Combining sentences is a necessary part of fluent communication in the English language; however, with all of the transitions, subjects, predicates, verbs and verbals to consider, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. Sentence combining does not need to be a chore! In fact, if you follow these simple rules for combining sentences, you’ll probably find that it’s easy and you might even begin to enjoy it.
Independent clauses are essentially two sentences that could stand on their own—in other words, they don’t “depend” on another clause to allow them to make sense. These sentences must be combined with the use of a connecting word known as a “conjunction.” Some popular conjunctions often used to achieve this purpose are and, but, for, nor, or, so, and yet. Each expresses something different, so use them wisely!
Sentences with the same subject can be combined, since you’re describing the same person, place, or thing completing different actions. This is very easy.
If two sentences contain different subjects that are accomplishing the same action, the sentences can be combined as well.
Notice that subjects, verbs, and independent clauses all have something in common. The sentences before they are combined unnecessarily repeat words that may be omitted by combining the sentences together. By following these rules, your sentences will be more concise and interesting, and far less repetitive.
The semicolon is one of the most feared punctuation marks used in the English language. How is it used, and why? In reality, the semicolon is a powerful tool when used to combine sentences.
A semicolon is useful when two sentences that are related to one another in meaning must be combined, but a comma will not suffice. Normally, a semicolon can be used in the place of a period (also known as the “full stop”). You can use a semicolon in a number of ways in the following sentences.
Each conveys the same idea—but each also conveys that idea a bit differently.
With these simple rules for combining sentences, you can now combine sentences confidentially to make your speech and stories much more interesting.