1

Should the conjunction in a complex-compound sentence be repeated? For example, in the examples below, which of the two sentences is correct?

  1. Because she loves flowers and because orchids are flowers, she loves orchids.
  2. Because she loves flowers and orchids are flowers, she loves orchids.
5

Both are correct and have the same meaning.


The first sentence is arguably "more complete", in that all the meaning of the sentence is written out in full. However, the second effectively is the same sentence with an implied because.

Because she loves flowers and [because] orchids are flowers, she loves orchids.


In natural speech, I'd suggest the second is likely more common - as most phrasing tends towards the least amount of effort needed. But you absolutely wouldn't get any funny looks from using either (in speech or writing).

3

To native British English speaker, the first sentence parses easily and has a good rhythm, but the version with "flowers and orchids" is confusing and difficult to parse:

If spoken, there would need to be a pause before the first "and", otherwise the listener hears "she loves flowers and orchids", just before s/he hears the unexpected verb "are".

If written, one could place parenthetical commas to make the sentence work: "Because she loves flowers, and orchids are flowers, [therefore] she loves orchids." but that version still sounds ugly to me.

However, once the second sentence has commas, I think most people would consider it a matter of style. I had a quick look in Fowler (a dull and overly prescriptive British style manual) but didn't find anything relevant.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.