The compound sentence is made up of 2 or more simple sentences joined together by a coordinate conjunction. In other words, the compound sentence is made up of 2 independent clauses.
Here is an example:
1. The rain is falling. (Simple sentence made up of one independent clause).
2. The lightning is flashing. (Another simple sentence made up of one independent clause).
Now, let’s join these two simple sentences into one compound sentence using the coordinate conjunction “and.”
The rain is falling, and the lightning is flashing.
The above is an example of a compound sentence, that is, two simple sentences combined with the use of a coordinate conjunction.
Remember, I mentioned that there are two main types of conjunctions:
- Coordinate conjunctions – join independent clauses.
- Subordinate conjunctions – join an independent clause to a dependent clause.
The words “and” and “but” are both coordinate conjunctions. In fact, they are the two most commonly used coordinate conjunctions. But what’s the difference between these two conjunctions? When do we use “and” and when do we use “but”?
We use “and” when we are joining two similar or agreeing ideas. We use “but” to join contrasting or opposite ideas.
- The rain is falling, and the lightning is flashing.
In the above example, the conjunction “and” is used to join two like or agreeing ideas. That is, it is usual or expected for lightning to flash when rain is falling.
However, look at the example below.
2. The rain is falling, but the sun is still shining.
Although it does happen from time to time, it is very unusual for the sun to shine while the rain is falling. Sunshine is not associated with rainy days. Sunshine and rain are two contrasting ideas. For this reason, we use the conjunction “but” to join the contrasting or opposing ideas of the sun shining and the rain falling at the same time.