Punctuation marks in sentences including subordination and co-ordination

Like a compound sentence, a compound sentence including subordination may have a comma, a semicolon, a colon, or a dash between the independent clauses, which may be linked by a conjunction as well.

The punctuation of the subordinate clauses and their ways of connection with the principal clauses depend on the types of the subordinate clauses.

Compound sentences with subordination have two or more independent (co-ordinate) clauses, and one or more dependent (subordinate) clauses.

(/ – primarily division; || – subdivision, secondary division). For example: “Scotty’s ideal optimism about game could always be counted on, || and though Roy was realist enough to disagree, / he liked to hear it anyway”.

In long compound sentences with subordination the dependent clauses may be coordinated in their turn, that is, the subordinate clauses are homogeneous. These may have their own subordinate clauses. So the relation is:

Co-ordination -> subordination->co-ordination->subordination.

The punctuation in such sentences remains the same as stated above: “They had what they could get, || and then, | as Nab for the twentieth time was audibly wondering | what George was up to / and Margery for the dozenth time was realizing / how splendidly he had run, | George himself reappeared beaming with satisfaction”.

In complex sentences with co-ordination the homogeneous subordinate clauses are either divided by commas, or linked by the conjunctions ‘and’, ‘or’. There are often both a comma and a conjunction to connect them.

The punctuation between the principal and the subordinate clause depends on the type of the subordinate clause: “Andrew did not know || that Christine felt lonely | and that she suffered much”.

In long complex sentences with co-ordination the homogeneous subordinate clauses may have subordination in their turn, then there may come co-ordination and subordination again.

The relation will thus be:

Subordination -> co-ordination -> subordination -> co-ordination -> subordination.

The homogeneous clauses are divided, like independent clauses, by commas, sometimes by semicolons or dashes. The punctuation of other subordinate clauses depends on the types of these clauses: “Think || what you could do, | how much you could help to spread the light–| if you were to come forward tomorrow and say | that you had become a Socialist–| that you believed that the Community should own and administer the great monopolies for the benefit of all–| so that there might be labor and freedom and joy for all–| so that no man should be exploited for the benefit of any other man”.

In complex sentences, in compound sentences with subordination, and in complex sentences with co-ordination, two (even three) conjunctions, or a conjunction and a connective word, often come together, in groups, the so-called “group-connectives”. The following groups may occur:

two subordinate conjunctions – ‘because + if’, ‘because + though’, ‘because + when’, ‘so that + if’, ‘that + as’ ‘that + even if, ‘that + if, ‘that + though’, ‘that + when’;

a coordinative and a subordinate conjunction – ‘and + as’, ‘and + as if, ‘and + as though’, ‘and + if, ‘and + though’, ‘and + that’, ‘and + because’, ‘and + when’, ‘and + that + when’, ‘and + that + if;

two coordinative conjunctions – ‘and + so’, ‘and + yet’, ‘and + still;

a conjunction and a connective adverb or pronoun – ‘and + however’, ‘and + therefore’, ‘and + what’, ‘but + nevertheless’, ‘but + hardly – when’, ‘if + what’.

If some punctuation mark is necessary – a comma, a semicolon, or a dash – it usually comes before the first conjunction; it may come between the two conjunctions, or between the conjunction and the connective word, if the subordinate clause has a detached character, and a pause is needed before this clause: “She ordered him to set the table, and as he trotted into the living-room, as he hunted through the buffet for knives and forks, he felt utterly at home”.

In Russian no punctuation mark is placed between the two conjunctions, nor between the conjunction and the connective word, if one of the components of a compound conjunction follows and so the subordinate clause cannot be omitted or shifted to another place. If these components are omitted there is a comma between the two conjunctions, or between the conjunction and the connective word. In this case the subordinate clause has a detached character.

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