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English Tips: using 'and' or 'but'

An insight into English vocabulary and grammar from the expert teachers on our Young Learner courses (Elementary A2 level).  Learn when to use 'and' correctly and when to use 'but' correctly.

Students and their teacher in a classroom

We use words like 'and' or 'but' to join two parts of sentences.

'But' is used when two connected things are different or unexpected:

  1. We wanted to go to the cinema, but there weren't any seats left.
  2. My classmates are friendly, but they're noisy.
  3. Madonna is a good singer, but she's not good at dancing.

'And' is used for adding information:

  1. He's been to Italy, Spain and Brazil.
  2. Kanye West is famous for his music and his personal life.
  3. Bob spent 9 years studying Russian and Polish in his free time.

Test your knowledge

  1. I like her (and/but) she's annoying.
  2. I'd love to stay (and/but) I have to catch my bus.
  3. We will visit Australia (and/but) New Zealand during our next holiday.
  4. I wanted to eat fish for lunch (and/but) the fish and chip shop had closed for the day.
  5. I am going to do my homework (and/but) take a shower when I get home from school.
  6. My father wanted to watch a football match on television (and/but) my mother was already watching another programme.
  7. I liked both the film (and/but) the book of the Hunger Games.
Students learning in a classroom

The answers

  1. I like her but she's annoying.
  2. I'd love to stay but I have to catch my bus.
  3. We will visit Australia and New Zealand during our next holiday.
  4. I wanted to eat fish for lunch but the fish and chip shop had closed for the day.
  5. I am going to do my homework and take a shower when I get home from school.
  6. My father wanted to watch a football match on television but my mother was already watching another programme.
  7. I liked both the film and the book of the Hunger Games.

On a Bell Young Learner course, your child will not only improve their English, they will develop life skills such as confidence, responsibility, respect and teamwork, establishing their route to a rewarding future. Choose from a variety of English, academic and specialist courses, in spring, summer, autumn and winter for young learners aged 7-17.

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