Forming Compound and Complex Sentences: Practice Exercises

Last updated: June 23, 2017 at 8:42 am

complex photoPlease note: This lesson is about forming compound AND complex sentence; it is not about forming “compound-complex” sentences.

To Recap:

  1. There are four kinds of sentences by structure: simple, compound, complex and compound-complex.
  2. A clause is a subject-predicate word-group.
  3. There are two main types of clauses: principal or independent and subordinate or dependent.
  4. The principal clause makes sense by itself. In fact, all simple sentences are made up of only one principal clause.
  5. The subordinate clause depends on the principal clause to complete its meaning.
  6. Coordinate conjunctions (examples and, or, but) are used to join a principal clause to another principal clause.
  7. Subordinate conjunctions (if, when, before, that, etc) are used to join a subordinate clause to a principal clause.
  8. Two independent clauses form a compound sentence.
  9. One dependent and one independent clause form a complex sentence.
  10. At least two independent clauses and one dependent clause form a compound-complex sentence.

 

Here is an exercise that is done for you. Taken from “Working with English” by Rennie and Anderson.

Instructions: Each numbered group below contains two simple sentences. Combine these two into one sentence, either a compound or a complex pattern. Label each finished sentence as complex or compound.

  1. Today we call a work-free day a holiday. In earlier times, the people called it a holy day.
  2. Some of our holidays commemorate national events. Some of our holidays have a national significance.
  3. The first holiday of the year is New Year’s Day. On this day we celebrate the beginning of a new year.
  4. People throughout the Christian world observe Good Friday. Good Friday recalls to us the crucifixion of Christ.
  5. Easter always falls on the Sunday after the first full moon. The first full moon comes on or after the 21s of March.
  6. Only schools observe Empire Day. Everybody takes a holiday on Queen Victoria’s birthday, the 24th of May.
  7. Dominion Day comes on the first of July. On Dominion Day, we remember the early beginning of the Dominion of Canada.
  8. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, originated in the United States around 1910. Labor Day was recognized in Canada soon after that date.
  9. The date for thanksgiving remained variable for some time. It has now been decided to keep Thanksgiving on the Monday of the week of Armistice Day, November 11th.
  10. This best of all holidays is Christmas. On this day, we commemorate the birth of Christ.

 

Below, the exercise has been completed for you. The two sentences in each group has been joined: either with a coordinate conjunction to form a compound sentence, or with a subordinate conjunction to form a complex sentence.

  1. Today we call a work-free day a holiday, whereas in earlier times, the people called it a holy day.
  2. Some of our holidays commemorate national events, while others have a religious significance.
  3. The first holiday of the year is New Year’s Day, and on this day we celebrate the beginning of  a New Year.
  4. People throughout the Christian world observe Good Friday which recalls to us the crucifixion of Christ.
  5. Easter always falls on the Sunday after the first full moon which comes on or after the 21s of March.
  6. Only schools observe Empire Day, but everybody takes a holiday on Queen Victoria’s birthday, the 24th of May.
  7. Dominion Day comes on the first of July during which we remember the early beginning of the Dominion of Canada.
  8. Labor Day, the first Monday in September, originated in the United States around 1910, and was recognized in Canada soon after that date.
  9. The date for thanksgiving remained variable for some time, but it has now been decided to keep Thanksgiving on the Monday of the week of Armistice Day, November 11th.
  10. This best of all holidays is Christmas during which we commemorate the birth of Christ.

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