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 Compound Complex Sentence

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Lora
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Lora

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Compound Complex Sentence Empty
PostSubject: Compound Complex Sentence   Compound Complex Sentence EmptyWed May 23, 2012 12:11 pm

Compound Complex Sentence

When a sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one or more
dependent clauses, the sentence is called a compound complex sentence. Before we go into details of compound complex sentences, it is better to have an idea of the simple, compound & the complex sentence. Let us examine the following sentences:

  1. Anne won the race.
  2. The road was clear and we started going.
  3. John did not pass the exam since he did not study hard.
  4. James tried hard but he could not succeed since he had no much experience.
Look at that the first sentence has only one Subject and one Predicate. Such a sentence is called a simple sentence.

Look at the second sentence. It contains two parts:

  1. The road was clear.
  2. We started going.
These two parts are joined by a coordinating conjunction and. Each of the two sentences contains a Subject & a predicate of its own. Each part is therefore a sentence which is a part of a large sentence. In other words, each part is what we call a Clause. We can further notice that each of the two clauses makes good sense by itself and therefore can stand by itself as a complete sentence. Each clause is independent of the other and therefore called an Independent Clause. Note that there are several coordinating conjunctions other than and which can be used to join two independent clauses such as but, for, or, nor, yet & so. Also the punctuation mark semicolon (;) can function as a coordinating conjunction.

Therefore a sentence such as the second which is made up of two or more independent clauses is called a compound sentence.

Look at the third sentence, it too has two parts:

  1. John did not pass the exam.
  2. Since he did not study hard.
Each part contains a subject & a predicate of its own and forma part of a large sentence. Each part is therefore a clause. When we further analyze, we can notice that the first part "John did not pass the exam" makes good sense by itself and can stand by itself as a complete sentence. It is therefore an independent clause.

However the second part "since he did not study hard" cannot stand by itself and doesn't make good sense unless it is read with the first part. It is dependent on the first part. It is therefore called a dependent or subordinate clause. A dependent clause may be a noun clause, adjective clause or adverb clause from grammatical point of view. Please note the analysis of clauses is outside the scope of this site.

Therefore a sentence such as the third which is made up of one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses is called a complex sentence.

Now look at the fourth sentence, it has 03 parts (or clauses):

  1. James tried hard.
  2. He could not succeed.
  3. Since he had no much experience.
The first & the second clause both can stand on its own and make good sense by themselves and therefore are complete sentences. In other words, if we take the first two parts, "James tried hard but he could not succeed" this is a compound sentence as explained previously but there is a third clause which is an independent clause which will make sense only if it is read with the second clause.

Therefore a sentence such as the fourth which is made up of two or more independent clauses with one or more dependent clauses is called a
compound complex sentence.

Let us look at some examples of compound complex sentences

Note that the independent clauses are highlighted in blue; dependent clauses are highlighted in green and coordinating conjunctions are highlighted in red.


  1. He called police and he checked the room for items which have been stolen.
  2. Jackie, who is a friend of mine, came to our house today but she did not tell me that she is going aboard next week.
  3. You have finished your work which I assigned to you yesterday, so you may go home now.
  4. The policeman was considered a hero, for he was successful in arresting the murderer who had killed an old woman.
  5. If you think you can do it, just go and do it but do not complain later that I didn't warn you.
  6. He left and I never saw him again, nor did I regret that I lost him.
  7. This was not the car I liked but I had to buy it since I did not have enough money yet my wife liked that car.
  8. Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
  9. Among the many reasons which make me glad to have been born in England, one of the first is that I read Shakespeare in my mother tongue. [Note that this is only a compound sentence & not a compound complex
    sentence
    as there is only one independent clause]
  10. Those who look into the practical life will realize that fortune is usually on the side of the industrious, as the winds and waves are on the side of the best navigators. [Note that this is only a compound sentence & not a
    compound complex sentence as there is only one independent clause]
  11. I have no sympathy with the poor man I saw, who committed suicide yesterday as he confessed that he killed his wife, but I am sorry about his kid.
  12. We had in this village a girl whom I remember, who from his childhood showed a strong liking for bees [Note that this is only a compound sentence & not a compound complex sentence as there is only one independent clause]
  13. I am satisfied with things as they are, and it will be my pride and pleasure to hand over my estate to my children as I received it from those who preceded me.
  14. He is a fine gentleman who never speaks of himself except when compelled, never defends himself by a mere retort; he has no ears for slander or gossip and he interprets everything for the best.

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