A compound-complex sentence contains a combination of two types of sentence structures: a compound and a complex sentence. Compound sentences combine two independent clauses, a type of clause that completes a full thought. Compound sentences connect with the use of a coordinating conjunction: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. Complex sentences require an independent clause and at least one dependent clause, a clause that does not give a complete thought. The examples that follow will help show how a compound-complex sentence's components and structure work.
Although I like books, I do not like romance novels, but my sister loves them. In this example, the complex sentence is “Although I like books, I do not like romance novels.” The phrase “I do not like romance novels,” makes up the independent clause, a clause that completes a full thought and gives a complete sentence. The phrase “Although I like books” forms an introductory clause, a type of dependent clause that does not complete a thought. The compound structure of this sentence stems from combining the independent clauses “I do not like romance novels” and “my sister loves them” with the coordinating conjunction “but.”
Jim’s mom went to the store because it’s his birthday, and she bought him a present. In this second example, the independent clauses “Jim’s mom went to the store” and “she bought him a present” form a compound sentence with the connection of the coordinating conjunction “and.” The first part of the sentence, “Jim’s mom went to the store because it’s his birthday,” forms the complex sentence. You have an independent clause, “Jim’s mom went to the store,” and the dependent clause, “because it’s his birthday,” which does not complete a thought.
Until he graduates, he will live in the apartment, but then he wants to move. The independent clauses “he will live in the apartment” and “then he wants to move” have the connection of the coordinating conjunction “but.” This forms the compound sentence. The dependent clause, “Until he graduates,” when combined with the independent clause, “he will live in the apartment,” makes up the complex part of the sentence.
Molly, who loves cats, plans to get a kitten, but she needs to find a house. In another type of example, “Molly, who loves cats, plans to get a kitten” makes up the complex sentence because of the independent clause “Molly plans to get a kitten,” which is broken up by the dependent clause “who loves cats.” The combination of the two independent clauses “Molly plans to get a kitten” and “she needs to find a house,” connected by the coordinating conjunction “but,” makes up the compound sentence.
Jennifer sat in her chair, which was a dark red recliner, and she read all evening. This sentence shows the compound sentences of the two independent clauses “Jennifer sat in her chair” and “she read all evening,” combined by the coordinating conjunction “and.” The complex sentence stems from the independent clause “Jennifer sat in her chair,” and the dependent clause “which was a dark red recliner.”
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