15 Nov 2014

Independent clauses linked by a conjunctive adverb

Two independent clauses joined by a transitional word or phrase require a semicolon between them and a comma after a linking word.

Let's look at some examples:

It is true that among the Arunta, where visible traces of classification still exist, as we shall see, different words designate the totem and the other beings placed with it; however, the name given to these latter bears witness to the close relations which unite them to the totemic animal.

They themselves have an interest in its being celebrated; therefore, in certain tribes, it is they who invite the qualified clan to proceed with the ceremonies.
(Emile Durkheim. The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life) 

Here is the list of the most common conjunctive adverbs: accordingly, furthermore, moreover, similarly, also, hence, namely, still, anyway, however, nevertheless, then, besides, incidentally, next, thereafter, certainly, indeed, nonetheless, therefore, consequently, instead, now, thus, finally, likewise, otherwise, undoubtedly, further, meanwhile.

In linguistics, conjunctive adverbs are also called conjuncts or disjuncts, depending on the role in a sentence they play.

Previous to the Revolution Ras Tafari expected daily that he would be imprisoned which, in his opinion, would have been the equivalent of a death sentence; and accordingly he confided his will and all his available money to me in order that I should arrange for its transmission to the Bank of England in trust for his children. The life of my choice. Thesiger, Wilfred.

A conjunctive adverb, as it is shown in the example sentence above, can be modified by coordinating conjunctions or other words, mostly adverbs. I think that the most important is to try to use them in your own sentences, and then incorporate them into your writings.

Here, are my own sentences.

I was late for work; hence, I had to stay late at the office to finish off the project.

She was running; and yet, she was speaking on her mobile.

She was running in panic; certainly, there was someone pursuing her.

He studied hard; thus, he got all A stars in his exams.

He was very lazy; consequently, he was not promoted.

I like cats; nonetheless, there are no cats at my home; instead, we have three dogs.

I was late for work because of the signal failure on the Tube; consequently, my wife complained when I came back home late.

Firstly, I was late for work; next, I was late for the meeting; finally, I was late for the family's dinner, and, as a result, my wife gave me three silent days.

I was late for work; furthermore, my co-worker was late too; likewise, half of other Londoners were also delayed.

She was running in the park; meanwhile, the villain in the black shades was observing her every stop.

She was running in the park every day during the last month; undoubtedly, she was preparing to win the London Marathon.

In English, there are many adverbs and phrases which may connect two or more independent sentences, and usually they are classified into groups of:

  • addition (next, in addition to, again, also)
  • comparison (similarly, likewise, also)
  • concession (of course, naturally, granted)
  • emphasis (certainly, indeed, in fact)
  • contrast (and yet, but at the same time, although, nevertheless)
  • example or illustration (for example, for instance, after all)
  • summary (to sum up, on the whole, therefore)
  • time sequence (firstly, next, finally, thereafter)