The Compound Sentence

This page was first published on the 5th of April, 2014 and last updated on the 22nd of November, 2016 by Patrick Carpen.

First Understand the Simple Sentence

A simple sentence is a sentence which contains just one subject and one predicate. The subject of a simple sentence may be compound (two or more nouns) or simple (just one noun). The predicate of a simple sentence may also be compound (two or more verbs) or simple (just one verb). So what is a compound sentence?

Two Simple Sentences Join to Make a Compound Sentence

A compound sentence contains two or more simple sentences. How is it possible to have two sentences in one? By joining the two principal clauses with a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or), and separating the two principal clauses with a comma. Examples:

I want to go to the show, but my friends won’t let me.
John went to school, but there was no one there.

A compound sentence could have easily been two separate sentences. We choose to make it compound by combining two simple sentences to create one compound sentence.

Making Compound Sentences With the Semi Colon

Two simple sentences could also be made into a compound sentence by using a semicolon. Examples:

Orange juice is essential to good health; bananas are just as important.

Note that the second part of the sentence is directly related to the first, or they should not have been combined.

Another example:

John is a fast runner; he is also a strong swimmer.

Where the subject of the second clause is omitted but understood.

Sometimes, the subject of the second clause in a compound sentence is omitted but it is understood.

E.g: I bought the flour and took it home.

The subject (I), in the second clause is understood.

In cases where the subject of the second clause is omitted and understand, there is no need to use a comma to separate the two clauses.


Keywords: the compound sentence, compound sentences, kinds of sentences, types of sentences, the sentence

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