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Combinability of conjunctions and their functions


§ 252. Coordinating conjunctions connect homogeneous parts of a simple sentence (words, phrases), clauses of equal rank in a composite sentence or independent sentences. Some of them can only join coordinated clauses (so, for), others only homogeneous parts of simple sentences (both ... and), others are used to join both clauses and homogeneous parts of the sentence (and, but, or, either... or, nor, not only... but also, etc.).

Coordinating conjunctions always stand between the elements they join. The most common coordinating conjunction is and:


Slowly and painfully he worked through the first volume.

He spoke for the first motion and against the second motion.

She moved quickly and with grace.

I approached the girl who stood in the corner and who looked so shy.


Subordinating conjunctions join subordinate clauses to main clauses, although some of them may join a word or a phrase within a simple sentence. They are positionally less fixed than coordinating conjunctions and need not necessarily be between the elements they join, but may precede both the subordinate and the main clauses.

Conjunctions which usually join subject, predicative, object attributive and appositive clauses (that, whether, if) are very vague in their meaning and may therefore be used to join clauses of different syntactic value. Other conjunctions retain their lexical meaning.

That the man didn’t call the police surprised nobody.

Somehow I felt that his feelings had changed.


Conjunctions introducing adverbial clauses are conjunctions of place:

where, wherever, whence, wherein.

Wherever he turned, he saw flowers.


as, as soon as, as long as, when, whenever, while, now that, since, till, until, after, before, while, the

moment, the time, the instant, directly, instantly, etc.

When I leave town I never tell my people about it.

What happened after I left you?

I wouldn’t worry as long as I am not bothered.

She was feeling very cheerful as they walked from the station.

reason or cause:

as, because, since, seeing, so... that, lest, considering.


His work was of vital importance to him, since all his life was devoted to it.

One day, because the days were so short, he decided to give up algebra and geometry.

As she had never heard of such stories, she was puzzled at first.


if, unless, in case, provided, supposing (that), suppose (that), on condition (that).

If you tell this to anybody I’ll never forgive you.

Tom simply could not work unless all the conditions were to his liking.

Vagabonds may get a bed there for a week, provided their papers are in order.


lest, that, in order that, so that, for fear that, so as, so.


They made me hide so that the soldier should not see me.

He wanted to be great in the world's eyes in order that the woman he loved should be proud of him.

He rose gently to his feet lest he should disturb her.


that, so that.


The box was so heavy that I could not lift it.


manner and comparison:

as, the way, as... as, not so... as, than, as if, as though.


And do you know why she carries herself the way she does?

As quickly as he could he set forth.

He told him this as though his discovery was his own fault.



though, although, as, that, even if, whether... or.

Though they were so poor, Christine and Andrew knew happiness.


Most subordinating conjunctions introduce more than one kind of clause. For instance that may introduce subject clauses, predicative clauses, object clauses, appositive clauses, adverbial clauses of purpose and consequence. The conjunction if may introduce subject, object, predicative, appositive, and conditional clauses. The conjunction whether can introduce subject, predicative, object and appositive clauses and can also express a disjunctive coordinating connection when used with or. The conjunction as may introduce adverbial clauses of time, cause, concession and comparison. The conjunctions as though, as if may introduce predicative and adverbial clauses of comparison.

The subordinating conjunction that is very often omitted:


He said that John would come soon.

He said John would come soon.

He said that John would come soon and that he would take them by car.

He said that John would come soon and he would take them by car.


Of all subordinating conjunctions only if, though, while and when may be used to link single words and phrases:


a pleasant if talkative child; a cosy, though somewhat dark room; a simple, though profound idea; he did it willingly, if sceptically; she moved quickly, though awkwardly; when at home, he never spoke about business.

Two conjunctions may be used alongside each other in two cases:


1) if each of them introduces a separate clause, and one of the clauses is inserted into the other:


She knew that unless her calculations were all at fault he was not going to go.


2) if both conjunctions are combined to express a complex relation.


