Compound and Complex Sentences
A compound sentence joins at least two or more simple sentences in three different ways: with a semicolon: This quarter our sales rates are twice lower than those of the previous month; we have to reconsider our sales policy.
a co-ordinating conjunction: This quarter our sales rates are twice lower than those of the previous month, so we have to reconsider our sales policy.
an independent marker: This quarter our sales rates are twice lower than those of the previous month; therefore we have to reconsider our sales policy.
Link the simple sentences with a semicolon, if they convey closely related ideas: The article explains the reasons of unemployment in Asian countries; it focuses on the blunders of the government in social policy.
You can also join simple sentences using one of the seven co-ordinating conjunctions in English: for, and, nor, but , or, yet , so.
E.g.: They are already divorced, but they keep on communicating with each other.
If you join the sentences with the help of independent markers, place a semi-colon before the marker and a comma after it. Though the comma is not obligatory it is better to use it:
He is doing his best to get a promotion; however, his attempts are left unnoticed by the employer.
The table below illustrates how we can use a coordinating conjunction or an independent marker for building up a compound sentence.
|Meaning||Co-ordinating conjunctions||Independent markers|
|adding||, and||; also,
|consequence, conclusion||, so||; accordingly,
; as a result,
|Tip||Recommended for formal writing to join shorter sentences.||Recommended for formal writing to link longer sentences.|
A complex sentence comprises one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses:
Because Jupiter has an enormous size and gravity [subordinate clause], the Galileo probe steadily gained velocity as it approached the planet [main clause].--"Halo Nuclei," Scientific American
As a rule the main idea of the whole sentence is expressed in the main clause. In contrast to a compound sentence the clauses of a complex sentence are not equal. We at once see which idea is more important.