How To Write Correct Sentences: Part 4-Compound-Complex Sentences

Have you ever read a sentence that seems to go on for pages and pages, yet it is entirely grammatically correct? Writers who understand how parts of sentences fit together gain the freedom to be able to construct ridiculous syntactical wonders like that. Of course, you don’t want to write like that all the time–Simple Sentences can be just as impressive if used correctly–but it’s nice to know how to do it when you need it.

Once you know how to create Simple Sentences, Compound Sentences, and Complex Sentences, you can combine the elements in these sentences to create longer, more intricate and elaborate sentences.  These are the types of sentences that can really wow your reader if you use them right–we’re talkin’ A+, college level writing that makes a person sound all smart and fancy.

Because Compound-Complex sentences are pretty much just pieces of other types of sentences that have been combined in different ways, there is practically an infinite number of ways to make them, so we’ll just show you a couple of examples.

1. Subordinating Conjunction+ Independent Clause(,) Independent Clause(,) Coordinating Conjunction+ Independent Clause(.)

Because I need an example here, I will fill in the blanks with random stuff, and then I will go back and put in real information.

Since I missed most of the movie, I decided to see it again, but this time I didn’t get the extra large soda.

2.  Independent Clause(,) Coordinating Conjunction+ Independent Clause+ Subordinating Conjunction+ Independent Clause(.)

The dog in the movie signed a million dollar contract, but the deal was worth it since the negotiations were rough.

I’ve been too lazy to get my learner’s permit, so I won’t be getting my license until I have more drive.

There are many ways to make sentences (besides just making bad jokes), but don’t get too worried about it; as long as you follow the basic rules for Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences, then the Compound-Complex Sentences you write should turn out fine.  However, if you still have some questions, feel free to send us a comment or email.  We’ll try to post the question and any answers we can provide.

Until next time.

-The SDA Writing Lab

How to Write Correct Sentences: Part 3-Complex Sentences

If you haven’t noticed yet, all these different sentence types are just building off of the ‘simple sentence’ form.  Simple sentences are made up of independent clauses (subject+verb (someone/something doing an action). New types of sentences are made when you join one independent clause up with another…and another…and another…etc.  There are different ways of joining these independent clauses together, but every sentence is essentially just independent clauses joined together in different ways.  There are also things called dependent clauses that attach to independent clauses.  We’ll get to those soon enough.

Complex sentences have something called a subordinating conjunction.  These conjunctions (words that join or connect parts of sentences) create a relationship between two independent clauses, making one independent clause the ‘subordinate’ of another, so to speak.  That means that the subordinating conjunction is telling you how one part of the sentence is related to the other.  Subordinating conjunctions include words like the following: after, although, as, because, before, if, since, though, unless, until, when, while…etc.

Ready for examples?

1.  Subordinating Conjunction+ Independent Clause(,) Independent Clause(.)

Because I ate a whole pizza, I have a stomach ache.

After I use the internet all day, my eyes cry out for rest.

Until it is daylight, we won’t drive through Vampireville.

Master of True Awesomeness

2.  Independent Clause+ Subordinating Conjunction+ Independent Clause(.)

We will leave the show after the dog jumps through the ring of hot dogs.

I like to jog because jogging makes me a better ninja.

I’ve canceled my gym membership since I had to walk there.

Growing Pains of Scientific Progress

To summarize, Complex Sentences are created when two or more Independent Clauses(someone/something doing something) are joined by a Subordinating Conjunction (word making one independent clause related to the other).  Any questions?

-the SDA Writing Lab