We saw the pure forms of simple, complex and compound sentences in the previous articles. In this article, we are going to see a sentence structure that is a blend of complex and compound forms. It is known as the compound-complex sentence. Why is it called like this? What structure does it have and what are the clauses in it? What are some of the examples? As you read this article, you will get answers to these questions.
What is a compound-complex sentence?
To know what this sentence is, we should first know what compound and complex sentences are,individually. A compound sentence is one that contains at least two independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction. A complex sentence is one that contains a minimum of one dependent and one independent clause, connected by a subordinating or relative conjunction. So, a compound-complex sentence is one that contains at least two independent clauses, minimum of one dependent clause, a coordinating conjunction, and a subordinating conjunction.
Examples of a compound-complex sentence
Let us see this example:
- He cried because he fell and his mom picked him up immediately.
Here there are two independent clauses, “He cried” and “his mom picked him up immediately”. These two are connected by a coordinating conjunction, “and”. If the sentence had contained only these two parts, it would have been a compound sentence.
However, there is another part here, “because he fell”. This is a dependent clause as it cannot stand by itself. It answers the question, “Why did the boy cry”. Therefore, it is an adverbial clause. So the part, “He cried because he fell” is a complex sentence.
As we can see from the above example, there is a complex and compound component in it. Therefore, it is a compound-complex sentence.
Some other examples of this type of sentence are:
- When I grow up, I will become a pilot and my parents will be proud of me.
Here, the independent clauses are “I will become a pilot” and “My parents will be proud of me”. They are connected by the coordinating conjunction, “and.” The dependent clause in this sentence is “When I grow up”, and it is an adverbial clause.
- When my vacations got over, my school reopened, and I was very happy to meet my friends.
Here, the independent clauses are “My school reopened” and “I was very happy to meet my friends”. They are connected with the help of a coordinating conjunction, “and”. The dependent clause is “When my vacations got over”, and it is an adverbial clause.
- The team won because he bowled well and the coach gave him an award.
Here, the independent clauses are “The team won” and “The coach gave him an award”. The coordinating conjunction, which connects them is “and”. The dependent clause is “because he bowled well”.
Writing a compound-complex sentence
When you proceed to write a compound-complex sentence, you should know some of these rules:
- It should contain minimum of two independent clauses
- It should contain minimum of one dependent clause
- It should contain subordinating, coordinating conjunctions and commas as you may find them necessary.
- Semicolons should be used to connect independent clauses when you are not using a coordinating conjunction.
While a compound-complex sentence looks quite well-structured, too many sentences can ruin the quality of your content. These sentences are long and elaborate, and it may take a while for the reader to absorb the meaning of your content when you use them in large numbers.
This structure may look complicated, but once you understand the basic concepts of a complex sentence and compound sentence, you can easily form a compound-complex sentence, without any mistakes.