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Commas and Coordinating Conjunctions (FANBOYS)

What are coordinating conjunctions, and when do you use a comma with them? Read on to tackle those pesky comma placements and raise your rating.

You’ve seen the commentary, but what does that mean? Coordinating conjunctions are all of the following:


You can remember them by being FANBOYS of good grammar. If you’re having trouble with comma usage each time one of these pops up, here’s a trick that can make it easier. You only need a comma when each part can stand on its own. So whenever you see one of the FANBOYS, split the sentence around it.

I went to the store |and| bought eggs.

“I went to the store” is a complete sentence, but “bought eggs” is not. This sentence is fine the way it is.

I went to the store |and| I bought eggs.

“I went to the store” is a complete sentence. “I bought eggs” is also a complete sentence. The sentence should read: I went to the store, and I bought eggs.

You can do this with any of the FANBOYS.

I went to the store, |but| the chickens were on strike, |so| there were no eggs.

I went to the store |but| found no eggs.

They say women are from Venus, |yet| Mars already has Martians, |so| why do they need men too?

If you can split a sentence, you can join the full-fledged FANBOYS.

Note: one small editorial change was made on 5/3. We added an “s” to “pop” for “pops.”

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401733 24. June 2014 - 1:02

Error  corrections:  harriet  Beecher Stowe    should be  Harriet  Beecher Stowe.


343181 25. June 2014 - 16:39

Thanks for the FANBOYS explanation. I will learn one rule at a time about comma usage.


343181 25. June 2014 - 17:37

Thank you.


282273 25. November 2014 - 3:43

Mrs. Noel, you can either input the html manually into your documents, or use the button that looks like a chain link in Textbroker’s online text editor. The online editor used to accept hyperlinks and other HTML created in Word and Open Office. I am not sure why that changed when the website was upgraded last spring.

Thanks, Alex, for a convenient cheat sheet of our own. 🙂


472685 7. January 2015 - 16:58


Thank you for admiting that commas still can cause you problems.  I just started writing for TB and had my first evaluation and it was pretty discouraging.  Your comment cheered me up.


20328 9. January 2015 - 9:02

It would be helpful if Text Broker included this information in black and white text.


449573 5. March 2015 - 13:58

Thanks for this amazing information! One question: do the tips above only work on Google, or will they also work on other search engines? We had a thread in the forum recently about Google's nosy nature, and I've fallen in love with, a search engine that doesn't stalk you :). Just wondering.

If not, this makes me tempted to throw caution to the wind and go back to Google for those tough research subjects. Thanks and God bless! 🙂



515589 25. April 2015 - 17:06

I am just starting out and this is very helpful. The first attempt is a little intinidating. Thank you.


384481 9. May 2015 - 5:04

I'm finding that some clients find articles suspect that are written quickly.


27766 17. December 2015 - 6:43

I really like the way that the team has presented this information for authors. Textbroker gets it right the first time on so many matters, it is hard to imagine any challenge the team cannot master well. Thanks for the love!

Author Kat55


617225 25. March 2016 - 3:08

A great help.  I have been afraid to try to write articles that wanted links inserted.


alice 6. September 2017 - 18:11

i love this website


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