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Linking Sentences to Express Additions

In this lesson we shall consider another situation: how to link sentences when you wish to add something, like another aspect of something or somebody you've mentioned previously.

Before we start, for those of you who haven’t received these lessons from the very beginning, the abbreviations we’re using here stand for: [Co] = coordination; [Sub] – subordination; [Ad] = adverbial link.

You can find more information about these and how to use them in the lesson on Linking Sentences, Clauses and Phrases.

Many students, mostly beginners, tend to formulate two sentences to express two aspects of the same item. For example:

"He is an engineer."
"He is a very good teacher."

But if you try to link the two sentences, you get a compound sentence, where the verb in the second one is omitted, to avoid repetition:

[Co] "He is (both) an engineer and a very good teacher."
"He’s not only an engineer, but also a very good teacher."
[Sub] "As well as being an engineer, he is also a very good teacher."
[Ad] "He’s well known all over the country as an engineer. What’s more, he is (also)a very good teacher."

Now, that’s all very clear. However, if you pay attention more carefully, you’ll find that the adverbs of addition (also), exception (even), and restriction (only) can create some confusion in your sentences. How?

You can see that when you use these three words, you actually ‘focus’ their meaning on a particular part of the sentence. Depending on where you put your stress in the sentence, to indicate the part you are focusing on, is the solution to the confusion. For example:

The sentence “I only lent her the books.” Can mean two things:

a) (I didn’t give her anything) - I only lent her the books.
b) (I didn’t lend her the computer) - I only lent her the books.

The underlined words are those that are being ‘focused’ in these sentences. To avoid possible confusion, you can put the focusing adverb as near as possible to the focused element in your sentence. Put 'only' and 'even' before it, and 'also' and 'too' after it:

“I lent her only the books.” Instead of “I only lent her the books.
“His wife also has a Porsche.” (‘His wife, as well as himself.’)
“I too thought he was a thief.” (‘I thought so, as well as you.’)

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