Looking for compound-complex sentences examples? These 25 have everything you need for a great lesson.
You might worry a little about how to teach compound-complex sentences, but compound-complex sentences aren’t as complicated as they seem or actually very scary at all.
(See – I just used one!)
Still, compound sentences can feel a bit tricky, so let’s dive in a bit and learn more about compound complex sentences and how to share them with our kids.
We might even be able to make learning about compound sentences fun!
Teaching Compound Sentences: What Are They?
A compound sentence is when we take two independent clauses, and push them together, (or at least that’s how I learned it in school.)
To combine the clauses into one compound sentence, we just need to add a colon, semicolon or a conjunction like and, but, for, so or yet.
(Need a resource for teaching and helping kids to remember conjunctions? Try FANBOYS from Grammarly.)
For example: We always eat tacos on Tuesdays. + I better make some guacamole.
We can combine those this way:
We always eat tacos on Tuesdays; I better make some guacamole.
I better make some guacamole: we always eat tacos on Tuesday.
We always eat tacos on Tuesdays, so I better make some guacamole.
How do you know if you use a colon or semicolon?
Here’s the easiest way to figure it out: a colon often introduces a second sentence which clarifies the previous one.
A semicolon shows that two sentences are related in some way.
I need to get to the store today; we don’t have any avocados.
I need to get to the store: we are out of avocados and it’s Taco Tuesday.
Clauses and Sentence Types
There are simple sentences, and then there are compound sentences.
But what makes a sentence simple or complex?
A simple sentence has one subject and one predicate.
I ate all the guacamole.
(In this sentence the subject is I and the predicate is ate all the guacamole.)
This sentence is also an independent clause.
And an independent clause contains:
- A subject
- A verb
- And forms a complete thought.
So for instance, I am craving warm chocolate chip cookies.
OR I’m going to check the freezer for frozen cookie dough.
You can see we have a subject in each sentence (a person who likes cookies and cookie dough), and a verb in each sentence:
And each of those independent clauses forms its own little mini sentence or simple sentence.
But we can combine them into a compound sentence, which is two or more simple sentences joined together. That means a compound sentence has two subjects and two predicates (or more!)
We can combine the simple sentences this way:
I am craving warm chocolate chip cookies, so I‘m going to check the freezer for frozen cookie dough.
But wait: what about compound-complex sentences?
A complex sentence is one that has an independent clause and a dependent clause:
If we’re going to eat spaghetti, we have to have sauce.
Now, on its own, We have to have sauce is a sentence.
But something is a little unclear. What kind of sauce do we need?
Do we need:
- Chocolate sauce?
- Soy sauce?
- Barbecue sauce?
- Caramel sauce?
- Tartar sauce?
If we see the whole complex sentence, we know we’re having spaghetti. So we probably need spaghetti sauce, right?
But if we just read If we’re going to eat spaghetti … that isn’t a complete thought.
If we’re going to eat spaghetti …
What is going to happen?
- We’ll have to spend three hours making meatballs?
- We’ll have to rob the spaghetti store?
- We’ll all have to wear bibs?
- We have to save some for the dog?
In this case the first part of the sentence DEPENDS on the second part, otherwise, it’s not even a sentence.
(Plus, it’s chaos: everyone is pulling out bibs, and making meatballs and calling the dog and potentially robbing Spaghetti City.)
Looking for more information? This video all about compound-complex sentences can help.
25 Excellent Compound-Complex Sentence Examples (that are fun for kids!)
So here is where it gets really fun. We’re going to combine compound and complex sentences, so hold on to your hat!
Compound-complex sentences have to have more than one independent clause, and at least one dependent clause.
Here are 25 examples of compound-complex sentences.
- Though Chris likes comedy movies best, he just watched the first Harry Potter movie, and really enjoyed it.
- I invited Julia to go to the Taylor Swift concert, and she can go, but only if your mom can drive her too.
- Yaffe wants to order pizza: he likes pineapple, but not mushrooms.
- As soon as Carol heard the news, she ordered balloons, and started baking a cake.
- You can eat French fries at the restaurant, or get them from the drive-through, but they might get cold that way.
- Dara wanted to go to the museum, but she realized there is a mummy exhibit, so now she’s too scared.
- I usually eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, but yesterday I tried a peanut butter and banana sandwich, and it was delicious.
- Shelly is a very bold turtle and she loves exploring, but got lost once.
- There’s a restaurant down the street where Lakshmi and I used to eat pretty frequently, but we haven’t been there since she found a hair in her soup.
- Tracy is a twin; her sister is Lisa and they look identical.
- Cleo likes panda bears; Oscar likes dolphins, but both like tigers and llamas.
- I was making tea, so I looked for cookies, but I couldn’t find any.
- On their way to Grandma’s house, Sylvia read a book, Priscilla knitted a scarf, and Banana the dog got car sick; he always does.
- Vishal only knew Marcel for one semester of college, but they both decided to go to Dollywood for Spring Break, and they had a great time.
- Simon and Grace went to the renaissance fair, but they didn’t dress up, so a jester teased them relentlessly: they’re not going back tomorrow.
- Thalia loves skateboarding at the skatepark, but she forgot her knee pads this morning, so she’s pretty grumpy.
- Chanda makes amazing pies; she gets her recipes from her grandma, who is 99 years old.
- I like vampires; Balthazar prefers werewolves, so we fight a lot.
- Branwen dyed her hair purple: her mom said she could dye it blonde, so she got in trouble.
- All these months later, I still don’t understand why Dr. Jupiter brought a chimpanzee to Spanish class.
- Nanna always says, if you eat watermelon seeds, you’ll grow a watermelon in your stomach, because that’s what happened to her Uncle Perdie.
- Dabby studied so much for that test: studying really pays off, he did well and now he’s going to be a rodeo clown.
- Popeye is an older cartoon; it’s about a guy who eats Spinach and has a girlfriend named Olive.
- To get to Platform 9 ¾, you have to go to King’s Cross Station, and then run at a wall.
- Wednesday loves Halloween; it’s her favorite holiday, and she always has fun.