A compound-complex sentence is made by joining a compound sentence to either a subordinate
sentence or a complex sentence. A review of compound, subordinate, and complex sentences is
1. A compound sentence is made up of two independent sentences. Both independent sentences
have a subject and verb and express a complete thought. They can each stand alone as simple
sentences because they are independent. Compound sentence: We looked, and we turned left.
2. A subordinate sentence has a subject and a verb, but it does not express a complete thought
by itself. A subordinate sentence usually begins with a subordinate conjunction. It is the
subordinate conjunction that makes a sentence dependent upon an independent sentence to
complete its meaning. Subordinate sentence: After we stopped.
3. A complex sentence is made up of one independent sentence and one subordinate sentence.
Complex sentence: After we stopped, we looked.
Compound-complex sentence formulas are given at the end of each sentence. The formula inside
the first set of parentheses represents the first sentence, and the formula inside the second set of
parentheses represents the second sentence. Ways to write compound-complex sentences and
their formulas are given below.
A compound-complex sentence is made by joining a compound sentence to a subordinate
1. He walked to the car, and he unlocked the door after he left the office. (CD)(SUB, after)
The first sentence is compound: (CD). The second sentence is a subordinate sentence using the
conjunction after: (SUB, after)
2. After he left the office, he walked to the car, and he unlocked the door. (SUB, after)(CD)
The first sentence is a subordinate sentence using the conjunction after: (SUB, after). The second
sentence is compound: (CD).
Note: A compound complex sentence may also be made by joining a compound sentence to a
complete complex sentence with a coordinate conjunction (and, but, or) as demonstrated below.
a. He ate the sandwich, and he liked it, but since it was small, he soon grew hungry again.
(CD)(CX, since) The first sentence is compound: (CD). The second sentence is a complete
complex sentence using the subordinate conjunction since: (CX, since)
b. If the baker does Bob's cake, it will be great, but Bob may see it, and the secret will be out.
The first sentence is a complex sentence using the subordinate conjunction if: (CX, if). The
second sentence is compound: (CD).
Exercise 1: Put a slash to separate each run-on sentence. Then correct the run-on sentences as
indicated by the labels in parentheses at the end of each sentence.
1. Night fell the crickets sang the owls hooted. (SUB, when)(CO, and)
2. Your brothers repaired my car it still will not run I am upset. (SUB, although)(CO, and)
3. The pipes are frozen we have no water a plumber is here. (SUB, in as much as)(CO, but)
4. Uncle Carl is driving I will check the map you can check it for me. (SUB, while)(CO, or)
5. Constance left the fence post is leaning she backed into it. (SUB, since)(CO, because)
Exercise 2: Put a slash to separate each run-on sentence. Then on your notebook paper, correct
the run-on sentences as indicated by the labels in parentheses at the end of each sentence.
6. The wolves were howling the backpackers were feeling nervous they set up camp. (CD, and)
7. Todd could come to our house first then he could order the food Michele will not be ready yet.
(CD, and)(SUB, because)
8. Megan and Melissa giggled they wondered Chris would notice the sign on his back. (CD,
9. Wanda did not understand Jamie laughed Jim opened the gag gift. (CD, but)(SUB, as)
10. We did not miss the lecture we still found plenty of food we were late. (CD, and)(SUB,
Exercise 3: Identify each kind of sentence by writing the abbreviation in the blank (S, F, SCS,
SCV, CD, CX, CD-CX):
_______11. Marcus planned the costume, and Dottie stitched it together.
_______12. If you will send me a copy of the most recent issue of the magazine from the library.
_______13. When John accidentally pushed the buzzer during the competition, he guessed the
_______14. The spider, crawling down from the ceiling into the potted plant near the fireplace,
decorated her web with lace-like trim.
_______15. After Beth had left, I found three guinea pigs behind the couch, and they were
chewing on my drapes.
_______16. The boy on the bike avoided the large dog although it ran out into the street
_______17. The geese ran across the field flapping their wings because they were upset after the
_______18. He talked, and she listened because she liked him.
Exercise 4: Use the 2 or 3 complete thoughts in bold print to write each kind of sentence listed
below. Use the first thoughts for all sentences except the CD-CX sentence. Use all three thoughts
for the CD-CX sentence.
the buses run / school is out / the day is over
19. (CX, when, 1)
20. (S. S)
21. (CD, and)
22. CD-CX: (CD, and)(SUB, when)