ESL Writing Week 12

In this lesson, the ESL students will learn how to combine two English sentences into one long sentence. Before starting, there are two grammar phrases you need to know for this lesson:

  • coordinating conjunctions
  • subordinate conjunctions

There are many ways to combine two sentences. In this lesson you will learn and practice two ways.

Sentence Combining 1: Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions are small words that join two sentences, clauses, word or phrases.

When joining sentences, we don’t need to change the sentences very much.

 There are seven conjunctions: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. This group of conjunctions is sometimes called FANBOYS.

Each FANBOYS word has a different purpose.

For tells us the reason.   They love music, for it is exhilarating.
And means in addition.   My father likes to drink coffee and read the newspaper.
Nor is negative.   John doesn’t do his homework nor does he want to study.
But and yet show contrast.   Sally is good at diving but she prefers soccer.
Or gives another reason or choice.  I need a break or I will go nuts.
So tells us the result.   My student’s family doesn’t have much money so he dropped out of school.

Here is an example.

  • The students went to school. They did not want to go to school.
  • The students went to school but they did not want to.

Sentence Combining 2: Subordinate Conjunctions

Subordinate conjunctions words join two clauses. They are similar to the coordinating conjunctions but there are two differences.

  1. Subordinate conjunctions can go at the front of the sentence or in the middle.
  2. You have to change some words in one of the sentences.

There are lots of words which can be used to join sentences with subordination. Here are some of these words.

  • after, although, as, as if, because, before, even if, even though
  • for, if, if only, rather than, since, that, though, unless, until,
  • when, where, whereas, wherever, whether, which, while

Here is an example of how two sentences can be combined with a subordination word.

The computer was making a loud noise. The computer was broken.

  1. The computer was making a loud noise because it was broken.
  2. Because the computer was broken, it was making a loud noise.

Download the Writing Worksheets

You’ve learned two ways to combine sentences. Now try the worksheet.

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