The union word - what is it? How to define a union word?

In complex sentences we always find alliances and union words. This is not surprising, because parts of these proposals, unlike compound ones, can not be linked together in any other way. We have to understand what allied words are, what they are not like alliances and how they are used in the text.

Unions and union words

These are special speech units that exist to link subordinate clauses with the main one as part of a compound sentence. The main task they have one, but from each other they are still different.

The union is not an independent word, it is not a member of a proposal, it can not be replaced by another independent word. A union word refers to the independent parts of speech and, therefore, appears in the sentence as its member. In the text, it can be replaced without substitution by other pronouns and pronominal adverbs, because the pronouns and adverbs themselves play the role of union words.

Additional signs of difference

Above are not the only characteristics that separate the union and the union word. The differences between them are also in the fact that the unions do not have a logical stress in the sentence, but on the union word it is necessary. Compare: "I'm sure that (union), he will not come." / "I do not know what (the union word) he will come up with this time."

Another alliance differs from the union word by the fact that after it the particles are completely inappropriate: exactly, the same . After allied words, these particles can be delivered. Let's give examples: "My current work is more interesting than (union) the former." / "Find out what he will do (the union word and particle)." "I know what exactly (the union word and particle) he will deal with."

Finally, there is one more detail that helps to distinguish these similar syntactic units: sometimes it is possible to remove the union from the offer altogether, changing its punctuation, but this will not be tolerated by the union word. Examples: "Naum told Olga that (union) he was going to visit his grandmother . " Compare: "Naum told Olga: he is going to visit his grandmother." / "Mikhail thought about the feeling that (the union word) so quickly changed his whole life ." It is impossible to omit the allied word, otherwise there will be confusion: "Mikhail thought about the feeling, so quickly changed his whole life."

Something about alliances

Unions join together parts of the sentence, and homogeneous terms in simple sentences. According to morphological properties, they are divided into simple and compound, complex and complex. Complex associations, in turn, are divided into groups: connecting (and, too, not only ... but also); Adversive (but, however, a, but); Separating (or, then ... that, or, not that ... not that).

There are six types of subordinate unions :

  • Causes : because, because, due to the fact that, etc. (Example: "Antosha was visited by guests, because he has a birthday today.")
  • Target : in order to, in order to, to. (Example: "To find out the coordinates, he needed a compass.")
  • Temporary : so far, when, hardly, only, only. (Example: "It will get dark when I come for you.")
  • Conditional : if, if, if, if. (Example: "You can break if you jump from a great height.")
  • Comparative : like, like, exactly, like. (For example: "She danced so passionately inspired, as if it was the last time.")
  • Explanatory : like, what, to. (Example: "He thought about how to slip away without causing suspicion.")

And now we will understand in detail what lexemes can be used in the meaning of union words.


This is, first of all, relative pronouns that point to objects, signs and actions. We have already seen in the examples of pronouns what, what . In addition to these, lexemes are used by whom, whom, who, who, who as a union word. Examples:

  • "I heard who Ivan is now working with."
  • "Think about who you can meet in an abandoned village."
  • "I saw a beauty that I did not see since I left Switzerland."
  • "In the shoulder, Sergei felt pain, which always intensified in inclement weather."

As we have already mentioned, the union word can always be replaced by a pronoun. For example, the last sentence might look like this:

  • "In the shoulder Sergei felt pain, it always intensified in inclement weather."

The pronominal numerals in the role of the union word

As a union word is the word how much , which is attributed to the pronominal numerals:

  • "I asked Gennady how many years he was not in Russia."

Use of pronominal adverbs

The roles of allied words can be fulfilled by pronominal dialects: where, where, where, how, when, why, why, why . Here are the sentences with the allied words of this category:

  • "Tell me where you go every evening."
  • "Eugene admitted where his millions came from."
  • "I know where you were after dinner."
  • "Alik patiently told how and why he was in the camp of the enemy."
  • "There are times when hands fall, and there is neither inspiration nor strength."
  • "He wants to know why this lady came to you."

And in these proposals allied words can be replaced by other significant words, which confirm the meaning, which can not be done with the unions.

Other features of allied words

The specificity of allied words is also that they constitute stable pairs with demonstrative words: so-how, where-where-how many-how many-what-who-what-what, who-who-what-what -others. Examples:

  • "To me, only that wealth is rich, which is earned by honest labor."
  • "Matryona knew so many sayings, how many, it seems, can not remember a single person."
  • "This is the wondrous man who gave people hope . "

Union words in a complex sentence should not be confused with compound unions. Differences between them can be determined according to the previous scheme. Let's give an example with a pair like so :

  1. Since - a compound union: "Ilya did not say a word, since he had nothing to say . " In this proposal, the union is not a member of the proposal, it does not have a logical emphasis, it can not be replaced by an independent word. If you delete it, putting a colon in its place, the meaning of the statement will not change: "Ilya did not say a word: he had nothing to say . "
  2. So - how does a couple of a union word, like the reference word, do this : "I've never had to solve this problem before, as I did it today." The union word is a pronominal adverb, in the sentence it is a circumstance of the mode of action. It has a logical accent, after which a particle is appropriate, it is impossible to remove it from the sentence without detriment to the meaning. There is also a punctuation difference: there is no punctuation between parts of a composite union, and there is a punctuation mark between the index and the union word. In addition, the indicative word does not necessarily stand side by side with the allied: "I've never had to solve this problem before, as I did it today."

We found out what a union word is, how it differs from an alliance, and how to avoid making mistakes in its definition.

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