A teacher and I have been discussing the structure of a particular sentence from the book A Sting in the Tale:

"Some I released within 1 kilometer of my house, and more often than not these bees would beat me back to the nest."

Is this a compound sentence composed of two independent clauses? And if so, what is the subject of the first independent clause?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated!

1 Answer 1


Yes, the sentence is composed of 2 independent clauses. The subject of the first clause is "I", as in "I released." The author decided to start out that clause (and the sentence) with the direct object, "some" [bees]. This isn't the most common word order in English, but he may have thought it would be appropriate in this case because that particular group of bees is more important to this part of his narrative than the grammatical subject of the clause ("I"), and putting it first tends to focus the reader's attention on it.

  • Yes. I suspect that the object "some" was preposed because it is anaphoric to "bees" in the immediately preceding sentence (which we don't see), so it acts as a kind of connective.
    – BillJ
    Commented Jan 30, 2019 at 7:53

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