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Coordination and Parallel Structure

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1 Coordination and Parallel Structure

2 Coordinating Conjunctions:
and, but, so or, nor, yet, for Correlative, or paired conjunctions: both…and, not only…but also, either…or, neither…nor

3 Coordinating and correlative conjunctions join:
Words Mais and Yuri fled the war in Armenia. The book is neither well written nor interesting. Phrases They are glad to be in the United States but are still homesick. Both students who won awards and the teachers who taught them were at the awards ceremony. Clauses If you have a 4.0 GPA and if you graduate on time, many good companies will hire you. They had to flee their country, for they had no future there.

4 Use a comma when two independent clauses are joined by a coordinating or correlative conjunction.
Students write during class time, and they also write at home. Not only is he a good student, but he is also a nice person.

5 Do not use a comma when two phrases or words are joined.
Computer scientists and engineers need to be good writers. Both lunch and dinner will be served. Neither the campus bookstore nor the downtown bookstore has good prices.

6 The subject closer to the verb determines if the verb is singular or plural in sentences with correlative conjunctions. Not only my best friend but my parents are also here. Not only my parents but my best friend is also here.

7 Do not join coordinating conjunctions with other conjunctions within the same sentence.
Incorrect Although he got a B on test, but he is still not happy. Correct He got a B on the test, but he is still not happy.

8 Each coordinating conjunction has a different use.

9 Use and to add information.
We are going to write essays and read many articles in this class.

10 Use but to show contrast.
We will work hard, but it will be fun to learn a lot.

11 Use or to give a choice. The first assignment will be a narrative or an argumentative essay.

12 Use yet to show contrast.
The teacher is a hard grader, yet her scores are always fair.

13 Use so to show a result. She got A grades on all of her work, so she hopes to get an A in the class.

14 He will pass the class, for he worked hard and got good grades.
Use for to show a reason. He will pass the class, for he worked hard and got good grades. Note: The conjunction for means because, but it is not used very often to express this meaning. The preferred connector is because.

15 Use both…and or not only…but also to add emphasis.
Both solar and wind energy are alternatives to oil and coal. Computer hackers not only slow business but also damage computer systems.

16 Use neither…nor to emphasize both are negative.
Neither students nor teachers look forward to the start of the school year.

17 Use either…or to express choice.
He wants a computer made by either Dell or IBM.

18 Correct the errors in coordination.
We worked all night, so we didn’t meet our deadline. I finished the coffee, it was bitter. My group worked hard, that we finished the project early. The food tasted bad but we still ate it. Neither my sister nor my friends is here.

19 When joining words, phrases, or clauses with coordinating conjunctions, they must be parallel or the same grammatical structure.

20 Nouns: Russian cosmonauts, American astronauts, and private citizens are now in the International Space Station.

21 Adjectives: Their experiments are expensive but important for advancing our knowledge.

22 Infinitives: The astronauts try to exercise or to work out on a treadmill every day while they are in space.

23 Gerunds: Working, eating, and sleeping in such a small space require cooperation.

24 Prepositional Phrases:
The results of the experiments will be used in many industries, on numerous advances, and for years to come.

25 Clauses: Astronauts train for emergencies, but they rarely have to use this information.

26 Note: When you write more than two parallel items, use commas to separate them. The comma before the conjunction is optional but often preferred in academic writing. It is difficult to work, study, and take care of small children at the same time.

27 Words, phrases, or clauses must be parallel when they are joined by not only…but also, both…and, either…or, or neither…nor. Not only ranchers but also farmers are affected by government policies. Both Jenny and Judy play water polo. We will either see a movie or go out to dinner tonight. My son was neither anxious nor upset at the dentist’s office.

28 Not only…but also Regular word order: Debbie not only likes to swim, but she also likes to run. Inverted word order: Not only does Debbie like to swim, but she also likes to run. Regular word order: There is not only a test tomorrow, but there is also an essay due. Inverted word order: Not only is there a test tomorrow, but there is also an essay due.

29 Correct the errors in parallel structure.
Vicki improved her writing by learning grammar rules, and she edits carefully. Ms. Lee is searching for a new job and moves to a new house at the same time. My best friend is good at listening, solving problems, and he always gives good advice. My roommate was neither anxious nor relaxing before her exams. I will either study painting or sculpture.

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