Compound Sentences – Writing Methods & Examples

While it is important to write sentences direct to the point, additional details can also be important. Additional details give more depth and meaning to your statements, making people understand you and the thoughts and ideas you want to put across.

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If writing using simple sentences are too direct, plain, and boring for you, you can always consider writing using compound sentences. With the use of compound sentences, you will not only be able to add more details to your written compositions you will also be able to give your writeups a colorful turn which, as a result, will engage and encourage your readers to read more of your writings.


Learn more about the compound sentences and the methods of writing one with the help of this article. We also provide you with examples to help you create your own.


Defining a Compound Sentence

Compound sentences contain two or more independent clauses that are joined together using three methods: a coordinating conjunction, a semicolon, and a transitional expression.

Do not confuse a compound sentence with a complex sentence because complex sentences are composed of independent clauses joined with a dependent clause while compound sentences are composed of two or more independent clauses that are joined together using coordinating conjunctions.


Independent Clause

A clause is a group of related words which consists of a subject and a verb.

There two types of independent clauses, namely: the independent clause and the dependent clause.

Compound sentences have two independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions or coordinators.

An independent clause is a type of clause that can stand by itself and can sometimes be considered as a simple sentence since it has a subject and a verb that expresses a complete thought in a more direct manner.


Methods of Writing and Joining Independent Clauses

There are three ways or methods of writing and joining two independent clauses in order to create a compound sentence.

Method 1: Use a Comma and a Coordinating Conjunction

Formula:  independent clause + comma (,) + coordinating conjunction + independent clause = compound sentence

A comma and a coordinating conjunction can be used to connect independent clauses in forming compound sentences. Make sure that the comma is placed before the coordinating conjunction.

Coordinating conjunctions also called as coordinators, join two independent clauses in order to construct a compound sentence.  There are seven coordinators and these are:

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

The seven coordinators can be memorized by the use of the mnemonic FANBOYS.


Method 2: Use a Semicolon (;)

Formula: independent clause + semicolon (;) + independent clause = compound sentence

The purpose of the semicolon is like that of a period. The semicolon puts a stop between two independent clauses but the difference between a semicolon and a period is that the word that starts after the semicolon is not in capital letters.

Make sure you do not use a semicolon when you would form separate compound sentences. Make sure you use semicolons between two clauses with similar and related ideas so that the connection between two things are clear.


Method 3: Use a Semicolon with a Transitional Expression

Formula: independent clause + semi-colon (;) + transitional expression + comma (;) + independent clause = compound sentence

To express or show how two ideas are related to each other, the use of a transitional expression is encouraged.

Transitional expressions also help in expressing or showing how one sentence is also related to its preceding statement.

It is best to use a transitional expression along with a semicolon in order to make the connection between two clauses smooth and makes it easier to be understood.

Here are some of the transitional expressions:

  • indeed
  • further
  • as well (as this)
  • either
  • neither
  • not only (this) but also (that) as well
  • also
  • moreover
  • what is more
  • as a matter of fact
  • in all honesty
  • furthermore
  • in addition (to this)
  • besides (this)
  • to tell the truth
  • in fact
  • actually
  • to say nothing of
  • too
  • let alone
  • much less
  • additionally
  • alternatively
  • on the other hand
  • not to mention (this)

To easily show relationships between two group of words with similar ideas, here are some of the ways:

  • If you want to add another similar thought or idea it is best to use the transitional expressions alsoin addition, and moreover.
  • If you want to show how two ideas are contrasting, you use: howeverin contrast, and on the other hand.
  • If you want to indicate a result or an effect on a particular cause, using thereforeas a result, and consequently will be the effective transitional expressions to use.
  • If you want to cite examples, the transitional expressions for examplefor instance, and a case in point are important so there will be no confusion.
  • If you are to list points in chronological order, using firstsecondthird; and nextthen is all you have to do so that you will be able to properly indicate the order of things.

Additional notes and reminders:

  • A comma should always be added after the transitional expression.
  • A transitional expression is not either a coordinating or a subordinating conjunction. This also means that it can never join, grammatically, clauses together. This is the reason why transitional expressions and semicolons should always go together when joining two independent clauses.
  • Always use a semicolon or period before the transitional expression and never a comma. If you use a comma, it will result in a run-on sentence. This is a very common error that most of us would commit and that is why you should make sure to keep in mind the formula while writing this method of writing compound sentences which is: independent clause + semi-colon (;) + transitional expression + comma (;) + independent clause


Examples of Compound Sentences Using the Different Methods

Compound Sentences using Coordinating Conjunctions

  • He did not leave her alone, for he knows she would get mad at him.
  • He really wants to go ahead, but he is too scared of her wrath.
  • He waited for her yet she had the guts to get mad at him.
  • He felt hungry while waiting for her, so he went to the convenience store to buy some snacks.
  • Finally, she arrived, and they immediately went home.
  • He did not have a car, nor did she.
  • They didn’t have any personal car, so they tried to hail a cab.
  • They would’ve gone home already, but the cabs that passed by were not vacant.
  • Should we start walking now, or should we wait longer for a vacant cab?
  • They started walking ahead, for it was already too late in the evening.
  • The guy did not speak during the walk nor did the girl.
  • The couple was frustrated with each other, yet they were holding hands while walking anyway.

Compound Sentences with a Semicolon

  • She cooked dinner; he prepared the table.
  • The dish is already boiling; its smell wafts across the kitchen.
  • She said the food is ready to serve; it was the best thing he heard that night.
  • She placed the dish before him; it made his hunger lose its control.
  • Give me one serving of the dish; I will try to see if the scent matches the taste.
  • He said the food she cooked was out of this world; he could not help getting amazed with her cooking skills.
  • She was happy she was able to cook food for him; plus, she was also able to impress him with her cooking abilities.
  • She cooks him a main dish and a side dish, at least, that was her way of making up to him.
  • He found a new favorite food; he plans to make her cook it for him the next time.
  • She said he’d cook for him again; she also plans to serve him another kind of dish the next time.

Compound Sentences with a Semicolon and a Transitional Expression

  • My brother was tired from work; therefore, he fell asleep as soon as he arrived in his apartment.
  • He is the best businessman in the corporate world; additionally, he is also active in the music scene.
  • My brother is an excellent singer; as a matter of fact, he leads a musical band.
  • His guitar was his most prized possession; however, he had to take a break from playing it.
  • My sister has always wanted to heal the sick; in fact, she willingly volunteered as a nurse despite the opportunities with very competitive salaries.
  • The job of a nurse is tiresome and stressful; nevertheless, my sister still found it very fulfilling.
  • Her dedication to her passion was undeniably impressive; as a result, she was given an award that recognized her service.


With the help of these methods and given examples, we hope that you will already be able to compose your own compound sentences with more understanding of what it is about and more variety this time around.

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