Difference Between Compound Sentences and Complex Sentences

In our daily life, sentences play an important role because through this we can share our thoughts with someone else. The term “sentence” means words that are grouped and contains a verb and subject.


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What is the term used to describe a language that has no written form?

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What is the term used to describe words that add meaning to sentences, but are not necessary to form a complete sentence?

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Ahmed is 65 kg, and Ali is 50 kg, so Ahmed is _ _ _ _ _ _ Ali.

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I ______ a reply to my letter in the next few days.

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What is the term for a word that is spelled and pronounced the same way but has a different meaning?

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She’s wearing a ________ dress.

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Which phrase is erroneous?

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Fill in the blank. “Bad weather can ________ people’s ability to work.”

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Sentences can be categorised into simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, and compound-complex sentences.

Compound Sentences vs Complex Sentences 

The difference between compound sentences and complex sentences is that in compound sentences there is no dependent clause but it consists of multiple independent clauses. On the other hand, complex sentences contain more than one or only one dependent clause and an independent clause. Compound sentences use coordinating conjunctions such as for, yet, or, so, etc. Whereas subordinating conjunctions are used in complex sentences.  

Compound Sentences vs Complex Sentences

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The sentence which is made up of independent clauses which are two or more in number is known as a compound sentence. Coordinating conjunction plays an important role in connecting clauses.

An independent clause with one or more than one independent clause makes up the complex sentence. Subordinating conjunction such as because, although, how, once, though, etc. are used while forming complex sentences.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonCompound SentencesComplex Sentences
InterpretationSentence with more than one predicate or subject.The sentence contains clauses or a subordinate.
FormationIndependent clause1 + coordinating conjunction + independent clause2Independent clause + dependent clause
Dependent clausesDo not have any.Have one or more.
Independent clausesTwo or more.Only one.
ExampleGrace opened the door and she looked outside.When he won the award, everyone cheered.

What are Compound Sentences? 

Compound sentences are sentences that contain independent clauses in two or more than that number. An Independent clause is nothing but a sentence which do not depend on anything and hence, gives a complete meaning.

Comma helps to link compound sentences. Coordinating conjunctions also link these kinds of sentences by connecting phrases, words, and independent clauses.

To make a compound sentence, the semicolon is also used instead of coordinating conjunction or comma. They tell about two complete thoughts which are related to any idea.

What are Complex Sentences? 

Complex sentences are sentences that contain dependent clauses in more than one or only one number with one independent clause.

Complex sentences are completed with the help of subordinating conjunctions. Subordinating conjunctions are mainly words that connect an independent to a dependent clause.

Complex sentences are known as “complex” because they are much different from simple sentences. While a little bit similar to compound sentences.   

Main Differences Between Compound Sentences and Complex Sentences 

  1. To begin a compound sentence, coordinating conjunction is not used. On the other hand, at the beginning of the complex sentence subordinating conjunction is most required.  
  2. When it comes to clarity and specification of sentences, compound sentences are not much clearer. As a result, compound sentences are not much effective than complex sentences. 
Difference Between Compound Sentences and Complex Sentences
  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4177763
  2. https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=pjNwpxL9FxQC&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=complex+sentences&ots=Uh0eA-TyiI&sig=GOsK1u4_XS0txztFgPFXDTJnq6E
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