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Coordinating conjunctions.

The meaning of conjunctions is closely connected with the relations they express. Thus the classes of coordinating conjunctions according to thei r meaning correspond to different types of compound sentences. There are four different kinds of coordinating conjunctions.


1.Copulative conjunctions: and, nor, as well as, both ... and, not

only... but (also), neither... nor. Copulative conjunctions chiefly denote

that one statement or fact is simply added to another (nor and neither express that relation in the negative sense).

There was a scent of honey from the lime trees in flower, and in the sky the blue was beautiful, with a few white clouds. (Galswor­thy)

His whole face was colourless rock; his eye was both spark and flint. (Ch. Bronte)

I do not know what they knew of the things happening beyond the hill, nor do I know if the silent houses I passed on my way were sleeping securely... (Wells)

... but it made him indeed suspect that she could give as well as receive; and she gave him nothing. (Galsworthy)

... the newspapers discussed the play for a whole fortnight not only in the ordinary theatrical notices and criticisms, but in lead­ing articles and letters. (Shaw)

He went on as a statue would: that is, he neither spoke nor moved. (Ch. Bront§)

2.Disjunctive conjunctions: or, either... or, or else, else. Disjunctive conjunctions offer some choice between one statement and another.

The majority of the inhabitants had escaped, I suppose, byway of the Old Worning road... or they had hidden. (Wells)

... either his furlough was up, or he dreaded to meet any wit­nesses of his Waterloo flight. (Thackeray)

He was compelled to think this thought, or else there would not be any use to strive, and he would have lain down and died. (London)

"You go and fetch her down, Tom," said Mr. Tulliver, rather sharply- his perspicacity or his fatherly fondness for Maggie making him suspect that the lad had been hard upon "the little un", else she would never have left his side... (Eliot)

3.Adversative conjunctions: but, while, whereas. Adversative conjunctions show that one statement or fact is contrasted with or set against another.

Fabermacher nodded in agreement, but his eyes glittered with silent triumph and contempt for the victory. (Wilson)

His nerves had become blunted, numb, while his mind was filled with weird visions and delicious dreams. (London)

4. Causative-consecutive conjunctions: so, for. Causative-con­secutive conjunctions denote consequence, result, or reason. By these conjunctions one statement or fact is inferred or proved from another.

He had gone some miles away, and was not expected home until late at night; so the landlady dispatched the same messenger in all haste for Mr. Pecksniff. (Dickens)

His eyes must have had in them something of George Forsyte's sardonic look; for her gloved hand crisped the folds of her frock, her eyebrows rose, her face went stony. (Galsworthy)

The conjunction for is a border-line case between a coordinating and a subordinating conjunction. When expressing cause it approaches in its meaning the subordinating conjunctions as, because:

There was moreover time to spare, for Fleur was to meet him at the Gallery at four o'clock, and it was yet half past two. (Galsworthy)

Coordinating conjunctions can be used both in compound and in simple sentences; the coordinating copulative conjunctions both... and, as well as are used only in simple sentences.

Then he shrugged in impatience and said frankly, "I don't know what came over me." "You know as well as I do and that's why we're going away," Savina insisted steadily. (Wilson)

The use of the copulative conjunction and in simple sentences as well as in compound sentences is widely spread.

But as he did so, unexpectedly he paused, and raised his head. (Cronin)

The coordinating conjunctions neither... nor, or, either... or are more widely used in simple sentences than in complex sentences.

There was nothing remarkable about the size of the eyes. They were neither large nor small... (London)

... in order to make a man or a boy covet a thing, it is only neces­sary to make the thing difficult to attain. (Twain)

... there was a slight smile on his lips that could have been either amusement or shy self-deprecation. (Wilson)

Some of the coordinating conjunctions are polysemantic. Thus the coordinating conjunction and may indicate different relations:

... there stood a white house within a walled garden, and in the pantry of this we found a store of food. (Wells) (COPULATIVE)

You are nineteen, Jon, and I am seventy-two. How are we to understand each other in a matter like this, eh? (Galsworthy) (ADVERSATIVE)

When he read those books something happened to him, and he went out of doors again in passionate quest of a river. (Galswor­thy) (CONSECUTIVE)

The conjunction or may have a disjunctive and an adversative meaning.

