Compound Sentences

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A compound sentence is a sentence that consists of two or more independent clauses (simple sentences) joined by a coordinating conjunction or a semicolon. Each independent clause in a compound sentence has a subject and a verb and expesses a complete thought.

There are seven coordinating conjunctions that are normally used to join independent clauses. The table below lists each coordinating conjunction along with its correct usage and a sample sentence.

Coordinating Conjunction Usage Sample Sentence
for cause and effect I need to make a lot of money, for I want to get married soon.
or alternatives He is very smart, or he studies a lot.
nor alternatives He doesn't like beef, nor does he like chicken.
and similar ideas Jim washed the dishes, and Judy cleaned the living room.
yet contrasting ideas Mike didn't want to go, yet he knew he had to.
but opposite ideas Paul earns a lot of money, but he is always broke.
so cause and effect His car was worn out, so Mike decided to buy a new one.
Practice

Try joining the sentence pairs below. Which coordinating conjunction should be used to join the sentences? When you think you have joined the sentence pairs correctly, ask your teacher to check your answers.

  1. She was alone. She was happy.

  2. The dog was afraid. It hid under the chair.

  3. You may apply by email. You may apply by phone.

  4. Bob taught the lesson. Carol helped the students.

  5. Mary doesn't like baseball. Mary doesn't like basketball.

  6. I hate going to the dentist. I know sometimes it is necessary.

  7. Romeo climbed the stone wall. He wanted to see Juliet.