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.”