Coordinating conjunctions join words, phrases, and clauses. Some examples of coordinating conjunctions are and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet. The most commonly used of these conjunctions are and and but. And connects similar ideas while but connects two contrasting ones. The conjunction or is used to show alternatives.

Avoiding repeating unnecessary words when using conjunctions

  • You need to know what rights you have. You also need to know how to use them.
  • You need to know what right you have and how to use them.
  • This is an expensive machine. It is an immensely useful machine.
  • This is an expensive but immensely useful machine.
  • We didn’t believe a word he said. None of us believe his excuses as well.
  • We didn’t believe a word he said, nor his excuses.
  • You can choose the white one. You can also choose the black one.
  • You can choose the white one or the black one.
 

Other coordinating conjunctions in use

  • He finds it difficult to see clearly, for he is partially blind.
  • The audience was not very impressed by their performance, nor their jokes.
  • We can go now or when it stops raining.
  • The rain got heavier, so the match had to be abandoned.
  • He is only a little boy, yet he is able to carry such a heavy load.

(For meaning and use of coordinating conjunctions, see List 12 - Conjunctions)