Coordinating Conjunctions

Conjonctions de coordination

French conjunctions
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Coordinating conjunctions are small words that connect two or more grammatically equivalent words or phrases. The connected words might be adjectives, nouns, adverbs, verbs, or even independent clauses; the important thing is that they’re equal and each one serves the same function in the sentence.

Par exemple…

Il est jeune et beau. He’s young and handsome
Et connects two adjectives: jeune and beau
Veux-tu un café, un thé ou un chocolat ? Do you want coffee, tea, or hot chocolate?
Ou is joining three nouns: café, thé, and chocolat
Je l’ai lu, mais je n’ai rien compris. I read it, but I didn’t understand a thing
Mais is the connection between two equal clauses: je l’ai lu and je n’ai rien compris

French coordinating conjunctions

car for, because
donc so
ensuite next
et and
mais but
ni* nor
or now, yet
ou or
ou bien or else
plus plus, and
puis then

* Ni is a negative coordinating conjunction.

  French school kids memorize the seven most common coordinating conjunctions with a mnemonic:

MaisestdoncOrnicar ?

Emphatic coordinating conjunctions

Some coordinating conjunctions are used in pairs to emphasize the connection.

Coordinating Conjunctions Quiz

Think you’ve got it? Test yourself on the French coordinating conjunctions with this fill-in-the-blanks exercise:

Note: You must be logged into your Progress with Lawless French account to take this test. If you don’t have one, sign up – it’s free!

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French coordinating conjunctions

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