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:

Mais est donc Ornicar ?
mais ou et donc or ni car

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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