19.2 - Coordinating conjunctions

Apologies for throwing you in the deep end with the text on page 19.1! It is, however, a useful example of a complex sentence: several levels of subordination with many nouns in the genitive case, pronouns introducing relative clauses, lists of phrases which may have other phrases depending on them, and large numbers of adjectives and participles.

In a complex sentence the individual segments (clauses or phrases) are combined into a whole by means of conjunctions. These fall into two categories:

  • coordinating conjunctions, which may link two or more simple sentences, or else grammatically similar parts or words of those sentences
  • subordinating conjunctions, which link a subordinate clause to the main clause or to another subordinate clause which is "less subordinate".

Coordinating conjunctions can bring parts of a sentence together, contrast them or separate them. The most frequently used ones are given below, together with examples for those which you haven't yet met in these materials or which have more difficult usage:

і/й; та and  
ні... ні neither ... nor
не тільки..., а й;
не лише..., але й
not only ... but also Шевченко знаний не тільки в нашій країні, а й в усьому світі.
Shevchenko is known not only in our country but in the whole world.
як... так (і) both ... and Українці проживають як в Україні так і поза її межами.
Ukrainians live both in Ukraine and beyond.
а and/but (contrastive) Згода між політиками! А чому б і ні?
Agreement among the politicians! And why not?
але but  
та; проте; зате; однак however, but
натомість however (colloquial)
причому moreover, besides
то..., то sometimes ... sometimes, at times ... at others Життя – як життя: то сумне, то смішне, то добре.
Life is life: sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes good.
або... або; чи... чи either ... or  
не то..., не то not quite ... not quite, part ... part ... Ми бачили невідому тварину. Не то пес, не то кенгуру.
We saw a strange animal, half dog, half kangaroo.
чи то..., чи то whether ... or Бувають моменти, коли не знаєш, чи то плакати, чи то сміятися.
There are times when you don't know whether to cry or laugh.
тобто i.e., in other words Моя автобіографія, тобто – мною про мене.
My autobiography (cv), i.e. about me by me.
Part of the collection of resources at UkrainianLanguage.org.uk
© 2007 Marta Jenkala