A coordinating conjunction connects words, phrases, or groups of words in a sentence. The words or phrases being connected should be equal or similar. Coordinating conjunctions always go between the words or phrases that they are connecting.
For example, the word and is a coordinating conjunction.
She bought a pen and a book from the shop.
He is tried and hungry.
There are seven coordinating conjunctions.
An easy way to remember the coordinating conjunctions is to remember FANBOYS.
F = for
A = and
N = nor
B = but
O = or
Y = yet
S = so
Jaya will be late to the school, for she missed her school bus.
Sanjana likes to eat chocolates and cakes.
Sudhir does not like the rivers, nor does she like the ocean.
He went to meet his friend, but he was not at home.
Take this or leave it.
He started early to school, yet he missed the assembly.
His car broke down so he was late to the office.
Rules for using a coordinating conjunction
1. Put a comma before the coordinating conjunction when it is used to connect two independent clauses.
A clause is a group of words the contain a subject and a verb.
An independent clause (or main clause) expresses a complete thought. It can stand alone as a sentence. For example, "I like mangoes."
(A dependent clause does not express a complete thought. It cannot stand alone as a sentence. For example, "which he bought last week.")
He likes to see a movie, his but sister really hates movies.
Sameer loves dogs, yet he does not want one living in her house.
2. When using a coordinating conjunction to connect two items, do not use a comma.
They like to have tea and snacks.
My sister is young but smart.
3. When using a coordinating conjunction with a list of items (three or more in number), the comma before the coordinating conjunction is optional.
Example with comma:
Vidya is cooking chicken, potatoes, corn, and carrot.
Example without comma:
Vidya is cooking chicken, potatoes, corn and carrot.