What is a Compound Sentence? Definition, Examples, Structure, Words

What is a Compound Sentence? Definition

Compound Sentence Definition

The type of sentences that contain at least two clauses i.e two independent clauses (minimum two independent clauses; it can be more than two also) are known to be compound sentences.

Compound Sentence Examples

Let’s see a few examples of compound sentences,

  • Rohan likes to eat pasta but Ram likes to eat pizza.
  • I have chocolate and he has candy.
  • I ate both pizza and pasta.

Parts of Compound Sentences

Independent clause

The type of clause that can stand alone as a sentence is known as an independent clause. It contains two things: a subject and a verb. They are also called the main clause.

For example-

  • The cricket match was canceled.
  • The food was very tasty.
  • John didn’t buy chocolate.

Coordinating Conjunction

Coordinating conjunction is a word that is used to join two equal things of equal grammatical rank and syntactic importance.

  • These conjunctions are the most famous family of conjunctions.
  • They are used to put two equal ideas together.

They can be used to join different things like,

  • two verbs,
  • two clauses,
  • two phrases,
  • two nouns and
  • two adjectives.

Coordinating conjunctions give equal importance to the words or sentences that they connect.

For example,

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

The trick to remember the coordinating conjunctions is FANBOYS (Match this pattern with the above-given list of examples).

Ways to Join Independent Clauses in Compound Sentences

Way 1: Join two independent clauses with the help of Coordinating Conjunctions

The general way to Join the independent clauses using Coordinating Conjunctions-

Independent clause1, + Coordinating Conjunction + Independent clause2


The comma should always be put before the coordinating conjunction. If clauses are short then commas can be removed or ignored.

For example-

  • He is handsome, but he is illiterate.
  • He lives in Mumbai, and I live in Punjab.
  • Will you go or I go?
  • Ram never wrote the letter, nor did she call him.
  • Rohan felt hot, for it was so hot outside.
  • Ram has never been to London, nor has he visited the US.

Way 2: Join two  independent clauses with the help of  semicolons to form a Compound sentence

The general way to join independent clauses with the help of semicolons

Independent clause1 + ; + Independent clause2

For example-

  • The sun is shining; it will not rain today.
  • He studied very little; he failed the exams.
  • I washed the clothes; Ram dried them in the sun.
  • Spain is my favorite place; I plan to visit it next year.
  • Preeti said that she didn’t visit Amritsar; Rohan saw her there.

Way 3: Joining independent clauses using conjunctive adverbs

Conjunctive adverbs are the type of adverbs that connect two independent clauses. They are used to create smaller sentences(in length).

Pattern for Joining independent clauses using conjunctive adverbs

Independent clause + ; + conjunctive adverb + , + independent clause

For example-

  • Mart likes to dance to English songs; however, Mary doesn’t.
  • Rohan likes to read all the books; however, he doesn’t like to read novels.
  • I have a lot of candies; however, none of them is delicious.
  • Rohan finished his homework; then, the guests arrived.

Important Points to Keep in Mind

Put a comma at the right place in the sentence

In compound sentences, normally conjunctions like and, but, etc are preceded by a comma. But people might be stuck in between simple and compound sentences. For better understanding, look at the example below:

  • Ram sings and dances well

( This is a simple sentence, that’s joining two Verbs: “sings” and “dances”. It’s a simple sentence, so there is no need for a comma in this sentence.)

  • Ram cooks delicious food, and Reeta eats it happily.

( This is a compound sentence, so there is a comma put before the conjunction “and”).

Removing  Run-on Sentences

Run-on sentences are the type of sentences formed by joining two sentences without proper punctuation. So in compound sentences, to avoid a run-on sentence, we can’t just use a comma.

Compound Sentence Examples Checking

Incorrect sentences

For example:

  • I washed the clothes, Ram dried them in the sun.
  • The sun is shining, it will not rain today.
  • I didn’t go to school today, I was not well.

Correct sentences

For example:

  • I washed the clothes; Ram dried them in the sun.
  • The sun is shining; it will not rain today.
  • I didn’t go to school today because I was not well.

Complex vs Compound Sentence

The type of sentences that contain at least two clauses i.e two independent clauses (minimum two independent clauses; it can be more than two also.) are called compound sentences.

They make the use of coordinating conjunctions to join the independent clauses to form a whole sentence. The clauses that are joined with the help of coordinating conjunction to form a compound sentence carry equal importance in the sentence. Also, both the clauses carry equal structural importance.

A general way for forming a Compound sentence

Independent clause1 + coordinating conjunction + independent clause2

For example-

  • The boy is dancing and the girl is singing.
  • My father is watching television and my brother is accompanying him.
  • I am doing my work and Rohan is helping me out.

The type of sentences that are used to join two types of clauses: independent clause or main clause and at least one dependent or subordinate clause are called complex sentences. They use subordinating conjunctions to form complete meaningful sentences. In complex sentences, both two clauses carry unequal structural importance. Also, both the clauses are of unequal importance in a sentence. In other words, the independent clause is of greater importance than the subordinate clause.

The general way to form a Complex sentence

Independent clause + subordinating conjunction + Dependent clause


Subordinating conjunction + dependent clause + independent clause

For example-

  • Mary will go with you unless you obey her.
  • The hens are in the cool because they are afraid of humans.
  • I will give you more cookies if you help me out in my work.
  • The teacher came to Mart’s desk when he was sleeping.
  • They finished their race after the chief guest arrived.


Hence, we have got the basic idea about compound sentences along with a lot of examples, explanations, definition, etc.

Any questions, please feel to ask!

Refer a Few Highly Rated Courses

The Complete English Grammar Course – Perfect Your English

English for Beginners: Intensive Spoken English Course

English Grammar Launch: Upgrade your speaking and listening

Building Your English Brain

English vocabulary: Upgrade your english speaking

English Grammar Pro Beginner to Advanced (A1-C1) Grammar

The English Master Course: English Grammar, English Speaking

Study Windows

Hello Friends! We are really happy to present you with various interesting articles to have core concepts in various subjects. Cheers!

Recent Posts