IELTS grammar. Lesson 9: using and, but, or, so, yet.

Words and, but, or, so, yet are called coordinating conjunctions and are commonly used in English language. They play a key role in structuring your essay and making your writing coherent.

Complete this lesson to improve your IELTS grammar skills for coordinating conjunctions. First of all, read the theory in green box. Then, complete the exercises below and check your answers by pressing "check" button.



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Functions of conjunctions:

And - to join two similar ideas:

  • My favourite fruits are apples and oranges. (you like both of them)
  • I'm against crime and violence in media.

But - to contrast:

  • I eat apples, but I don't eat oranges. They are too sour for me. (apples - positive, oranges - negative)
  • The number of electric cars showed a steady growth during 2005-2010, but then it suddenly decreased in 2011.

Or - to give an alternative:

  • Would like some water or juice? (you choose only one of them)
  • In my opinion, if children play computer games or watch TV instead of reading books, they will grow small-minded.

Or is also used to join two negative ideas (There was no laptops or phones in Medieval Ages).

So - to show a result of something:

  • He was very thirsty, so he drank a lot of water. (thirsty → drank a lot of water)
  • Higher education is often expensive, so many students work while studying.

Yet - contrast, despite something (=but still) :

  • Some people complain about social networks, yet continue to use them.
  • He's overweight, yet he eats a lot of fast food.


Practice. Fill in the blanks with and / but / or / yet / so:

  1. I have a notebook with me due to the slow Internet connection I can't send you an e-mail.

  2. To help the environment, we need to change the way we think behave.

  3. People were throwing a lot of rubbish on the street the government decided to impose a heavy fine on littering.

  4. My hometown is very small: it has no university college.

  5. Laure claims to lead a healthy lifestyle she smokes every day!

  6. A lot of people use steroids to build muscle I prefer traditional training.

  7. In order to reduce traffic jams, more roads should be built more underground stations should be opened.

  8. He didn't know whether he wanted to be a scientist a physician.

  9. Vegetarians don't eat meat they get their protein from other foods.

Practice. Choose the correct word from the list:

  1. I equally like cats dogs.
  2. The amount of polution was steadily decreasing during 10 years then it rose sharply by 200%!
  3. The number of people reaching the age of 80 more increased.
  4. I enjoy playing tennis I don't really like watching it.
  5. Noah has bought a car he prefers to travel by bus.
  6. We can go to the café after we can see a movie.