Thursday, December 8, 2011

Grammatically Yours – Linking Independent Clauses with Transitional Words (Semicolons 4/5)

Yesterday, we discussed using a semicolon to link two closely related independent clauses. The semicolon gives equal weight to the two clauses and establishes their balanced relationship.


Today, we are going to build on yesterday’s discussion by talking about transitional words and phrases.

Sometimes when joining two independent clauses with a semicolon, a transitional word or phrase is needed to further establish the relationship of the two clauses. For instance, the relationship between the two clauses may be one of agreement or disagreement. Or perhaps the first clause is putting forth a certain idea and the second clause is revealing the result or consequence of that idea. These simple words and phrases make it easy to establish these relationships in a way that is clear to the reader.

Examples:

The enemy was closing in on us; indeed they were practically within slashing distance.

Plunging into the middle of that conversation was probably not the best idea you’ve had; on the contrary, it was probably the stupidest.

Transitional words and phrases may or may not be followed by a comma. If they are so closely connected to the second clause that a pause in unnecessary, the comma may be left out. However, if the word or phrase causes a major break (a distinct pause when read), the comma should be included.

**Note: A few transitional words and phrases are always followed by a comma. These include for example, for instance, however, namely, and that is.

There are a *lot* of transitional words and phrases, but the following table contains a few of the more common ones:

Accordingly
Although
As a result
Consequently
For example
For instance
Furthermore
However
In contrast
In fact
Indeed
Instead
Likewise
Meanwhile
Moreover
Namely
Nevertheless
Of course
On the contrary
Otherwise
Similarly
Still
That is
Then
Therefore
Thus
Undoubtedly

**Note: Do not confuse transitional words and phrases with coordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for, yet). These are two very different groups of words.

~~~~~

Schedule:

Day Four: Linking Independent Clauses with Transitional Words <you are here>

No comments:

Post a Comment