(A coordinating conjunction is a word that joins two elements of equal grammatical rank and syntactic importance.) (website definition)

Grace is saving money so (she can buy her own horse.)- dependent (so acting as so that/in order to).

But what about the other conjunctions.

Grace is short of money but she can still buy her own horse.

Grace is short of money yet she can still buy her own horse.

Grace is short of money and ,for now, can still buy her own horse.

So they are not joining elements of 'equal' grammatical rank.

Is this usage correct; joining dependent clauses this way.

  • They have equal rank but they do not have 100% parallelism. All of your examples can be broken into two meaningful sentences if you remove the conjunction. The rank is sentence: Grace is short of money. She can still buy her own horse. :)
    – Lambie
    May 14, 2018 at 16:55

1 Answer 1


In your later examples, with but, yet, and, for now, both assertions are treated equally: the sentence is true only if both assertions are true. (The choice of which coordinating conjunction alters the emotional or pragmatic connection between them, but not the truth value.)

In your first example, with a subordinating conjunction so (that), this is not the case. The sentence is true if she is saving money, whether or not she can buy her own horse - probably she can't at the moment, or she wouldn't need to save money.

Some might argue that the sentence is true only if that is indeed the reason why she is saving money. I don't subscribe to that view of semantics (I don't accept that the so is making an assertion) but even if you do argue that way, the sentence is still not symmetrical in its two halves, because its truth doesn't depend on the second claim, but on an abstract proposition about the second claim (namely, that she holds it as a reason).

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