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Compound Sentence and Conjunctions

Grammar Tutorial




Most basic form of a sentence is simple sentence. It contains one subject and one predicate and expresses a complete thought.

Vicy wanted an IPad for her birthday. She got one.

Simple sentences like this one can be combined to make it a more interesting sentence.

Vicy wanted an IPad for her birthday and she got one.

The new sentence has two subjects-predicate sets. In fact, the original sentences are not changed at all. They are linked by the word and. The result is a compound sentence.

A compound sentence two or more connected sentences.


Compound sentences are most often linked by conjunctions that are words like and, or, but, yet.

Mr. Santiago does not have lawn mover. He doesn't want one.

becomes: Mr. Santiago does not have lawn mover and he doesn't want one.

Please turn down the TV. I can't sleep.

becomes: Please turn down the TV, or I can't sleep.

Conjunctions like sentences by showing how ideas are related. Each conjunction shows a certain kind of connection between two ideas.

Conjunctions and their Uses:

and: adds extra information

but, yet: shows how ideas are different

or: shows a choice between ideas

nor: shows a rejection of both ideas

for: connects an effect to a cause

so: connects a cause to this effect

Here are some examples of compound sentences. Notice that when two simple sentences are combined using a conjunction, the original sentences are not changed. The only exception to his rule is 'nor': the subject and verb in the second sentence are reversed.

Sam bought a jacket, and Selin bought a pair of gloves.

Pat hated painting, yet he finished the whole room.

The Simpson had a long trip behind them, so they left early.

Sara's baby wouldn't be quiet, nor would she keep still.

Commas used before Conjunctions:

A comma is used before the conjunctions in compound sentences. Remember, however, that a compound sentence has two-subject-verb sets, and each expresses a complete thought. If either part of the compound sentence does not express a complete thought or does not a have subject-verb set, then don't use a comma before the conjunction.

Charile bought flowers but forgot to give them to Sandra.

Charlie bought flowers, but he forgot to give them so Sandra.

The second part of the first sentence does not have a subject, so no comma needed. The second part of the second sentence has a subject, and a comma is used.

Other Conjunctions:

Some conjunctions that are made up of two parts are used in pairs:

both ... and

either ... or

not only ... but also

neither ... nor

"Not only do I take sugar in my coffee, but I also take milk."

"Either it rains when I go fishing, or it's sunny when I work."

A comma is used when a conjunction-in-pairs connects two-subject verb sets.



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