Compound Sentences in English: Guide & Examples

Today we are going to learn how to make compound sentences with a series of simple steps and many examples.

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.

Compound Sentences Video

This is a video that explains what compound sentences are

Characteristics of Compound Sentences

These are some of the most important characteristics of compound sentence

  • 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.
  • The clauses are joined by a coordinating conjunction, a correlative conjunction, a semicolon that functions as a conjunction or a conjunctive adverb preceded by a semicolon.

These are some examples of characteristics 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.
  • It was very hot outside, and the ice cream melted.
  • She is going to the movies, or she is going to the mall.
  • I fell out of the bed, so Mom came to check on me
  • 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?
  • I really need to go to work, but I am too sick to drive.
  • Alex likes to fish, and he is going fishing on Friday.
  • His children were scared of the lions; they left right away.

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

These are some examples of compound sentence with coordinating conjunctions

  • 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.
  • We have never been to Asia, nor have we visited Africa.

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.
  6. The sky is clear; the stars are twinkling.

Compound Sentences with Conjunctive Adverbs

conjunctive adverb is an adverb or adverbial phrase that indicates a relation in meaning between two sequential independent clauses 

  1. Frantic is my favorite 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.

Compound Sentences Exercises and Worksheets

These are some compound sentences exercises and worksheets that you have to check out

Manuel Campos, English Professor

Manuel Campos

I am Jose Manuel, English professor and creator of, a blog whose mission is to share lessons for those who want to learn and improve their English