WRITING TIPS LESSON
COMMA CONFIDENCE: COMMAS IN COMPOUND SENTENCES
KEY 2: . IDENTIFY CONJUNCTIONS
The key to identifying conjunctions is to recognize that they join things. We are going to look at three types of conjunctions: coordinating conjunctions, long words, and punctuation.
Type 1: Coordinating Conjunctions
Memory Device: FANBOYS (Notice that these are all little words, either two or three letters.)
I cannot explain coordinating conjunctions better than School House Rock did in 1973 with Conjunction Junction. School House Rock produced a song and video that can help one remember the function of conjunctions. The words are available online here: http://www.schoolhouserock.tv/Conjunction.html
Note. Schoolhouse Rock, 1973, available online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ODGA7ssL-6g
Type 2: Long Words
Long words (my phrase) are called independent markers by Purdue OWL and conjunctive adverbs at Bedford St. Martin's Exercise Central. The easy way to remember these words is that they (a) join things and (b) are longer than coordinating conjunctions; therefore, long words. The two frequently encountered examples are therefore and however. For a full list and additional explanation, see this coordinating adverb page by Robin L. Simmons at her Grammar Bytes site.
Type 3: Punctuation
Punctuation often serves as a coordinating link among words, phrases, and clauses. In the case of compound sentences, we have the following patterns that use only punctuation:
Comma Splice (This is a punctuation error): SVO, SVO Example: Harry met Sally, he fell in love.
Semi-colon: SVO; SVO Example: Harry met Sally; he fell in love.
Go to the next page for the third key to success, and observe compound sentence punctuation patterns.