If all of your sentences were brief and of equal length, you will have a tough time keeping the reader engaged. By combining short sentences into larger ones, you can add a bit of variety and keep the text alive and the reader awake.
Writers employ several different techniques to combine sentences. In this lesson, we will explore some of these methods.
A compound sentence consists of two or more main or independent clauses. The clauses of a compound sentence are sometimes separated by a semicolon.
- I was hungry; therefore, I decided to eat something.
- They were tired; nonetheless, they continued their journey.
Although a semicolon can be used to separate the clauses of a compound sentence, most writers prefer connecting them with a coordinating conjunction. The most common coordinating conjunctions in English are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Remember FANBOYS.
- Winston Churchill is famous as a politician and statesman, but few people know of his contributions to English literature.
Note that the clauses of a compound sentence are usually separated by a comma. The comma is not required if the clauses are short.
- She was thin but she wasn’t weak. (OR She was thin, but she wasn’t weak.)
- He hadn’t received any formal training in mechanics, yet he invented many useful machines.
- He was well trained by famous inventors, and went on to invent many useful machines.
- She hasn’t got many friends, yet everybody seems to like her.
- She must be asleep, for there is no light in her room.
The conjunction yet is sometimes combined with the conjunctions and and but. This usage is now considered acceptable.
- She hasn’t got many friends, and yet everybody seems to like her.