I have a question regarding the nature of the conjunctions "for" and "because".

The former is known to form part of the famous acronym FANBOYS, that encompasses the most common coordinate conjunctions, whilst the latter represents one of the subordinate ones. Still, they appear to share the same semantic properties and express the same relation.

The dude is not coming because he is mad at you - the second clause gives the reason for the dude's not coming => it is dependent;

The duke is not coming, for he is no more - same relationship, only slightly more poetically put => it is dependent.

I'm sure these conjunctions have been "separated" for a good reason, so could you please explain why we consider "for" to be a coordinate conjunction?

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    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 18:49

1 Answer 1


The point is that the coordinating conjunction has to come in the middle between the two sentences. Consider this blog entry from grammar girl.

The first sentence you can rephrase to:

Because he is mad at you, the dude is not coming.

On the other hand this makes no sense:

For he is no more. The duke is not coming.

  • That is exactly what I've been looking for! I knew there was something wrong with that FANBOY thing! Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:05
  • Thank you both for the link and for suggesting related posts, Helmar. You have been of great help:) Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 19:14

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