In this unit, we will discuss Simple Compound and Complex Sentences in English Grammar. Based on the sentence structure, we classify sentences into 3 broad categories :
A Simple Sentence is one which has only one Subject and one Predicate or A Simple Sentence is one which has only one Finite Verb.
- An honest man is loved by all.
Subject: an honest man
Predicate: is loved by all
- All of us returned home.
Subject: all of us
Predicate: returned home
A Compound Sentence is one which consists of two or more Coordinate Clauses, joined by a Coordinating Conjunction.
- She is going to the store, or she is going to the mall.
Clause 1: She is going to the store.
Clause 2: She is going to the mall.
- The sun rose and everything looked bright and gleaming.
Clause 1: The sun rose.
Clause 2: Everything looked bright.
A Coordinating Clause is one of two or more clauses, which is either independent or equal. Based on the Coordinating Conjunction used in a Compound Sentence, it may be of 4 types :
In this type of Compound Sentence, one clause is simply added to another.
- Hassan sang and I danced.
- The way was long and the night was cold.
- She cannot speak, nor can she write.
In this type of Compound Sentence, an alternative or choice is offered between one statement and another.
- She must work or she will die.
- Either he is a fool or he is mad.
- Walk quickly or you will miss the bus.
In this type of Compound Sentence, one statement or fact is contrasted with or set against another.
- He is slow, but he is steady.
- He is poor, yet he is happy.
- Wise men love truth, while fools shun it.
In this type of Compound Sentence, one clause states the cause, while the other implies the effect of that cause.
- He did not study hard, therefore he failed.
- I am ill, so I cannot attend the meeting today.
- He will die someday, for all men are mortal.
Based on the number of Coordinating Clauses, a Compound Sentence may be a :
- Double Sentence (2 coordinating clauses)
- Multiple Sentence (more than 2 coordinating clauses)
A Complex Sentence is one which consists of one Main Clause (independent clause) and one or more Subordinate Clauses (dependent clause).
- I burned dinner but not the cake.
Main Clause: I burned dinner.
Subordinate Clause: But not the cake.
- Though he was very rich, he was still unhappy.
Main Clause: He was still unhappy.
Subordinate Clause: Though he was very rich.
A Main or Principal Clause is an independent clause which can stand on its own.
A Subordinate Clause is dependent on the Main Clause for its full meaning.