The Compound-Complex Sentence

Elizabeth O'Brien

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The Compound-Complex Sentence

A compound-complex sentence is made up of a compound sentence and a complex sentence. I would say these guys are properly named, wouldn't you?

  • The compound part of the equation means that the sentence has two (or more) independent clauses.

  • The complex part of the equation means that the sentence has at least one subordinate clause.

If you need a refresher on compound sentences or complex sentences, click on the links and check them out.

Compound-Complex Sentence Diagram www.GrammarRevolution.com/compound-complex-sentence.html

Tom cried because the ball hit him, and I apologized immediately.

 Let's analyze that sentence above and see if it has what it takes!

Tom cried = independent clause

because the ball hit him = dependent clause

I apologized immediately = independent clause

It works! This sentence has what it takes to be compound-complex. Let's look at some more examples.

Compound-Complex Sentence With Adjective Clause

compound complex sentence diagram

I would have purchased the cheese that you like, but it was too expensive.

I would have purchased the cheese = independent clause

that you like = dependent adjective clause modifying cheese

it was too expensive = independent clause

That you like is a dependent adjective clause modifying the noun cheese. Look at the diagram. Do you see how that you like is connected to cheese? That shows you that it's modifying cheese. Isn't that neat?

Compound-Complex Sentence With Noun Clause

Compound Complex Sentence Diagram Noun Clause

Rachael Ray explained how cookies are made, and we practiced her techniques at home.

Dependent noun clauses are kind of complicated. Because they function as nouns and can do any of the noun jobs, they are often an integral part of independent clauses. That's the case with this example. The dependent noun clause is the direct object of the verb explained.

Rachael Ray explained (how cookies are made) = independent clause

how cookies are made = dependent noun clause

we practiced her techniques at home = independent clause

Compound-Complex Sentence With An Adverb Clause

Compound-Complex Sentence Diagram with Adverb Clause

We had a party because we had lots of cookies, and our guests ate the yummy treats.

We had a party = independent clause

because we had lots of cookies = dependent adverb clause modifying had

our guests ate the yummy treats = independent clause

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Elizabeth O'Brien

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Learn about the other three sentence structures.