Origin of compound-complex sentence
Words nearby compound-complex sentence
MORE ABOUT COMPOUND COMPLEX SENTENCE
What is a compound-complex sentence?
In grammar, a clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. The subject is the word that indicates what a sentence is about or who or what is performing an action. A subject can be a noun (car, Tom), a noun phrase (short book, green apples), or a noun substitute (you, they). The predicate is a word that indicates what the subject is doing. A predicate is a verb (runs, is) and the words that govern or modify it (fast, hungry).
An independent clause contains a complete thought and can be used by itself as a sentence, as in It is time for lunch. A dependent clause does not contain a complete thought and can’t be used by itself. It depends on another clause to make sense, as in When the clock strikes noon.
In the sentence I went to the party, but Rick couldn’t go with me because he had to babysit. I went to the party and but Rick couldn’t go with me are independent clauses. Each can stand alone as a grammatically complete sentence (a complete thought). Because he had to babysit is a dependent clause. It’s not a complete thought and can’t stand alone.
Why are compound-complex sentences important?
The first records of the phrase compound-complex sentence come from around 1920. It combines the words compound, meaning “composed of two or more parts,” complex, meaning “made of parts,” and sentence, meaning “a grammatical unit of words that expresses an independent idea.” A compound-complex sentence combines aspects of both compound and complex sentences to make an even more complicated sentence.
Compound-complex sentences are the most complicated sentence structure that you can use in English. They are often very long, usually have multiple conjunctions, often have a number of punctuation marks, could have numerous prepositional phrases, and may even use more than one verb tense.
Compound-complex sentences are best used for sharing complicated ideas. However, they can be confusing for a reader or listener, especially if there are several compound-complex sentences in a row. Legal and medical writing often use this sentence structure, which is one reason they’re challenging to understand.
Because they have multiple independent clauses, you can make your writing easier to understand by breaking up compound-complex sentences into multiple sentences. For example:
- Compound-complex sentence: I tried to rescue the kitten from the tree, but she was scared because she was so high up in the air.
- Simple sentence and compound sentence: I tried to rescue the kitten from the tree. Unfortunately, she was scared because she was so high up in the air.
Did you know ... ?
Compound-complex sentences follow the same grammatical rules as both compound sentences and complex sentences. If compound-complex sentences are giving you trouble, review these other two types of sentences first and apply what you know about them to compound-complex sentences.
What are real-life examples of compound-complex sentences?
This graphic gives an example of a compound-complex sentence and splits it up into its separate clauses.
Compound-complex sentences are common in English, although people may find them tricky to handle.
I keep using compound complex sentences in my essay. Sigh.
— Jamal (@JajaPhD) February 14, 2020
petition to revise laws into simple sentences!! because most of them are compound or compound complex sentences with a sprinkle of dangling modifiers 😭
— 🐻🐨 (@ChrystineJoanne) January 22, 2021
What other words are related to compound-complex sentences?
Is the following sentence an example of a compound-complex sentence?
Whenever I see a majestic falcon, I carefully take a picture of it, but I won’t disturb it as I use my camera.
How to use compound-complex sentence in a sentence
As this list shows, punishments typically run to a short-ish jail sentence and/or a moderately hefty fine.
Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice turned herself in to serve a 15-month sentence for bankruptcy fraud.How a ‘Real Housewife’ Survives Prison: ‘I Don’t See [Teresa Giudice] Having a Cakewalk Here’|Michael Howard|January 6, 2015|DAILY BEAST
That Huckabee is mentioned in the same sentence with other aspiring conservative governors, especially Bobby Jindal, is laughable.
He scrambled outside to find a 25-foot-wide crater just beyond the mud wall surrounding his family compound.The Dangerous Drug-Funded Secret War Between Iran and Pakistan|Umar Farooq|December 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
It was a complex task they were asked to do, and every cultural and experiential advantage would be required.Why Did We Panic After 9/11 and Ignore All We Knew About Responding to Security Threats?|Deborah Pearlstein|December 18, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Before he could finish the sentence the Hole-keeper said snappishly, "Well, drop out again—quick!"Davy and The Goblin|Charles E. Carryl
He, with others, thinking the miss-sahib had gone to church, was smoking the hookah of gossip in a neighboring compound.
They held the compound against repeated assaults, and lost several men in hand-to-hand fighting.
Each sentence came as if torn piecemeal from his unwilling tongue; short, jerky phrases, conceived in pain and delivered in agony.Raw Gold|Bertrand W. Sinclair
Passing a bungalow that was blazing furiously, he saw in the compound the corpses of two women.
Cultural definitions for compound-complex sentence
A sentence that contains at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause: “Queen Elizabeth I was called a redhead (independent clause), but no one knew her hair color for sure (independent clause) because she always wore a wig (dependent clause).” “Because she always wore a wig” is a dependent clause starting with the subordinating conjunction (see subordination) because. (Compare complex sentence, compound sentence, and simple sentence.)