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Disjunct

By using the disjunct, the speaker/writer is able to convey some impression of how he feels about his own statement. This can be very important depending on the situation, as the mood of a statement can often change its meaning. For example, if bad news is prefaced with the disjunct "unfortunately", then this will let the listener know that the speaker is a sympathetic person just doing his duty, and not some cruel person who takes pleasure in the news itself.

What is a disjunct?

What exactly is a disjunct? Fortunately, this particular page has been made for people just like you. A disjunct has actually been used in the previous sentence: it is the word "fortunately".  Not only is "fortunately" an adverb, its also a disjunct by telling you what kind of mood the given sentence is being spoken in.

In the above example, the disjunct lets you know that we feel that it is good for both yourself and us that you have found this webpage. 

Examples of correct use.

Here is an example of the disjunct being used correctly in a sentence. 

"In my opinion, the politician had no idea what he was talking about; he was just pandering to the emotions of the crowd." 

Here, the phrase "in my opinion" is the disjunct, and it lets you know that the speaker is making a point of only speaking for himself. 

Examples of incorrect use.

"I ran fortunately across the block fast enough to catch the last bus back home."

Here, "fortunately" is positioned incorrectly: it is just modifying the verb "ran" instead of the whole sentence. 

For your reference, here are a couple rules you can follow in order to make sure that you are using the disjunct correctly.Also, you may consider consulting our glossary for more help. 

  1. The disjunct always modifies the mood of the entire sentence; it is usually set off by a comma either at the beginning or the end of the sentence. If the disjunct is ever attached to just one verb within the sentence, then it is being used in an incorrect way. 
  2. The disjunct conveys how the speaker feels about what is being said. If the disjunct is not present, then the sentence would seem like it is being spoken in a more objective way; but by using the disjunct, the speaker injects his own feeling or perspective into what is being said. 

Additional information

The disjunct is a quite important part of English grammar because in communication, it is often essential to know the mood of the speaker and not just the objective content of his speech. This can have serious effects on how a piece of communication is interpreted by readers or listeners. For example, if a person were to make a suggestion to his friend without a disjunct, it may possibly come across as overbearing. But by using a disjunct such as "for what it's worth", the speaker would communicate a mood of humbleness that may put the listener at greater ease.   

The disjunct can also help establish the logical flow of communication by letting the speaker give some indication of how one piece of information is related to another piece of information. For example, if you were to make an argument for your final paper and you came across a piece of evidence that contradicted your argument, you might begin talking about it by using the disjunct "admittedly". This would signify that you are making your argument despite your awareness of the contrary evidence. Without the disjunct, the flow would become confused, because it would seem like you were using the contrary evidence to support your own argument. 

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