How To Combine Two Or More Simple Sentences Into A Compound Sentence

compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction.

There are mainly four types of coordinating conjunctions: cumulative, adversative, alternative and illative.

Cumulative conjunction

The cumulative conjunction merely adds one statement with the other or one coordinate clause with another coordinate clause. Examples are: andas well asnot only … but also

Study the example given below.

  • She is a teacher. She is a writer.

We can combine these two simple sentences into a single compound sentence.

  • She is a teacher and a writer.
  • She is not only a teacher but also a writer.
  • She is a writer as well as a teacher.

Another example is given below.

  • The house was big. It was well-ventilated.

We can combine these two sentences into one.

  • The house was big and well-ventilated.
  • The house was not only big but also well-ventilated.
  • The house was big as well as well-ventilated.
  • My brother plays the piano. He plays the guitar.
  • My brother plays the piano and the guitar.
  • My brother plays not only the piano but also the guitar.
  • My brother plays the guitar as well as the piano.

Adversative conjunction

An adversative conjunction joins two clauses that express contrasting ideas. Examples are: butyet, nevertheless and however.

Read the two clauses given below.

  • It is raining. We will hold the exhibition.

The two sentences given above express contrasting ideas because when it is raining, people are more likely to cancel events like matches and exhibitions. However, in this case the organizers decide to hold the exhibition.

These two clauses can be combined using an adversative conjunction.

  • It is raining but we will hold the exhibition.
  • It is raining yet we will hold the exhibition.
  • It is raining; nevertheless we will hold the exhibition.
  • It is raining; however, we will hold the exhibition.

The conjunctions nevertheless and however do not connect the two clauses in the strict sense of the term. Note that the clauses are still separated by a semicolon.

It is also possible to separate the clauses with a full stop. In this case, the words nevertheless and however merely act as transitional adverbs.

  • He plays the piano well. His favourite instrument is the guitar.

These clauses also express contrasting ideas. We can combine them using an adversative conjunction.

  • He plays the piano well but his favourite instrument is the guitar.
  • He plays the piano well, yet his favourite instrument is the guitar.
  • He plays the piano well; nevertheless, his favourite instrument is the violin.
  • He plays the piano well; however, his favourite instrument is the violin.

Alternative conjunction

An alternative conjunction is used to suggest that only one possibility can be realized. Examples are: or, either…or. Some alternative conjunctions are used to connect two negative ideas. Example: neither…nor

  • You can work hard. You can fail.

The sentences given above discuss two possibilities of which only one can be realized.

  • You can work hard or you can fail.

Note that words for repeated ideas can be left out in the second of two coordinate clauses.

  • You can work hard or fail.
  • You can either work hard or fail.

The conjunction neither…nor is used to join two negative ideas.

  • He does not smoke. He does not drink.
  • He neither smokes nor drinks.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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