Abstract This paper introduces a new class of deductive databases ( connected databases) for which SLDNF-resolution never flounders and always computes ground answers. The class of connected databases properly includes that of allowed databases. Moreover the definition of connected databases enables evaluable predicates to be included in a uniform way. An algorithm is described which, for each predicate defined in a normal database, derives a propositional formula ( groundness formula) describing dependencies between the arguments of that predicate. Groundness formulae are used to determine whether a database is connected. They are also used to identify goals for which SLDNF-resolution will never flounder and will always compute ground answers on a connected database.