The butler took his time far more casually, far more naturally, than if Dicky had offered to shake hands

with him.

His father was a vigorous out-of-door man, who was never happier than when he had a gun or a rod in his





§ 253. Alongside conjunctions there is a numerous groupof conjuncts. They are words or phrases which like conjunctions are used to link clauses, sentences and sometimes single words. Conjuncts are mainly derived from adverbs:

further, moreover, again, besides, however, now, next, then, yet, still, though*, nevertheless, notwithstanding, otherwise, else, therefore, thus, accordingly.

* Though as conjunct differs from the conjunction though: it in characterized by its non-fixed position and by its combinability with other conjunctions (but though).


Three of them originated from particles: also, too, only; others are phrases: on the contrary, at the same time, for all that, etc. Many of conjuncts, unlike conjunctions, are less fixed as to their position and often occur in the middle of the sentence as a parenthesis.

Conjuncts express more specific relations than conjunctions. Those expressing a copulative connection may be divided into several subgroups.

1. Enumerative:

first, second, etc., firstly, secondly, etc., next, then, last, lastly, finally, in the first place, in the second

place, etc.

First he bought a reading lamp, then pens and books.

2. Additive. Most of these suggest a reinforcement of what has already been said before:

again, also, further, furthermore, more, moreover, above all, etc.


Her husband was told that he was too old to work. More, he was discharged with no pension.


3. Equative, suggesting similarity in characterization or content:

equally, likewise, too, also, similarly, in the same way.


The boy was forbidden to go out. Younger children likewise stayed at home.

4. Summative:

then, thus, all in all, to sum up, then, etc.

5. Explanatory:

namely, in other words, for example (e.g.), for instance, that is (i.e.), viz., to wit, say.

6. Reformulatory:

rather, better, in other words.

7. Transitional, denoting temporal transition or indicating a continuation of the narration:

meantime, meanwhile, in the meantime, in the meanwhile, now, by the way, by the by.


There is such a comic dignity about cats... Now there is nothing haughty about a dog.


Conjuncts do not express disjunctive connection.

Adversative conjuncts may be divided into the following subgroups:


1. Concessive:

however, nevertheless, nonetheless, notwithstanding, only, still, though, yet, in any case, at any rate, for

all that, at the same time, all the same.



Her voice still gave charm to her most commonplace remarks, yet it was different from the voice he


Such an answer would have satisfied any one; it had no effect at all, though, on this shameless creature.

He was received with respect. Nevertheless he felt awkward.

2. Antithetic:

instead, oppositely, on the contrary, on the one hand... on the other hand, etc.


He could ask anyone about the house, instead he sulkily went from one house to the other.

3. Inferential:

else, otherwise, in that case, etc.


The man evidently suspected something, else he wouldn't have asked me all these questions.

Consecutive conjuncts are not divided into subgroups. They form one indivisible group:

accordingly, consequently, hence, therefore, then, thus, as a result.


She liked to be alone, hence she hated Sundays when everybody was at home.


Conjuncts often combine with conjunctions:

and so, but then, but though, or else, or again, and besides, and still, and yet, but still, but yet, and

nevertheless, but nevertheless, because otherwise, etc.



§ 254. The particle is a part of speech the meaning of which is difficult to define. It either emphasizes or limits the meaning of another word, or phrase, or clause. Particles are invariable and have no syntactical function in the sentence. They form a whole with the part of the sentence (a word or a phrase) they refer to.

Particles may combine with any part of speech.


Don’t worry – that’s just Aunt Fanny practising her balancing act.

- John is very proud of his daughter. - I should just think so.

Isn’t that just beautiful?

She lives just round the corner.

I said just what I thought.

Just as we thought the sun would sink, it grew still redder.


Particles generally stand before the word they refer to but they may also follow it. This book is for advanced students only.

According to their meaning particles fall into six groups.

1. Intensifying particles:

just, even, yet, still, all, simply.


They emphasize the meaning of the word (or phrase, or clause) they refer to or give special prominence to the notion expressed by it.


