Grammar Lessons: Compound Sentences

Grammar Lessons: Compound Sentences

Compound Sentences

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

In either case, each half of the sentence must be able to stand on its own as a complete sentence.  That means each half needs a subject and a verb.

For example: I want the red car but I will buy the blue one

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

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


  • 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.

More Grammar Resources

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