In the English language, thoughts and ideas can be expressed in multiple numbers of ways. In this connection, sentence structure holds a unique significance. A well-knit and coherent write up with sound sentence structure radiates a sense of delight and also an expression of the intellect of the writer.
The compound sentence is an essential element of sentence structure. Such sentences help us to express our ideas in a way that makes it simple for our audience to understand. Many times, it is better to express ourselves in a simple and candid manner. For this purpose, we can make effective use of compound sentences.
Definition of a compound sentence
A compound sentence is a sentence containing at least two independent clauses connected to each other via conjunction (and, or,
but, nor, yet, so, etc.), semi-colon, or a comma. An independent clause means that the clause has to be capable of giving a full message like a whole sentence. Such clauses contain a verb and a subject.
For example, “I loved the bright red dress, but I bought the blue one.” This sentence has two independent clauses connected by the conjunction word “but.” You will be amazed to know that coordinating conjunctions for complex sentences are only seven in number, and it is fun to remember them as FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, and so).
* Courtesy of Grammar-monster
Compound sentence examples
Here we go with some compound sentence examples:
Compound sentence examples with a comma between the clauses
- He loves swimming, and he is going to participate in a swimming contest
- The child likes sweets, but the mother doesn’t allow him too many sweets
- She watches cartoons, and her brother watches sports
- Her parents are well-educated, yet she is ill-mannered
- I am a pet lover, but I don’t like cats
- Her friend is not a native speaker, yet she speaks English very well
- My parents are old, but they are quite active and healthy
- Players practiced hard, so they won the game
- He will go hiking, or he will play football
- He always stays home, for he doesn’t like hanging out
- We will go to the party, or we will watch a movie
- My friends were busy, so I went shopping alone
- The singer was singing a song, and the guitarist played the guitar
- I attended the wedding, and my brother went to a funeral
- The teacher gave a long project, so the students remained busy for the whole month
Compound sentence examples with a semi-colon between the clauses
- I believe you would love the show; I won’t mind if you don’t come
- I love chocolates; they make my mood better
- I was fond of painting; I used to paint the whole day long
- I forgot my purse at home; so I had no money for shopping
- She was angry; she didn’t smile at us
- John will travel by bus; I will go by train
- They enjoy fishing; they are going fishing this weekend
- You can watch a movie, or you may read a book
- He refused to see a doctor, nor will he take medicines
The above-given examples explain the concept in an elaborate way. Let’s look deeper into the compound sentences by analyzing how these differ from complex sentences.
Compound sentences vs. complex sentences
It is crucial to note that there isn’t any dependent clause in compound sentences. And this property differentiates a compound sentence from a complex sentence. It is already known that a complex sentence constitutes a dependent and an independent clause; whereas, a compound sentence has only independent clauses. To clear the concept, consider the following examples:
- The woman cooked the meal, and she went shopping
- The woman cooked the meal before she went shopping
The two sentences vary from each other by only one word, i.e. and/before. And it is the application of such words that affect the sentence structure. One sentence, given above, is compound, and the second one is complex. We can form a compound sentence by joining two independent clauses. And for the purpose of connecting two independent clauses, we make use of coordinating conjunctions.
Another point to notice is that each and every clause in a compound sentence is equally critical, and the status of the clauses is not influenced by the coordinating conjunction. The clauses of compound sentences reveal related ideas, and neither clause has any structural superiority over other clauses. The sole objective of a coordinating conjunction is to link the clauses and specify a direct connection between them.
Complex sentence two types of clauses
While in complex sentences, there are always two types of clauses; independent clauses and dependent or subordinate clauses. This implies that clauses in a complex sentence are, unlike compound sentences, not organically equal. Even though these clauses convey related concepts, yet independent clause has more structural significance. To get a better idea, take into account the following example:
My friends helped me when I was in difficulty.
If we split the complex sentence structure, we get:
- My friends helped me – independent clause
- When I was in difficulty – “in difficulty” is a subordinate clause
The clauses in a complex sentence are joined by subordinating conjunctions and not by the coordinating conjunctions. Here are a few common subordinate conjunctions; if, because, since, while, when, etc. and the whole list of subordinate conjunctions is too long to memorize.
For the students and learners of English grammar, there might be confusion on how to differentiate between a compound sentence a complex sentence. Apparently, both seem similar. But here is the simple solution; you will have to notice the connecting word, and the problem gets resolved.
If the connecting word is in it:
- Coordinating conjunction then the sentence will be a compound sentence
- Subordinating conjunction then the sentence will be a complex sentence
Although it is impossible to remember all the subordinating conjunctions, yet it’s quite easy to remember the coordinating conjunctions that are only seven in number. This specialty of compound sentences renders it easier to distinguish them. And after memorizing the seven coordinating conjunctions differentiating between the two kinds of sentences will not be a hard job.
After going through this write-up, getting a clear approach to compound sentences will be a piece of cake for you. Grab the concepts and get ready to make your writing powerful, crispy, and magnificent.
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