How to Analyze Coordinate Sentences: 10 Steps

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How to Analyze Coordinate Sentences: 10 Steps
How to Analyze Coordinate Sentences: 10 Steps

Coordinated sentences are made up of two or more simple or compound sentences that do not depend on each other, but each has its own meaning, works alone, but provides nuances of meaning, they serve to add elements, to oppose ideas or to give options. Read what follows if you want to learn how to analyze them.


Part 1 of 3: Consider Sentence Structure

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1030832 7

Step 1. Consider the basic structure of a sentence

The sentence is divided into subject and predicate. It is known as a simple sentence. The subject can be explicit or tacit, it is made up of a nucleus, which is usually a noun or a name, plus its modifiers; the subject performs the action of the verb. Without a verb there is no sentence. The predicate is made up of the verb, which is the action carried out by the subject, plus its complements and objects.

  • Example: Jorge / canta rancheras. S.

    George; P.

    sings rancheras.

Study Step 25
Study Step 25

Step 2. Remember that this is also the structure of compound sentences

Sentences establish relationships with others, either subordinate or coordinated, which may be contained in the subject or in the predicate and which can establish various relationships in the sentence itself.

  • Example: Jorge, the one who married María, sings rancheras accompanied by the mariachi. S.

    Jorge, the one who married Maria; P.

    he sings rancheras accompanied by the mariachi.

Prayer 02
Prayer 02

Step 3. Distinguish between subordinate and coordinate clauses

Subordinates depend on some central element of the simple sentence, either the subject or verb nucleus, and have specific syntactic functions, they can function as a circumstantial complement of time or they can have adjective functions in the subject or in the complements of the predicate..

Coordinated sentences, as said before, do not depend on each other, but have their own meaning and structure (subject and predicate), help to modify the meaning of the main sentence and are joined to it through conjunctions

Part 2 of 3: Consider the Types of Coordinate Sentences

Learn French Step 12
Learn French Step 12

Step 1. Remember that these sentences are coordinated with conjunctions

Conjunctions depend specifically on the function of the coordinated sentence, if it is to oppose the first sentence or if it is to add to it or if it is to clarify. Do not forget.

Pass Exams Step 8
Pass Exams Step 8

Step 2. Learn the types of coordinated sentences

By their function or their meaning, coordinated sentences are divided into categories.

  • Copulatives. They indicate union or sum between the meanings of the sentences. They take their name from the type of conjunctions with which they are coordinated, which are copulative conjunctions: y, e, ni … ni. Examples: Jorge sings rancheras and dances very well; Jorge neither sings rancheras nor lets us dance.
  • Adversative. They indicate opposition or contrast, partial or total, between the meaning of a first sentence and the meaning of the second. They are joined by adversative conjunctions: but, more, but (that), nevertheless, nevertheless, before, rather, except, otherwise, etc.. Examples: Jorge sings rancheras but does not play the guitar; Jorge does not dance, however he has a very powerful voice; Jorge sings rancheras, except for Manzanero's songs.
  • Tradeoffs. The meanings of the sentences are mutually exclusive. The disjunctive conjunctions are or, u, or, although the constructions are also often used or … or, or … or. Examples: Jorge sings rancheras or dances cha-cha; Either Jorge sings rancheras or he doesn't sing anything anymore.
  • Distributive. The sentences imply an alternative choice between two or more options. Here the meanings of the sentences are not excluded but alternate. Coordination is done through pairs, some of the most common are: well … well, now … pray, now … now, sometimes … other …, one (s) … other (s), this … that, here … there.

    Example: Jorge sometimes sings rancheras now a rap is thrown; Jorge sometimes sings rancheras other times he just plays the guitar.

  • Explanatory. The sentence that follows the conjunction explains the meaning of the first. Sentences are connected by means of constructions like that is, that is, that is (what). Examples: Jorge sings rancheras, that is, he loves Mexican music; Jorge sings rancheras, so he has a very good voice.
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649617 16

Step 3. Remember that, as in all language constructions, there can be variations

Before coming to the analysis, take into account what is and what is the function of each of the categories of coordinated sentences; thus, if there are variations, their identification and analysis will be facilitated to you.

Part 3 of 3: Perform Coordinate Sentence Analysis

Use Social Media to Spur Political Change Step 4
Use Social Media to Spur Political Change Step 4

Step 1. Identify the topic sentence

The main sentence is a proposition that will contain the central idea of what you want to say. It can be a simple or compound sentence.

  • Example: Jorge sings rancheras, dances cha-cha and plays the guitar.
  • In this example, as can be seen, there is a sequence of actions, all coordinated sentences, performed by the same subject: Jorge. Consider the first sentence, where the subject appears, as the main sentence.
  • Another example. But he doesn't dance, Jorge sings rancheras.
  • This is a slightly more complex example, since coordinated sentences appear in a certain disorder, starting with the adversative. However, you may notice that the main sentence is the one where the central idea appears, which is that Jorge knows how to sing, not dance.
Find and Correct Run on Sentences Step 11
Find and Correct Run on Sentences Step 11

Step 2. Be careful with missing words

Remember that coordinated sentences have a complete structure, that is, a subject and a predicate. But sometimes, to avoid repetitions or cacophonies, some element of the sentence that remains in the context is ignored.

  • Example: Jorge sings rancheras, that is, he does it very well.
  • For this explanation, instead of repeating the subject and the action again, it is replaced by an encompassing verb, how to do, since the elements of the sentence have already been in context and it is not necessary to repeat what they are. If we left the complete sentence, it would look like this: Jorge sings rancheras, that is, Jorge sings rancheras very well. Which is repetitive and inappropriate.
Find a Direct Object Step 5
Find a Direct Object Step 5

Step 3. Be careful, conjunctions do not always indicate a coordinated sentence

Sometimes conjunctions connect other parts of the sentence to enumerate or to create a disjunctive. Remember that if there is no verb, even if it is tacit, it is not a coordinated sentence.

  • Example: Jorge and José sing rancheras, ballads and even reggaeton.
  • In this example, the conjunction and serves to list the subjects (Jorge and José) and to close the list of direct objects (rancheras, ballads and even reggaeton). In the first case it is a simple enumeration; in the second, it could not be considered that there are coordinated sentences because all nouns are objects of the same verb.
  • Another example: Jorge sings rancheras or ballads, but not rap.
  • This is a slightly more complex example. The first disjunctive conjunction connects two direct objects; It does not refer to two actions, but is the same action (singing) with two possibilities (rancheras or ballads). The adversative conjunction (but) opposes positive direct objects not the action of singing.
Understand What You Read Step 10
Understand What You Read Step 10

Step 4. Do lots of exercises

You can cut paragraphs from the newspaper or a magazine and locate the main sentences, look for the conjunctions and see if it is a coordinated sentence or a connection of another type.


  • Consult the New grammar of the Spanish language.
  • If you have doubts, visit an online forum on the subject or approach a specialist in language or literature or a Spanish teacher, they will be able to explain the matter more clearly.
  • If at first you do not understand it, do not stop practicing, do not give up, you will see that doing exercises later becomes very easy.

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