Sheba walked to the door and she opened it.

Sheba walked to the door and opened it.

I would use a compound sentence only if the subject in the second clause is someone other than Sheba: Sheba walked to the door and (John) opened it, for I can't see any good reason for the extra one word. But sometimes subjects in both independent clauses are the same person.

I prefer the more concise Sheba walked to the door and opened it, of course, but why should I have to have options?

  • Both sentences can have the meaning that Sheba opened the door. Interestingly, some Inuit languages have a fourth person for this kind of difference, they would use two different "she" depending on whether Sheba or someone else opened the door.
    – Pifagor
    May 15, 2015 at 7:39
  • 1
    I would definitely use the first sentence if I wanted to emphasize that the opening of the door was very important - Sheba opened it because of or in spite of the fact that it may have significant consequences.
    – Pifagor
    May 15, 2015 at 7:48
  • Why should you have to have options? Are you asking why both structures are allowed in English? Or why you have to consider them both? Or something else entirely? All human languages have contexts where the user has various options to choose from—that’s an integral part of language. I don’t really understand what the question actually is here, so I’ve voted to close as unclear; but I strongly suspect that even if clarified, this won’t be a question about English, but about language in general. Feb 25, 2018 at 21:49

1 Answer 1


You have the extra option for putting added emphasis.

It's not very apparent in your example. Allow me to propose another:

"I walked up to him and shot him."

This sounds like something a serial killer would say. I is too far removed from shot. No biggie, all in a day's work!

"I walked up to him and I shot him."

Depending on the context, this could imply my shock/incredulity/pride at what I've done. Shooting someone probably isn't normal for me. Putting I near the verb shot emphasizes the subject and the action better.

  • 1
    Ah, this is good. Thank you. I did a google search and I could not find a single answer to this question. See what I did there? ;) How it is possible that a question so nuanced yet important for writers is not asked more often escapes me.
    – Lucie Duck
    May 15, 2015 at 8:10
  • Hello, Tushar. Another member has quite correctly pointed out that your (correct) answer lacks supporting evidence. Could you please add some, at least that compound sentences and compound predicates are both quite normal in English? Feb 27, 2018 at 10:54
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    Hello Edwin. Long time :) I'll see if I can find some evidence. Hope you are doing okay.
    – Tushar Raj
    Feb 27, 2018 at 10:56

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