WRITE A COMPOUND SENTENCE USING A COMMA BEFORE THE COORDINATING CONJUNCTION (FOR, AND, NOR, BUT, OR, YET, SO)

EXAMPLES

1.  Arthur likes music, but Chris has a tin ear.

2.  One must humor him, or he will have a tantrum.

3.  I won’t go to the dance, nor will I buy a ticket.

4.  I will always remember Helen Farkas, for her dignity makes her unforgettable.

5.  He will earn a passing grade, yet I know he can do better. 

WRITE A COMPOUND SENTENCE WITH A SEMICOLON, NO CONJUNCTION (PARATAXIS)

A compound sentence must make two or more closely related statements about the same idea.  When one of the coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) does not connect the two or more statements of a compound sentence, punctuate with the semicolon (;) between the statements.

EXAMPLES

1. The cry for freedom stops at no border; it echoes endlessly in the hearts of all men.

2. Despite its colorful blossoms, the oleander presents danger; the stem of the shrub, when broken, exudes a poisonous milky fluid.

3. The penalty for not turning work in on time may result in a lowered grade; the penalty for not turning it in at all will result in failure.

4. Arthur likes music; Chris has a tin ear.

5. I will always remember Helen Farkas; her courage and dedication make her unforgettable.

WRITE A COMPOUND SENTENCE USING A SEMICOLON BEFORE THE COORDINATING CONJUNCTION (FOR, AND, NOR, BUT, OR, YET, SO) BECAUSE COMMAS ALREADY APPEAR IN THE SENTENCE

EXAMPLES

1. The Boy Scouts, the American Legion, and the Women’s Auxiliary will march; but any other organization that wishes may reserve a place in the parade, too.

2. Toni Morrison, an African-American novelist, writes often of pain and turmoil, racism and injustice; yet she permeates all of her works with love and compassion.

3. To avoid the mortification consequent upon his disaster, Rodney left New Orleans, the city of his forefathers; and he took up residence at Sullivan’s Island, near Charleston.

4. He said nothing, however, and his conduct greatly astonished me; yet I thought it prudent not to exacerbate the growing moodiness of his temper by  commenting on the lasagna bits lurking in his beard.

5. In youth, the tulip-tree, the most magnificent of American foresters, has a trunk peculiarly smooth; but in its riper age, the bark becomes gnarled and uneven.

WRITE A COMPOUND SENTENCE USING A SEMICOLON BEFORE AND A COMMA AFTER A CONJUNCTIVE ADVERB

accordingly furthermore moreover
similarly still also
hence namely still
however nevertheless next
then incidentally thereafter
certainly indeed nonetheless
therefore consequently besides
instead now thus
finally likewise otherwise
undoubtedly meanwhile further
on the other hand in fact afterwards

EXAMPLES

1. I wanted very much to go to the show on Saturday night; in fact, I had purchased a ticket.

2. I waited for him to sit down; thus, he saw my respect for him.

3. The freeways in Los Angeles frequently become scenes of death and destruction; nevertheless, those freeways rank among the safest in the world.

4. A powerful author uses style to reflect his or her tone; consequently, the reader can infer the author’s attitude towards the subject.

WRITE A COMPOUND SENTENCE WITH ELLIPTICAL CONSTRUCTION

Elliptical (the adjective for the noun “ellipsis”) refers to the omission from a sentence of a word or words that would complete or clarify the sentence.

The semicolon connects the two independent clauses of the compound sentence. The comma indicates the omitted word or words (usually, the verb or the subject and verb), known as the ellipsis. The comma signals the reader, “At this point you should mentally insert the word or words you have already read in the first clause.”

EXAMPLES

1.  The Eskimo lives in an igloo; the American Indian, in a tepee.

2.  The Scottish Highlander sports a tam-o’-shanter; the Texas ranger, a Stetson or ten-gallon hat.

3.  Good authors emphasize character and theme; poor authors, plot.

4.  The Russian ballerina wears a tutu; the Malaysian dancer, a brightly colored sarong.

5.  Some note-takers try to take down all the information from the lecturer; others, only the main points.

6.  Giants fans will forever remember one play that defined a season; Patriots fans, one loss.

WRITE A COMPOUND SENTENCE WITH AN INTRODUCTORY OR GENERAL STATEMENT FOLLOWED BY A COLON AND SPECIFIC OR EXPLANATORY STATEMENT

The colon in this pattern performs a special function:  it signals to the reader something important or explanatory will follow.

The first statement will contain a word or idea that needs explaining; the second will give some specific information or examples about that word or idea.

EXAMPLES

1. Darwin’s Origin of Species forcibly states a harsh truth:  only the fittest survive.

2. A man has one defense at a time like this:  he must play dead in hope that the bear will consider the battle finished and go away

3. The empty coffin in the center of the crypt had a single horrifying meaning:  Dracula had left his tomb to stalk the village streets in search of fresh blood.

4. Carrie Amelia Nation had a single goal:  she hoped to smash every whiskey bottle and hatchet every saloon in America.

5. Pythons, anacondas, and boa constrictors rely on the same technique to kill their enemies:  they coil about their victim and crush them to death.

6. Sheer isolation did what the Apache could not do alone:  it held off the traders and developers for years while the Rio Grande and Pecos settlements boomed.

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