# Why is “for” a coordinating conjunction when “because” is not?

According to a video I watched as part of a high school Language Arts lesson, the 7 coordinating conjunctions are "for," "and," "nor," "but," "or," "yet," and "so." There are no other coordinating conjunctions that exist, according to this video. However, after looking at this list, I began to wonder why "because" isn't a coordinating conjunction. After all, "for" can be defined as "because of."

I looked into some info on this and, while it's somewhat confusing and unclear, I gathered that "because" isn't a coordinating conjunction because if you were to swap the two clauses in a compound sentence, the sentence would have an entirely different meaning.

Take, for example, two independent clauses: "I took a walk" and "It was cold." If you combine these sentences using the conjunction "but," the clauses in the order given make a complete sentence: I took a walk, but it was cold.

The sentence still has a similar meaning if you swap the clauses: It was cold, but I took a walk.

But now take the sentence and use "because" as if it was a conjunction: I took a walk because it was cold. The sentence has a different meaning than if you swap the clauses: It was cold because I took a walk. I've gathered that this is the reason that "because" isn't a conjunction: In order to keep the meaning of the sentence the same, you have to make one clause dependent if you swap them: Because It was cold, I took a walk.

But by this rule, then, "for" shouldn't be a conjunction. Take the clauses and put "for" into it: I took a walk, for it was cold. It, like because, has a different meaning if you swap the clauses: It was cold, for I took a walk. In addition, unlike because, you can't move "for" to the beginning of a sentence and have it make sense: For it was cold, I took a walk.

So, I'm seriously confused here on what makes these words different and why coordinated conjunctions are limited to these particular words when synonyms could be used in the same way. Does anyone have an explanation?

• "For" is a subordinator when it introduces to- infinitival clauses containing a subject, as in "[For Ed to lose his temper like that] is unusual", and it's a preposition in, e.g., "This letter is [for you]", and many other PPs. In modern grammar, "because" is a preposition. – BillJ Feb 17 '18 at 20:09
• Jack English has written an article entitled 'The Myth of FANBOYS', and even Wikipedia has an article saying that the analysis is defective. – Edwin Ashworth Feb 17 '18 at 21:43
• For used to be used as a coordinating conjunction, but the construction is now viewed as archaic and overcorrect. The coordination came about because the information in the for clause was usually being asserted, not presupposed Since grammar textbooks just copy one another forever, 18th- and 19th-century locutions often appear in the lists they use. Consider Pshaw!, which is infallibly on the list of Official Interjections in grammar books. It's been a long time since the death of the last English speaker to say Oh, pshaw! without irony. – John Lawler Feb 17 '18 at 23:01
• @Edwin So in other words, FANBOYS is a lie and For isn't a coordinating conjunction? – Pyram Linum Feb 19 '18 at 6:06
• @John So in other words, FANBOYS is a lie and For isn't a coordinating conjunction? – Pyram Linum Feb 19 '18 at 6:07