Happily it (a hackney-coach) brought them to the place where Jonas dwelt or the young ladies might have rather missed the point and cream of the jest. (Dickens) (ADVERSATIVE)

After that one would see, or more probably one would not. (Galsworthy) (DISJUNCTIVE)

The causative-consecutive conjunction for may have a causative or a consecutive meaning:

He would have to be more careful than man had ever been, for the least thing would give it away and make her as wretched as himself almost. (Galsworthy) (CAUSATIVE)

From the warmth of her embrace he probably divined that he had let the cat out of the bag, for he rode off at once on irony. (Galsworthy) (CONSECUTIVE)


§ 5. Subordinating conjunctions.

Subordinating conjunctions may introduce subjcct clauses, ob­ject clauses, predicative clauses, adverbial clauses, and attributive clauses.1

Many of the subordinating conjunctions introduce different kinds of clauses. For instance that may introduce subject clauses, predicative clauses, object clauses, adverbial clauses of purpose and of result.

That Ruth had little faith in his power as a writer did not alter her nor diminish her in Martin's eyes. (London) (SUBJEct CLAUSE)

See Chapter XVII, The Complex Sentence.


What I mean is that you're the first man I ever met who's willing to admit out loud to a woman that he thinks she's better than he is. (Wilson) (PREDICATIVE CLAUSE)

He looked to the south and knew that somewhere beyond those blue hills lay the Great Bear Lake. (London) (OBJECT CLAUSE)

He walked into the Green Park that he might cross to Victoria Station and take the Underground into the City. (Galsworthy) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF PURPOSE)

He bailed wildly at first, splashing himself and flinging the water so short a distance that it ran back into the pool. (London) (AD­VERBIAL CLAUSE OF RESULT)

The conjunction if introduces object clauses and adverbial clauses of condition:

He was anxious to seeif she had relapsed since the previous evening. (Dickens) (OBJECT CLAUSE)

If the man ran, he would run after him; but the man did not run. (London) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF CONDITION)

The conjunction as introduces adverbial clauses of time, of cause, and of comparison:

These were the thoughts of the man as he strove onward. (Lon­don) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF TIME)

As Jacob has made me captain, I must call the roll. (Dodge) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF CAUSE)

That day had decreased the distance between him and the ship by three miles; the next day by two — for he was crawling now as Bill had crawled. (London) (ADVERBIAL CLAUSE OF COM­PARISON)

The conjunction while may express both coordination and subor­dination. It may be a coordinating adversative conjunction (in this case it is translated as тогда как; a) or a subordinating conjunction of time (in this case it is translated as в то время как, пока).

Older men probably resented him while others of his own gene­ration could feel so inadequate when comparing their talent to his... (Wilson) (COORDINATING CONJUNCTION)

While skating along at full speed, they heard the cars from Am­sterdam coming close behind them. (Dodge) (SUBORDINATING CONJUNCTION)

Subordinating conjunctions may also be used in simple sentences, they join adverbial modifiers to the predicate of the sentence. Conjunctions of comparison, such as as if as though are frequently used in simple sentences.

He scowled at first; then, as if recollecting something, he said (Ch. Bronte)

He seemed faint and dizzy and put out his free hand while he reeled, as though seeking support against the air. (London)

The subordinating conjunctions though and if are also used in simple sentences:

Though alone, he was not lost. (London)

Next, he sheered to the left, to escape the foot of the bed; but this sheer, if too generous, brought him against the corner of the table. (London)

Subordinating conjunctions of time are rarely used in simple sen­tences. In that case they are mostly used with participles:

That she was one of those women — not too common in the Anglo-Saxon race — born to be loved and to love, who when not loving are not living, had certainly never even occurred to him. (Galsworthy)

Only rarely does a subordinating conjunction join homogeneous members:

He was cheerful though tired.


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