Improve Your Writing with Compound and Complex Sentences
What are they?
I talked about simple sentences in the last blog entry. Today, I am covering both the compound and complex sentences.
(Both video links are listed below.)
All of these are simply different kinds of sentences based on structure.
Compound sentences are basically two (or more) simple sentences combined in some manner. In other words, a compound sentence has two or more independent clauses. Of course, there are certain rules and conventions that dictate how they can be combined.
Some of the most common and useful methods are to use coordinating conjunctions.
Remember that there are seven of these: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. (Use FANBOYS as a mnemonic to remember them.) Notice the comma before the coordinating conjunction when joining to independent clauses.
The creature was quiet, but it smelled like pizza, so everyone knew where it was.
Julia loves to cook, but she loves eating even more!
Often conjunctive adverbs or transitional expressions can be used to join independent clauses to make compound sentences. There are lots of conjunctive adverbs and transitional expressions, but here are a few very useful ones to get you started: however, therefore, moreover, then, otherwise, furthermore, specifically, instead, as a matter of fact, for example, on the other hand, for instance, as a result, at any rate, at the same time. Notice the semicolon before and the comma after the conjunctive adverb or transitional expression when joining two independent clauses.
Everyone enjoyed the parade; however, the weather was not pleasant.
One should eat a healthy diet; on the other hand, it is not a sin to have a treat now and again.
Complex sentences contain one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.
Reminder: Independent clause = can stand alone
Dependent clause = cannot stand alone (requires more information or needs to be attached to an independent clause).
After the party ended, everyone went home to bed.
The purple elephant loves to dance at night when nobody is watching.
Now you have three of the four kinds of sentences by structure: simple, compound, and complex.
Use each one in your writing to provide variety and a nice flow. It is always easier to read text that is not stilted or boring. Mixing it up can solve this problem.
Your writing will be easier to comprehend as well if there is some variety. There are several ways to achieve this including using longer and shorter sentences, using varied vocabulary, and providing different kinds of sentences by structure.
Also, you will have more fun writing when you incorporate new skills and techniques.
As always, I encourage you to take a few lessons or a writing course.
I would love to be your reading / writing coach!
For more tips, check out these videos.