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