Or is a conjunction, which means it joins words, phrases, or sentences together. It’s a coordinating conjunction, which means it joins equal words, phrases, or clauses.
Another, more common, coordinating conjunction is and, but ponder with me how different these two conjunctions are. And speaks of inclusion, while or speaks of choice. Consider these examples:
United States History
|"Am I ever glad I chose the correct conjunction!"|
What if Patrick Henry had not said, “Give me liberty or give me death”? What if he had said instead, “Give me liberty and give me death”? That would have confused the Brits.
|"Okay, that is the question, but what is the answer?"|
What if Hamlet had not said, “To be or not to be”? What if he had said instead, “To be and not to be”? That would have confused the Brits, but made perfect sense to Buddhists and Hindus.
|Janelle, Meri, Robyn, Kody, and Christine|
Love and MarriageWhat if a woman’s ultimatum to her man was not, “Choose me or her”? What if she said instead, “Choose me and her”? Using the incorrect conjunction could lead to bigamy, polygamy, and a new season of Sister Wives on TLC.
|Here's a clause I can support.|
In other news, a subordinating conjunction joins unequal clauses together, that is, an independent clause with a subordinate clause. It’s shocking that in our advanced society, some clauses are still forced to live in subordination to other clauses.
Tune in next time when P is (possibly) for Preposition.