Compound and Complex Sentences

  • Compound sentences: A compound sentence is two independent clauses joined by a conjunction (e.g., and, but, or, for, nor, yet, so).
  • Complex sentences: A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. The clauses in a complex sentence are combined with conjunctions and subordinators, terms that help the dependent clauses relate to the independent clause. Subordinators can refer to the subject (who, which), the sequence/time (since, while), or the causal elements (because, if) of the independent clause

Basics of Conjunctions

Conjunctions are parts of speech that connect words, phrases, clauses, or sentences. There are three kinds of conjunctions: coordinatingpaired, and subordinating.
Coordinating Conjunctions ( Соединительные союзы)
Coordinating conjunctions connect words or phrases that serve the same grammatical purpose in a sentence. There are seven main coordinating conjunctions in English, which form the acronym FANBOYS:

F: for: The teachers were frustrated, for the school had cut funding for all enrichment programs.*
A: and: In this course, I will write a literature review, a case study, and a final paper.**
N: nor: The students did not complete their homework, nor did they pass the test.
B: but: The study is several years old but still valuable to this study.
O: or: At the end of the class, the students can choose to write an essay or take a test.
Y: yet: The patient complained of chronic pain, yet she refused treatment.
S: so: I have only been a nurse for one year, so I have little experience with paper charting.
For is rarely used as a conjunction in modern English.
** When the conjunctions and and or connect three or more words or phrases, use a serial comma to separate items in the series.
Transitional words such as however and therefore can also function as conjunctions:
  • The authors agreed on the prevalence of the problem; however, they disagreed on the problem’s cause.
  • Several employees complained about the new policies, and therefore, the manager held an all-staff meeting to address their concerns.
Exercise 1.Insert the right coordination conjunction.
1. “I was required to listen to the opinions of others, ____ I was a more open-minded person after the class finished.”
2. “Discussions in class teach students how to communicate effectively, _______ they can use this skill to excel in their future careers”
3. "Books are much longer than online articles, ______ they are much useful to students."
4. "I based my research on the book rather than the articles, ______ I was able to write an insightful essay."
5. "The assignment made up about half of my total grade in the class, ______ I approached my work with diligence and care.
6. "No one was injured, _____we suffered a lot of emotional trauma.
7. I will need to  ask my professor for help, _____spend a lot of time researching the topic in the library
8. I was unable to find a job, _____ all of the businesses in my town have closed down.
9. I spent several hours every evening studying for the test, _______ I still got a low score.
10. Saving for the future can be difficult, _________ it will ensure a comfortable retirement.

Paired Conjunctions (Парные Союзы)

Paired conjunctions consist of two words or phrases that help make a point or establish alternatives. While paired conjunctions can be helpful in structuring a sentence, they can also make sentences wordier than necessary, so use these conjunctions sparingly.
  • both…and Both the students and the teachers were satisfied with the pilot program.
Note: When two subjects are connected by both…and, use a plural verb (such as are or were).
  • not only…but also Not only did the student include full sentences from the source without using quotation marks, but he also failed to properly cite paraphrased material.
  • either…or Either the students were unprepared or the assessment was poorly written..
  • neither…nor.....The staff neither followed the new policy nor asked for clarification.
Exercise 2.
1. People back then had _______safe working conditions, nor effective safety equipment.
2. The project will require significant investments of ______ time and money.
3. Students who did not complete the assignment received not _______ a poor grade but _______ a warning from the teacher
4. Participants in the survey could ________ choose from a list of possible answers or write in their own responses
5. Students who did not complete the project received neither praise _______ rewards.
Subordinating Conjunctions (Подчинительные Союзы)
Subordinating conjunctions join a subordinate clause to a main clause and establishes a relationship between the two. There are many subordinating clauses, but here are some of the most common:
  • after
  • although
  • as much as/as soon as/as long as
  • as though
  • because
  • before
  • how
  • if
  • in order to/in order that
  • once
  • since
  • than
  • that
  • though
  • unless
  • until
  • when/whenever
  • where/wherever
  • whether
  • while
There are two ways to structure a sentence using a subordinating conjunction:
·Main clause + subordinate clause (Главное предложение+придаточное предложение).
  1. The teacher administered the test after giving instructions.
  2. The author must avoid bias if she wants to maintain a scholarly tone.
  3. I will turn in this assignment at midnight whether or not I complete it.
· Subordinate clause + , + main clause ( Подчиненное предложение +, + главное предложение)
  1. After giving instructions, the teacher administered the test.
  2. If she wants to maintain a scholarly tone, the author must avoid bias.
  3. Whether or not I complete this assignment, I will turn it in at midnight.
Exercise. Insert the right Subordinating Conjunction. Subordinate clause + , + main clause
2. After I received a medal, I went home.
3. When I was a child, I got poor marks.
4. Until you move, there is nothing I can do.
5. Before I was married, I was lonely.
6. Because you hate me, I am very angry.
7. Although I am happy, I could do better.
8. Though he is my best friend, he makes me upset.
9. Even though you like him, I do not trust him.
Exercise. Turn the sentences around to make Main clause + subordinate clause. Most of them do not require a comma.
Ex. Once I became an adult, I started to act responsibly. I started to act responsibly once I became an adult.