Monday, January 22, 2007

Joining Independent Clauses

The independent clauses (IC) of a compound sentence must generally be joined in one of the following 3 ways:

1. IC ; IC
2. IC , conjunction IC
3. IC ; conjunctive adverb (placement optional), IC

In general

1. Use a semicolon alone when the clauses are short comparatively and relation between them is obvious.
  • Self-denial is not a virtue; it is only the effect of prudence on rascality.
2. Use a coordinating conjunction ( and, but, for, or, nor, so, yet) when you want to indicate the relation clearly.
  • The firefighters fought hard, yet they could not save the building.
3. Use a conjunctive adverb when it can show the relation more precisely than a conjunction does.
  • Alice supplemented her class instruction with weekly visits to a tutor; thus her writing steadily improved.