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1- Alexander II was an obscure commander but nevertheless interesting Scottish king.

(Full version: Alexander II was an obscure commander but nevertheless Alexander II was an interesting Scottish king

2- The defendant was depressed and therefore not fully responsible for her own actions.

(Full version: The defendant was depressed and therefore the defendant was not fully responsible for her own actions.)

In the examples above, we use reduction in conjuction clause by omitting "subject and the auxillary verb (be) . Can I do the same reduction if I use just a conjunctive adverb in the sentence? As:

1a- Alexander II was an obscure commander, nevertheless interesting Scottish king.

2a- The defendant was depressed, therefore not fully responsible for her own actions.

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    The full version of your first example is ungrammatical. Alexander II was an obscure but nevertheless Alexander II was an interesting Scottish king.. In order for that to be grammatical, something like the very first (where an adjective and noun follows nevertheless) is required, or a noun needs to directly follow obscure. – Jason Bassford Jun 14 '19 at 14:34
  • Yes you are right, I have edited the post. What do you think about the rest of my question? – Talha Özden Jun 14 '19 at 14:44
  • The part that comes after the conjunction has to be a valid complement of the verb - the problem with 1 is that you can't say Alexander II was interesting Scottish king. In other words you have omitted more than the subject and the verb (is it really an auxiliary verb here)? For me the versions without and and but need semicolons rather than commas. It is still possible to reduce the second clause in the same way, but I'd say this is done less frequently. – user96060 Jun 15 '19 at 5:00
  • The defendant was depressed; therefore not fully responsible for her own actions or The defendant was depressed; therefore, not fully responsible for her own actions. Is each version correct? – Talha Özden Jun 15 '19 at 6:04
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In answer to the question as you originally wrote it: yes, you can omit the coordinating conjunction, "and" and still have an idiomatic, grammatical sentence.

Sentence 2 can be correctly rewritten as sentence 2a.

Sentence 1, as you originally had it should have had a pair of commas to set off the parenthetical remark, "but nevertheless interesting". In other words:

1- Alexander II was an obscure, but nevertheless interesting, Scottish king.

(Then the full version would be: Alexander II was an obscure Scottish king, but nevertheless Alexander II was an interesting Scottish king.)

That can be condensed down, as you originally proposed, to:

1a- Alexander II was an obscure, nevertheless interesting, [but note that second comma] Scottish king.

I think an extra complication was introduced along with adding the noun, "commander" in your correction to sentence 1, when all that was needed was a couple of commas, and that has led to some new grammatical problems with the edited versions of sentence 1.

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Can I do the same reduction if I use just a conjunctive adverb in the sentence?

Coordinating conjunctions differ from conjunctive adverbs. When you omit the subject and the auxiliary verb (be) you are using the parallelism; while the conjunctive adverbs should only exist in a complete sentence.

1a- Alexander II was an obscure commander, nevertheless interesting Scottish king.

2a- The defendant was depressed, therefore not fully responsible for her own actions.

Here are the correct and compact corrections:

1a- Alexander II was an obscure commander; nevertheless, he is an interesting Scottish king.

2a- The defendant was depressed; therefore she is not fully responsible for her own actions.

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  • Thank you. What you are saying is contradicting with other native speaker's opinion on this issue, though. I am confused. – Talha Özden Jun 30 '19 at 10:56

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