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The grammatical term conjunction is used to identify words that join things together in some kind of relation, but joining clauses is very different than joining words in a list. Are there any terms that make this distinction clear?

Tom and Judy will walk the dog.

You choice is between chocolate or vanilla.

In these sentences the words and and or are just joining words in a list, within the same clause.

The term conjunction is used to identify words that join things together in some kind of relation, but joining clauses is very different than joining words in a list.

Tom will walk the dog in the morning and Judy will walk the dog tonight.

Give me liberty or give me death.

  • Either way, don't you think that Question belongs in English Language Learners? – Robbie Goodwin Dec 8 '18 at 20:46
  • Please support your assertion that these are very different – Jim Dec 8 '18 at 20:51
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Both of these are coordinating conjunctions, a term which applies to these words whether they're uniting items in a list or independent clauses in a sentence.

I am unaware of any term that clearly distinguishes coordinating conjunctions that function on the lexical, phrasal, and clausal level. If I had to make the distinction, I might say that your first examples are coordinating conjunctions that connect words, and your second examples are coordinating conjunctions that connect clauses.

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