Compound-Complex Sentences

Definition of a Compound-Complex Sentence

A compound-complex sentence consists of two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

Examples of Compound-Complex Sentences

Some examples of compound-complex sentences would be the following (note the italicized dependent clauses):

I invited Bruno to the concert, but he can only go if one of us gives him a ride.

Kaci has a bountiful vegetable garden, so she is always outside when it is sunny.

As soon as I heard the news, I called Nathan, and we made plans to celebrate.

I passed the test, but I would have gotten a perfect score if I had studied for the vocabulary section.

You can come pick up the cake, or if you would prefer, we can deliver it to you.

Why You Should Use Compound-Complex Sentences in Your Writing

Using compound-complex sentences can enhance your writing in several ways:

Clarity and Variety: Compound-complex sentences allow you to express complex ideas more clearly. By combining independent clauses with dependent clauses, you can provide additional context or detail.

Flow and Coherence: These sentences create a smoother flow in your writing. They prevent monotony by varying sentence structure, making your text more engaging.

Sophistication: Employing compound-complex sentences demonstrates a higher level of writing skill. It shows that you can handle intricate sentence structures effectively.

When to Use Compound-Complex Sentences in Your Writing

Compound-complex sentences combine elements of both compound sentences and complex sentences, creating rich, intricate structures. Here’s when you might use them:

Nuanced Explanation: In academic writing or formal essays, compound-complex sentences allow you to provide nuanced explanations. They help you delve into complex ideas without sacrificing clarity.


Balancing Complexity: When you want to balance complexity and readability, these sentences come in handy. They add depth while maintaining a smooth flow.


Analytical Writing: In analytical writing (especially academic contexts), compound-complex sentences help represent intricate relationships and convey detailed information.

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Compound-Complex Sentences Worksheet

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