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Coordination of clauses

The coordination of clauses is the combination of two or more independent main clauses into a compound clause.

Du gehst weg, und ich bleibe hier.


Coordination does not only occur with main clauses. Subordinate clauses and constituents can also be coordinated. See Coordinating conjunctions.


Coordinate clauses are linked by This kind of coordination is called syndetic coordination.

More rarely, coordinate clauses are linked without a coordinating word (= asyndetic coordination):

Ich lese ein Buch, du (liest) eine Zeitung.


The coordination of clauses expresses different kinds of semantic relations (= meaning relations) between the clauses of a compound sentence. The kind of relation existing between the clauses is usually expressed by the conjunction or the conjunctional adverb:

Copulative coordination
The main clauses are simply linked with each other. No specific semantic relation is expressed:

Du gehst weg und ich bleibe hier.

Coordinating words: copulative conjunctions and copulative conjunctional adverbs.

Disjunctive coordination
The main clauses are presented as mutually exclusive possibilities:

Du gehst weg oder du bleibst hier.

Coordinating words: coordinating disjunctive conjunctions and disjunctive conjunctional adverbs.

Adversative coordination
The main clauses are opposed to each other:

Ich möchte weggehen, aber ich muss hierbleiben.

Coordinating words: coordinating adversative conjunctions and adversative conjunctional adverbs.

Restrictive coordination
One main clause is a restriction or specification of the other main clause:

Sie kann zwar gut singen, aber ein Star wird sie nicht.

Coordinating words: restrictive conjunctional adverbs.

Causal coordination
The second main clause indicates the cause of what is expressed by the first main clause:

Ich bleibe hier, denn ich habe keine Lust wegzugehen.

Coordinating words: coordinating causal conjunctions and causal conjunctional adverbs.

Consecutive coordination
The second main clause is a consequence of the first main clause:

Ich habe keine Lust wegzugehen, deshalb bleibe ich hier.

Coordinating words: consecutive conjunctional adverbs.

Concessive coordination
The second main clause expresses a concession, something that happens despite of what is said in the first main clause

Ich habe Lust wegzugehen, dennoch bleibe ich hier.

Coordinating words: concessive conjunctional adverbs.

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