French Mnemonic Devices: “Mais où est donc Ornicar ?”

It’s time to dig through your memory banks for all that 7th-grade grammar knowledge that’s been replaced by cat memes and avocado toast recipes because we’re talking about coordinating conjunctions!

Of course, a coordinating conjunction connects two independent clauses. To remember all of these in English, we learn the mnemonic acronym FANBOYS.

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While not all of the FANBOYS coordinating conjunctions are frequently used (some being more formal than others, etc.), we know that any of these words can effectively relate two sentences.


– MAIS OÙ EST DONC ORNICAR ? –

So, who the hell is Ornicar and why is he missing?

Well, similar to FANBOYS, this week’s French mnemonic phrase represents the 7 conjonctions de coordination in French: Mais, Ou, Et, Donc, Or, Ni, and Car.

These conjunctions can convey a union (et), opposition (mais, or), an alternative or negation (ni, ou), or consequence (donc).

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Like with English, not all of these conjunctions are used as much as each other. The Ornicar grouping, for example, tends to be reserved for a more literary usage or formal speech. 

This one is considered an absolute classic of French mnemonic devices and having a variety of coordinating conjunctions at your disposal, whether composing a business email or chatting with friends, is essential.


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Example Sentences:

Je suis heureux mais ma famille me manque quand même.

Est-ce que tu préfères aller au magasin ou plutôt rester chez nous ?

Marc est allé voir un film au cinema et il s’y est trouvé avec Magalie.

L’assassin s’est enfui en voiture; or le suspect ne sait pas conduire. Donc, il est impossible qu’il soit l’assassin.

Ils n’aiment ni le saumon ni la viande.

Pourriez-vous nous rendre votre rapport d’ici mardi car nous devons le soumettre sous peu.

 

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