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Grammar Lessons: Compound Sentences

Compound Sentences

To understand compound sentences, we must understand two important causes:

  • A dependent clause is a group of words that has both a subject and a verb but cannot stand alone as a sentence
  • An Independent Clause is a group of words made up of a subject and a predicate,
    it can stand alone as a sentence

Now that we understand those two concepts, we can fully understand what compound sentences are:

Compound Sentences are composed of at least two independent clauses. It does not require a dependent clause.

Characteristics of Compound Sentences

  • Each half of the sentence must be able to stand on its own as a complete sentence.
  • Each half needs a subject and a verb.

Examples of Compound Sentences

  • I want the red car but I will buy the blue one
  • He doesn’t like to get his teeth cleaned, but he knows that it’s necessary.
  • Alex likes to fish, and he is going fishing on Friday
  • We can go see a movie, or we can get something to eat.
  • She is going to the movies, or she is going to the mall.
  • Mike drove to the park, and I walked to the beach.
  • I am very smart, yet I do not enjoy school.
  • Lydia liked her new house, but she didn’t like the front yard.
  • I was late; however, the class had not started.
  • Can I go home with you, so we can do our homework together?

How Clauses are Joined

The clauses are joined by:

  • a coordinating conjunction 
  • a correlative conjunction 
  • a semicolon that functions as a conjunction
  • a conjunctive adverb preceded by a semicolon.

Compound Sentences with Coordinating Conjunctions

Coordinating conjunctions connect words, phrases, and clauses. Andbutfornororso, and yet are the seven coordinating conjunctions.

Compound Sentences are made up of two simple sentences connected by a coordinating conjunction.

For: reasons
And: addition / next action
Nor: not one or the other
But:  contrasting and unexpected results
Or: choices and conditions
Yet:  contrasting and unexpected results
So: actions taken

Examples

  • My friend invited me to a tea party, but my parents didn’t let me go.
  • Do you want to stay here, or would you like to go shopping with me?
  • I have a lot of work to finish, so I will be up all night.
  • I am counting my calories, yet I really want dessert.
  • They got there early, and they got really good seats.
  • She did not cheat on the test, for it was the wrong thing to do.
  • They had no Netflix  nor did they have cable.

Compound Sentences with a Semicolon

One way to create a compound sentence is with a semi-colon.

Not a common practice, a semi-colon is used only where ideas are very closely related.

For example:

  1. She loves me; she loves me not.
  2. They say it’s your birthday; it’s my birthday too!
  3. The entire town was flooded; people used boats
  4. I only write non-fiction; I’ve never tried fiction.
  5. You can pay online; we accept all major credit cards.

Compound Sentences with Conjunctive Adverbs

  1. Frantic is my favourite film; however, I’ve only seen it once.
  2. He turned himself in to the police; otherwise, they would have arrested him.
  3. He’s got a really good job; at least, that’s what he says.
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