And vs. but ─ What is the difference?

Did you know an acronym known as FANBOYS is used to remember all the conjunctions: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, & So? Conjunctions are an essential part of English grammar. Conjunctions are used to join independent words, phrases, or sentences. In this blog, we will shed some light on using the conjunctions ─ and as well as but correctly in your writing.  When is and used?

And is used to join two or more words, phrases, or related sentences together. For instance,

  • Sam bought apples, oranges, and peaches from the farm.
  • I love cats and dogs.
  • It was midnight and time to celebrate her birthday.

When is but used?

But is used to show a contradiction, an exception, or an objection. For instance,

  • He certainly won the cash prize but did not deserve it.
  • It is late, but I will still take a bus to work.
  • Everyone but Sarah is allowed to dance today.

Now, let us give an example of using these conjunctions in academic and technical writing.

Incorrect: We studied the side effects of the steroid, but the result was as expected.

Correct: We studied the side effects of the steroid, and the result was as expected.

Incorrect: Iron and copper are reactive elements, and neon is not.

Correct: Iron and copper are reactive elements, but neon is not.

We hope this helped and you feel confident about using these conjunctions correctly in your writing.

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