Review: The Fanboys

Have you heard about the Fanboys? Did you miss them in your English classes? Here are six easy rules to remember the comma and the semi-colon.

1. A coordinate conjunction is a linking word that connects words, phrases or clauses that are similar in grammatical structure.

The two words that are connected by the conjunction (for, and, nor, but, yet, so, or) are of equal status. (FANBOYS)

2. A clause is a group of words that has both a subject and a verb. The independent clause can stand alone as a sentence; it has a complete thought.

3. Rule of the comma -

When two independent clauses are joined by one of the FANBOYS, you place a comma before the FANBOY. The group of words preceding and following the FANBOY must be independent clauses. Each must express a complete thought.

Example: Norie went online early, for she knew there would be lots to read.

Rose writes poems, and Juvy renders speeches.

Do not use a comma before the FANBOY if the word group following the FANBOY is NOT an independent clause.

Example: Pope Benedict XVI celebrates masses and prays for all the nations.

Use a comma to separate items in a series.

Use a comma after a long introductory phrase.

4. A dependent clause is connected to the rest of the sentence by a subordinate conjunction. It cannot stand alone as a sentence, although it has a subject and a predicate. It is also called a subordinate clause.

5. A subordinate conjunction is the word that renders the clause dependent.

Examples: after, although, because, if, once, before, even if, since, that, when

After she won the lottery, she donated a portion to schools.

The relative pronouns who, that, which also introduce subordinate clauses. Take note that some subordinate conjunctions also function as prepositions.

6. The Semi-colon usage

A semi-colon is used between two independent clauses without any connecting word.

Martin sings at the music museum tomorrow; he studied music in Switzerland Art School.

Use a semi-colon between two independent clauses even when an adverbial conjunction is used (however, therefore, etc.).

Norie enjoys shopping; however, she has no time.

Rosalinda Flores - Martinez


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