Heavy Construction

The Allen and Greenough is still under construction; so some links may not work quite the way you would expect.


In the structure of the Period, the following rules are to be observed: -

a. In general the main subject or object is put in the main clause, not in a subordinate one: -

b. Clauses are usually arranged in the order of prominence in the mind of the speaker; so, usually, cause before result; purpose, manner, and the like, before the act.

c. In co`ordinate clauses, the copulative conjunctions are frequently omitted (asyndeton). In such cases the connection is made clear by some antithesis indicated by the position of words.

d. A change of subject, when required, is marked by the introduction of a pronoun, if the new subject has already been mentioned. But such change is often purposely avoided by a change in structure, - the less important being merged in the more important by the aid of participles or of subordinate phrases: -

e. So the repetition of a noun, or the substitution of a pronoun for it, is avoided unless a different case is required: -

f. The Romans were careful to close a period with an agreeable succession of long and short syllables. Thus, -

NOTE: In rhetorical writing, particularly in oratory, the Romans, influenced by their study of the Greek orators, gave more attention to this matter than in other forms of composition. Quintilian (ix. 4. 72) lays down the general rule that a clause should not open with the beginning of a verse or close with the end of one.