If you're curious about sentence types and would like to know what a compound sentence is, you've come to the right place. This article will teach you what you need to know to use them in your writing.
This guide is part of our free online Grammar Book.
But firstly, what is a sentence?
Here's an example of a simple sentence:
I wanted to go for a hike.
Now let's add one more so that we have two simple sentences:
I wanted to go for a hike. Mary wanted to grab coffee in the park.
Let's try taking these two simple sentences and turning them into one compound sentence. Here's what that would look like:
I wanted to go for a hike but Mary wanted to grab coffee in the park.
I wanted to go for a hike; Mary wanted to grab coffee in the park.
As you can see, both clauses stand alone but are related to a common topic. And that's how compound sentences work.
The first thing to know about compound sentences is that they contain no dependent clauses. A dependent clause needs an independent clause to support it, which is what complex sentences do.
Because of that, a compound sentence needs at least two subjects and two verbs. Sometimes the two subjects are the same, but they need to be reiterated.
I enjoy watching movies but I don't like action movies.
I enjoy watching movies; I don't like action movies.
The subject in both independent clauses is 'I,' and the two verbs are 'enjoy' and 'like.' We can say the exact same thing using just one subject and one verb, but as I just mentioned, that would be a complex sentence:
I enjoy watching movies but not action movies.
I enjoy watching movies, I don't like action movies. ❌
Now that we've covered the basics of a compound sentence and how to make one, let's look at some examples of compound sentences.
He walked into the room and I got goosebumps.
I know what I'll do; I'll go on a vacation!
She needs to study more or she won't pass the exam.
Don't take him too seriously; he likes to joke around.
They keep making promises yet they haven't delievered on a single one.
It's a beautiful day; I'm heading to the beach!
I was hungry so I had lunch.
As well as compound sentences, there are three other types of sentence structure:
That concludes this article on compound sentences. I hope you found it helpful.
Let's summarize what we've learned:
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