The skirt comes just below my knees.

They even offered him higher wages.

Maggie felt all the safer for that.

These days we’re working with still greater efficiency.

We had yet another discussion.


The particles all, still, yet, mostly intensify the comparative degree of adjectives and adverbs.


Play yet more softly.

2. Limiting particles:

only, merely, solely, but, alone.


They single out the word or phrase they refer to or limit the idea (notion) expressed by them.

I only wanted to ask you the time.

Man cannot live on bread alone.

Time alone will show who was right.

She is still but a child, she wants to play.

Mr. Green merely hinted at the possibility.

Just, merely, simply can be used at the beginning of imperative sentences.


You don’t have to be present. Just (merely, simply) send a letter of explanation.

3. Specifying particles:

right, exactly, precisely, just.


They make the meaning of the word or phrase they refer to more precise.


Draw a circle right in the middle of the map (точно, прямо по середине).

We were just about to start (как раз собирались...).

They arrived precisely at ten (ровно, точно в десять).

The room looks exactly as it did when I was here last year (точно так, как).

What exactly do you mean (что именно...)?


4. The additive particle else. It combines only with indefinite, interrogative and negative pronouns and interrogative adverbs. It shows that the word it refers to denotes something additional to what has already been mentioned:


Something else, nobody else, what else, whereelse.

5. The negative particle not.

Not a word was said about it.

Not saying anything was a bad idea.

Not everyone likes this book.

Do you want to go? - Not me!

6. Connecting particles: also, too, which may function as conjuncts (see § 253 on conjuncts).


Were you at the film? - I was also there.

I went there too.

Won’t you come too?


Traditionally particles were classed with adverbs with which some are homonymous:

just, simply, yet, still, exactly, precisely, right, too, barely, etc.


She is old too (particle).

She is too old (adverb).

He’s just the man I’m looking for (particle).

He has just arrived (adverb).


Other particles are homonymous with


adjectives (only, even),

conjunctions (but),

pronouns (all),

statives (alone).

Only a doctor can do that (particle).

She is the only person for the job (adjective).




§ 255. The interjection is a part of speech which expresses emotions, without naming them. They are invariable, whereas the emotions expressed by the interjections vary.

Interjections express different kinds of feelings, such as:


joy (hurray, hurrah),

grief, sorrow (alas, dear me, dear, oh),

approval (bravo; hear, hear),

contempt (pooh, gosh, bosh, pah, bah, fie),

triumph (aha),

impatience (bother),

anger (damn),

surprise or annoyance (Goodness gracious, My God).


Some interjections are used merely to attract attention(hallo, hi, hey, here).

Hallo! What’s happening now?

Hey! Is anybody here?

Oh dear! I’ve lost my pen.

Mr. Smith is ill again. “Dear me! I’m sorry to hear that.”

Bother! I’ve missed my train!

For goodness’ sake, stop misbehaving!


The meaning of other interjections is very vague, they express emotion in general and the specific meaning depends either on the context, or the situation, or the tone with which they are pronounced. Thus Oh may express surprise, joy, disappointment, anger, etc.

Oh! Really? (surprise)

Oh! How glad I am to see you. (joy)

Oh! I’m sorry! (disappointment)

Oh! Don’t be a stupid ass. (anger)


As a rule they do not make part of a phrase, but there are some cases when interjections may be connected with a preposition plus a noun (pronoun) phrase.


We’ve done it. Hurray for us!

Alas for my hopes!



In these combinations the interjections acquire some verbal character.





Syntax is the part of grammar which deals with sentences and combinability of words. The core of syntax is the study of the sentence. Syntax embraces on the one hand the structure of the sentence, that is, its components, their structure and the relations between these components, and on the other hand structural and communicative types of sentences.



§ 1. Anything that is said in the act of communication is called an utterance. Most utterances are sentences, although there are some which are not sentences and are called non-sentence utterances. Thus utterances fall into two groups: sentences and non-sentence utterances.

Sentences may be regarded from the point of view of their structure and their communicative value.



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