Compound Sentences vs Complex Sentences: Difference and Comparison

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.

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

Key Takeaways

  1. Compound sentences are made up of two or more independent clauses that are joined by a coordinating conjunction. In contrast, complex sentences comprise an independent clause and a dependent clause.
  2. Compound sentences are used to connect two or more related ideas, while complex sentences are used to show a relationship between ideas.
  3. Compound sentences use coordinating conjunctions like “and,” “but,” and “or,” while complex sentences use subordinating conjunctions like “although,” “because,” and “if.”

Compound Sentences vs Complex Sentences 

A compound sentence is one that has more than one main clause and should have at least two main clauses, also they should be combined using a coordinating conjunction or a conjunctive adverb; on the other hand, a complex sentence is one that should have a main clause and a subordinate clause.

Compound Sentences vs Complex Sentences

A 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.

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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 a 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, a 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
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Last Updated : 14 August, 2023

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