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Chapter XVII



The Compound Sentence

§ 1. A compound sentence is a sentence which consists of two or more clauses coordinated with each other. A clause is part of a sentence which has a subject and a predicate of its own.

In a compound sentence the clauses may be connected:

(a) syndetically, i. e. by means of coordinating conjunctions (and, or, else, but, etc.) or conjunctive adverbs (otherwise, however, neverthe­less, yet, still, therefore, etc.).

The darkness was thinning, but the street was still dimly lighted. (Lindsay)

He knew there were excuses for his father, yet he felt sick at heart. (Cronin)

(b)asyndetically, i. e. without a conjunction or conjunctive ad­verb.

The rain fell softly, the house was quiet. (Collins)

The month was July, the morning fine, the glass-door stood ajar, through it played a fresh breeze... (Ch. Вrоntё)

He uttered no other words of greeting; there was too strong a rush of mutual consciousness. (Eliot)

§ 2. We can distinguish the following types of coordination:

l. Copulative coordination (соединительная связь), expressed by the conjunctions and, nor, neither... nor, not only... but (also). With the help of these conjunctions the statement expressed in one clause is simply added to that expressed in another.

It was a nice little place and Mr. and Mrs. Witla were rather proud of it. (Dreiser)

Mr. Home did not lift his eyes from his breakfast-plate for about two minutes, nor did he speak. (Ch. Bronte)

Not only did he speak more correctly, but he spoke more easily, and there were many new words in his vocabulary. (London)

2. Disjunctive coordination (разделительная связь) expressed by the conjunctions or, else, or else, either... or, and the conjunctive adverb otherwise. By these a choice is offered between the statements expressed in two clauses.

He knew it to be nonsense or it would have frightened him. (Galsworthy)

Don't come near me with that look else I'll knock you down. (Eliot)

... don't fret, and don't expect too much of him, or else he will feel you to be troublesome... (Ch. Вrontё)

... either our union must be consecrated and sealed by marriage or it cannot exist. (Ch. Bronte)

A painter has to be forbidding, Dad, otherwise people would think he was cadging. (Galsworthy)

3.Adversative coordination (противительная связь) expressed by the conjunctions but, while,[7] whereas and the conjunctive adverbs nevertheless, still, yet. These are conjunctions and adverbs connecting two clauses contrasting in meaning.

The room was dark, but the street was lighter because of its lamps. (Dickens)

He had a glass eye which remained stationary, while the other eye looked at Reinhardt. (Heym)

The old school-room was now a sitting room... whereas one of the old nurseries was now the modern school-room. (Trollope)

I was not unhappy, not much afraid, yet I wept. (Ch. Bronte)

4.Causative-consecutive coordination (причинно-следственная связь) expressed by the conjunctionsfor; so and the conjunctive adverbs therefore, accordingly, consequently, hence.

For introduces coordinate clauses explaining the preceding state­ment. Therefore, so, consequently, hence, accordingly introduce coor­dinate clauses denoting cause, consequence and result.2

[1] The conjunction while is not always coordinating. It may be a subordi­nating conjunction introducing adverbial clauses of time.

2 Cause, consequence and result may also be expressed by subordinate clauses, introduced by subordinating conjunctions.


There was something amiss with Mr. Lightwood, for he was strangely grave and looked ill. (Dickens)

After all, the two of them belonged to the same trade, so talk was easy and happy between them. (Priestley)

Hers (Lillian's) was not a soul that ever loved passionately, hence she could not suffer passionately. (Dreiser)

Note. There are cases when the conjunction for expresses relations ap­proaching those of subordination, i.e. when it introduces a clause showing the reason of the action expressed in the preceding clause. In these cases the conjunction for is very close in meaning to the conjunction because.

She (Lillian) was not helpless, for she had money of her own. (Dreiser)

But even here for is not a subordinating conjunction, as the connection between the clause it introduces and the preceding clause is loose: a certain fact is stated and then, as it were on second thought, another statement with a causal meaning is added.

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