Difference Between Compound Sentences and Complex Sentences

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 15, 2023


Difference Between Compound Sentences and Complex Sentences

Why read @ Diffzy

Our articles are well-researched

We make unbiased comparisons

Our content is free to access

We are a one-stop platform for finding differences and comparisons

We compare similar terms in both tabular forms as well as in points


There are several varieties of sentences. It is possible to write engagingly and successfully by understanding each of these categories and their peculiarities. The biggest unit in any dialect may be described as a phrase. A sentence in English starts with a capital letter and is punctuated by a full stop, an exclamation point, or a question mark. Simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences are the four primary groups into which sentences may be further classified.

Many people find it difficult to distinguish between the two. A sentence is considered to be compound if it contains more than one verb or verbal periphrasis and, thus, more than one predicate. In other words, it entails joining two or more phrases into a single one. Different methods may be used to create this union, and these methods define the kind of compound sentence. A sentence that comprises two or more separate clauses connected by coordinating conjunctions is referred to as a compound sentence.

Compound Sentences vs Complex Sentences

Compound sentences are different from complex sentences in that they include many independent clauses without any dependent clauses. One independent clause and at least one dependent clause make up a complex sentence. Two or more separate clauses make constitute a compound sentence. A sentence that represents a full notion or idea is called an independent clause. He Died, as an illustration. A coordinating conjunction joins the clauses of a compound sentence. In English, there are only seven coordinating conjunctions. For, And, Nor, But, or, yet, and so they are. Subordinate conjunctions are used in complex sentences to link independent and dependent clauses. While coordinating conjunctions are used to connect the independent clauses of a compound sentence.

A compound sentence consists of separate clauses that are two or more in number. In linking clauses, coordinating conjunctions are crucial. The complicated sentence consists of an independent clause and one or more independent clauses. Subordinating conjunction such as because, although, how, once, though, etc. are used while forming complex sentences.

Difference Between Compound Sentence and Complex Sentence in Tabular Form

Parameters of Comparison Compound Sentence Complex Sentence
Interpretation A sentence that has more than one subject or predicate There are clauses or a subordinate in the sentence
Formation Combining separate clauses 1 and 2 with a coordinating conjunction Independent clause + dependent clause
Dependent clauses don't have any Have one or more
Independent clauses Two or more Only one
Example The boy entered the room and came out after ten minutes. Wherever you go, you can always find good people.

What are Compound Sentences?

Compound sentences are made up of two or more propositions.  SN subject and SV predicate that make up a proposition are linked together to produce sentences. Because it may convey a notion, a simple phrase is also known as an independent clause. In a basic sentence, there is a subject and a verb. A compound sentence, which is the next level of a sentence, is created by joining two independent clauses with a coordinator. Because it may convey a notion, a simple phrase is also known as an independent clause. In a basic sentence, there is a subject and a verb. A compound sentence, which is the next level of a sentence, is created by joining two independent clauses with a coordinator. Recognizing and evaluating phrases that are juxtaposed and coordinated A sentence may be straightforward or complex. Any sentence with two or more propositions is referred to as a compound sentence. That is sentences that include more than one verb and a predicate, such as those formed by joining two basic phrases together using a connector. Compound sentences include two or more predicates and more than one verb or verbal periphrasis.

There are coordinated sentences on the one hand. The second method involves employing a conjunctive adverb to link two separate phrases. The two separate clauses may be joined in the third method by a single semicolon. There are several sorts of compound sentences, including coordinated, subordinate, and juxtaposed. Coordinated sentences fall under the same heading, Coordination is the combination of two or more syntactically independent or sole phrases with the same functional value. Compound sentences must follow certain punctuation rules, which must be mastered. Without them, your sentence will become an unwelcome run-on. There are several methods to form compound sentences. A compound sentence tells the reader that you are talking about two concepts that are equally essential, regardless of how it is written. Two separate clauses are connected with a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, still, so) to form a compound sentence. A comma should come just before coordinating conjunction unless the phrase is very brief.


1. We studied for many hours for the test. We didn't pass the test.  

-> We studied for many hours for the test, but we didn't pass it.

2. Johnny doesn't need a new mobile. He also doesn't want a laptop.

-> Johnny doesn't need to buy a new mobile, nor does he need a laptop. 

Compound Sentence Construction Techniques:


Example:  I spent all my savings, so I can’t go to Spain this summer

Method 2: Independent clause followed by a semicolon (;)

Example: Ms White is a great teacher; she has recommended this book to us

Method 3


Example: I am disgusted with your behaviour; however, I will give you another chance.

Writing a Compound Sentence Steps

Step 1

Add coordinating conjunction. Coordinating conjunction show how and why ideas are connected.

Step 2

When creating a compound sentence, use a comma before the coordinating conjunction. conjunctions serve to clarify the relationship between concepts.

Step 3

To create a compound sentence, use a semicolon. Whenever two concepts are connected tightly, a semicolon should be used.

Step 4

Use a conjunctive adverb to create a compound sentence.

Step 5

Creating a compound sentence requires the use of a transitional phrase. Place a semi-colon before the transitional statement, just like with conjunctive adverbs.

