + verb, adjective + adjective, etc). A conjunction also connects two clauses to make one sentence.
Common conjunctions are: and, but, or, nor.

Examples:
Julia and Sam are going on vacation. (conjunction connecting subject Julia to subject Sam)
I walked and ate at the same time. (conjunction connecting verb “walked” to verb “ate”)
We want to buy a small but cozy house. (conjunction connecting adjective “small” to adjective “cozy”)
They can watch TV or rest in their room. (conjunction connecting infinitive “watch” to “infinitive “rest”).

When using more than two nouns/verbs/adjectives, we typically only use the conjunction once, and separate the other nouns/adjectives/verbs using a comma.

Examples:
Julia, Sam and I are going on vacation. (Not: Julia and Sam and I…)
I walked, ate, and talked on the phone at the same time. (Not: I walked and ate and talked…)

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Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

The CEFR is an international standard used to describe language ability. Here are specific details of the CEFR for this topic.

General Explanation:
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in areas of immediate need.
Specific Capabilities at this Level
Writing:
I can write short, simple notes and messages relating to matters in areas of immediate needs. I can write a very simple personal letter, for example thanking someone for something.
Spoken Production:
I can use a series of phrases and sentences to describe in simple terms my family and other people, living conditions, my educational background and my present or most recent job.
Spoken Interaction:
I can communicate in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of information on familiar topics and activities. I can handle very short social exchanges, even though I can’t usually understand enough to keep the conversation going myself.
Reading:
I can read very short, simple texts. I can find specific, predictable information in simple everyday material such as advertisements, prospectuses, menus and timetables and I can understand short simple personal letters.
Listening:
I can understand phrases and the highest frequency vocabulary related to areas of most immediate personal relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family information, shopping, local area, employment). I can catch the main point in short, clear, simple messages and announcements.