29 Nov 2014

Independent clause, correlative conjunctions and inversion


The correlative conjunctions are always in pairs. The most common connectors of independent clauses are:
  • either-or,
  • whether-or,
  • both-and, 
Either I heard someone knocking or I thought that I did.
Whether you like it or they like it, doesn't matter.
Both what I say, and what I do are important.
  • not only-but also, 
  • neither-nor, 
Not only will I do my best, but also I will do it correctly.
Neither had the man gone nor was he going soon.

The two sentences above - negative conjunctions require inversion in the clause. Inversion is normally used in questions and as a language tool to accentuate the uniqueness of the sentence.

Adverbs with negative meaning like: hardly, never, scarcely, little, no sooner, only, so, such, that and some conditionals are the next examples of inversion.

Independent clauses joined by a pair of correlative conjunctions make the sentence look complex and will give the extra marks on formal writing; thus, it is important to master them.

Not only do I want to master my English, but also I want to write complex sentences on my exams.

Not only has Susan Hill written many books, but also she is a master of the English language.

Neither are Gothic themes old-fashioned nor is the gothic novel a fad.

Hardly had I come home when the telephone rang.

No sooner had I come home than the phone rang.

Scarcely had I taken off my coat when they guests came.



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