Examples of Compound Sentences:

  1. I knew he would be very busy all day, so I decided to bake some biscuits.
  2. In some places, it is very hot in the summer, in others, it is not.
  3. John made the birthday cake, and Eli bought the gifts.
  4. I looked for Mary and Samantha at the bus station, but they arrived at the station before noon and left on the bus before I arrived.

What is a Complex Sentence?

Complex sentences are more diversified and challenging than compound sentences. The value of the clauses of a complicated statement is not distributed equally. In a complicated sentence with two clauses, one of them will be less significant than the other since it will be a component of the other one. The less significant component in a complicated statement containing two parts is referred to as the dependent clause, while the more significant clause is referred to as the main clause. Complex sentences are similar to simple sentences in that they are both clauses and sentences since the primary clause includes the dependent clause, making it comparable to the complex sentence itself.

‘She said, that the dog was on the log that she normally sits on.’

The dependent clause "that the dog was on the log that she normally sits on" in this instance is nested within the dependent clause "that she normally sits on," which is itself nested inside the full complicated phrase or clause. We may say that there are three layers of nesting in the whole complicated statement. It is by no means unusual for sentences to have four or five layers of nesting while yet being completely clear and understandable. The order of the sentences determines where the comma should go. Put the comma right after and before the independent clause when the dependent clause comes first. Also, There is no need for a comma when the independent clause comes first.

Noun clauses are those that serve as the subjects or objects of longer sentences. Adverbial clauses are defined as clauses that function as adverbials. A complicated sentence is also just a collection of small phrases, so to speak. Two basic statements may be joined together to form a complex sentence using conjunctions. An independent clause functions on its own and does not depend on any other clauses to make meaning. A dependent (or subordinate) clause, on the other hand, is "depending" on the independent clause to make meaning. Dependent clauses, which cannot stand alone, supplement an existing sentence with new information. A connecting phrase that connects a dependent sentence to an independent clause is known as a subordinating clause. They resemble coordinating conjunctions, which link two independent clauses together, but they don't sound the same. The easiest conjunction to use when creating complicated phrases is "and."


  • Although Tom reads novels, Jack reads comics.
  • When he was younger, Mike had many dogs.
  • Many people enjoyed the movie; however, William did not

Because they provide more information clearly and succinctly, complex sentences are often utilised in spoken and written English. Complex sentences may be very informative since they might include several dependent clauses. Compound and compound-complex sentences are comparable to complex sentences, but they are not the same. At least two clauses, one independent and one or more dependent, are present in complicated sentences.

Complex sentences may be formed by joining clauses in one of three ways. By using related pronouns: who, whose, that, and which.

Conjunctions (subordinating): if, where, before, while, because, although, as, when, till, unless, through, by, since, whenever, etc.

Verb forms with a participle ending in -ing or -ed or an infinitive verb form, such as to go, to become, or to see, are examples of non-finite verb structures.

Examples of Complex Sentences:

  1. The London-based Tibet Information Network says it has evidence that this almost medieval dungeon houses torture cults that strap nuns to wooden crosses
  2. If the three satellites had been deployed as the designers intended, their electronic sensing devices would have provided valuable information.
  3. When they bought the house that they’re living in now, interest rates were very high.
  4. His only asset was a stove that he had purchased because he wanted to resell it

Difference Between Compound and Complex Sentences In Points

  1. A coordinator is used to connect two independent clauses in a complex sentence. The coordinator is a conjunction that may change how a statement is understood.
  2. A complicated sentence has two or more clauses, one of which is an independent clause and one or more of which are dependent.
  3. Compound sentences are used to reflect connections or express concepts.
  4. Despite having a subject and a verb in a dependent clause, a complicated phrase nevertheless does not make sense.
  5. The amount of independent and dependent clauses makes up the majority of the distinction between a compound and a complicated sentence. A complicated sentence only has one independent clause, but a compound sentence must have at least two separate clauses.
  6. A complicated sentence has at least one dependent clause, but a compound sentence doesn't have any.


Compound sentences are those that have at least two separate clauses connected by coordinating conjunctions. In contrast, complex sentences must always include one independent clause and must combine at least one dependent clause with a subordinating conjunction. This indicates that a complicated sentence's clauses are not structurally equal. Complex sentences and compound sentences both utilise two or more clauses in a single sentence, making them interchangeable. Compound sentences employ coordinating conjunctions as for, yet, or, so, and others. Subordinating conjunctions are used in long phrases. The sort of clause they utilise, though, is where there are the most differences. It takes some experience to become acquainted with the rules of distinct clauses and how to combine them, particularly while learning all the many coordinating and subordinating conjunctions. Because it may express several concepts, a complex statement may be more effective. Additionally, employing conjunctions like although or because makes your writing more coherent by assisting the reader in understanding how concepts connect.


  • Difference Between Compound and Complex Sentences | Compare the Difference Between Similar Terms
  • How to Tell the Difference Between Compound and Complex Sentences? (myassignmentservices.com)
  • Complex Sentences & Compound Sentences: How to Tell the Difference (english-grammar-revolution.com)


Cite this article

Use the citation below to add this article to your bibliography:



MLA Style Citation

"Difference Between Compound Sentences and Complex Sentences." Diffzy.com, 2024. Thu. 13 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-compound-sentences-and-complex-sentences-1195>.

Edited by

Share this article