This is Part Two of a three-part series on Sentence Structure by Shauna Bolton, Grammarian Extraordinaire! Read Part 1 here
Type 1 – The Compound Sentence
Type 2 – The Compound Sentence
- A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses (sentences).
Example 1: “The robbers fled, but the police captured them.”
- When you connect two sentences with a comma, you MUST use one of the seven coordinating conjunctions.
- The seven coordinating conjunctions are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so.
- “FANBOYS” is a helpful acronym to remember them.
Example 2: “I read the book, but I hated it.”
Example 3: “I ran the marathon, so I relaxed at home for a month.”
Example 4: “Corporations keep detailed records, for the law requires it.”
Example 5: “You arrive on time, or you wait for an hour for the next train.”
Example 6: “I will not come today, nor will I come tomorrow.”
(Nor requires inverted word order. When two or more words are marked as verbs, you’re looking at a verb phrase. In this example, negative uses three words; positive uses two.)
Example 7: “I ate a big meal, yet I feel hungry still.”
QUICK CHECK: Which sentences are simple with compound subjects and predicates? Which sentences are compound?
- Lilacs bloom in April, and roses bloom in May.
- Teaching hospitals and clinics treat patients and train doctors.
- Websites and department stores advertise and sell women’s shoes.
- I can’t remember where I got it, but it’s my favorite suitcase.
- Penicillin and its many derivatives cure diseases and save lives.
- These lemons and limes look old and cost too much.
- Jean and his sister Margot came to America and attended college.
- I disliked practicing law, so I became a teacher.
Simple with compound subjects/predicates
2, 3, 5, 6, 7
1, 4, 8
- If you connect two sentences with a comma and no conjunction, you create the deadly comma splice.
- If you connect two sentences without a comma, you create the deadlier run-on sentence.
- Both the comma splice and the run-on sentence are grade-school errors that tell readers, editors, and publishers you don’t know how to write.
If you don’t know how to use a coordinating conjunction to connect two sentences, your writing will be full of comma splices and run-on sentences.
IT WILL BE UNPUBLISHABLE.
LEARN THE RULE.
Two More Ways to Create Compound Sentences
- A compound sentence results when you join two closely related independent clauses with a semi-colon.
Example 8: Arturo didn’t lose the game; he won.
Example 8a: Sammy likes ice cream; Jenny prefers cake.
Example 8b: I am tired; Marcia left for college. – INCORRECT
The two independent clauses are NOT related. They cannot be joined with a semi-colon.
- Two independent clauses can be joined using a semi-colon, a conjunctive adverb, and a comma.
WHAT IS A CONJUNCTIVE ADVERB?
- An adverb describes verbs, adjectives, and other adverbs.
- walked quickly
- tasted very delicious
- answered somewhat hesitantly
- A conjunction connects words, phrases, and clauses.
- A conjunctive adverb is an adverb that connects independent clauses.
WHAT KINDS OF WORDS ARE CONJUNCTIVE ADVERBS?
- accordingly, also, anyway
- certainly, consequently, conversely
- finally, further, furthermore
- hence, henceforth, however
- in addition, in contrast, incidentally, indeed, instead
- meanwhile, moreover
- namely, nevertheless, next, nonetheless, now
- still, subsequently
- then, thereafter, therefore, thus
- …and many more.
WHAT DO CONJUNCTIVE ADVERBS DO BESIDES CONNECT INDEPENDENT CLAUSES?
- They show the relationship between the two clauses.
- cause and effect: accordingly, consequently, hence, therefore, thus
- certainty: certainly, undoubtedly
- change: henceforth, thereafter
- compare/contrast: conversely, however, in contrast, instead, otherwise, rather
- disregard: however, nevertheless, nonetheless, still,
- emphasis: besides, certainly, further, furthermore, indeed, moreover, namely
- sequence: consequently, finally, next, now, subsequently, then, thereafter,
- (in)significance: anyway, incidentally
- similarity: also, equally, likewise
- simultaneous action: meanwhile
Example 9: The jury has returned a “guilty” verdict; accordingly, a sentencing hearing will be held on Monday, July 10, at 11:30 a.m.
Example 9a: After robbing the bank, the bandits fled Dry Gulch; meanwhile, the sheriff and his posse prepared to ambush them.
Example 9b: The committee has considered the reasons for changing our voting procedure; nonetheless, we believe the current system is still the better choice.
- Conjunctive adverbs can be used emphatically to begin a sentence. The two sentences that result are both
Example 10: The jury has returned a “guilty” verdict. Accordingly, a sentencing hearing will be held on Monday, July 10, at 11:30 a.m.
Example 10a: After robbing the bank, the bandits fled Dry Gulch. Meanwhile, the sheriff and his posse were preparing an ambush for them.
Example 10b: The committee has considered the reasons for changing our voting procedure. Nonetheless, we believe the current system is still the better choice.
Part 3 will cover complex and compound/complex sentences.
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