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Compound Complex Sentence in English Grammar

Compound Complex Sentence in English Grammar


‘What is a sentence?’ is a question that must be clear before studying compound complex sentences. Sentence is a group of words under the condition that it gives a complete thought. A complete thought can be in the form of a statement, a question, a command, or an exclamation.

  • I translate English into Urdu. (Sentence)
  • Translating English into Urdu. (Not a sentence)

The first group of words gives compete thought, so it is a sentence. On the other hand, the second group of words does not give complete thought, so it is not a sentence.

Our main topic to discuss here is compound complex sentences in English Grammar. It is one of the four types of sentences according to structure. You can study the remaining three types in Study English Page.

Definition of Compound Complex Sentence

A sentence that has at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause is called a compound complex sentence. Compound complex sentence is in fact a combination of a compound sentence and a complex sentence. Two independent clauses are taken from compound sentence and at least one dependent clause is taken from complex sentence.

Three main terminologies are used in these sentences. One of them is a clause. Definition of a clause is a group of words that has at least a subject and a predicate. The second one is independent clause. It is a clause that gives a sense without depending on any other things. The third one is dependent clause. A clause that can’t stand alone; it depends on other clause to give a complete sense.

  • When it rained, the weather became romantic so we went out.

In this example, we have three clauses. The first one is dependent clause. It does not give complete sense if it is used alone. In this example, it gives more information to the sentence.  The last ones are independent clauses.

Compound Sentence in English Grammar

More Examples of Compound Complex Sentences

  • I called her, but she did not attend when you told me to call her.
  • I was eating, and my Mom was cooking when the guests arrived.
  • Come soon, and I will be waiting for you there by the time you come.
  • She tries her best to meet me, but I do not want until you allow me.
  • I have come to the supermarket so I can bring something if you want.
  • Although it was snowing, they decided to go on a picnic, but I rejected.
  • I wanted to lose my weight when I was in New York, yet I ate more fats.
  • She wondered everyone because she danced beautifully, but she sang awfully.
  • When I prepare lecture, I visit Study English Page, and I also study some other books.
  • He achieved his life goal: he started his own business although I warned him not to start now.

Formation of Compound Complex Sentences

Formation of compound complex sentences is quite easy. It just links clauses. To join dependent clause with independent clause, you need to use subordinate conjunction. Independent clauses are joined with coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs, or appropriate punctuation marks. Place of dependent clause can be beginning, middle, or ending.

  • While I was going to the market, Ali requested to buy a dictionary for him, but I did not have money in my pocket.
  • I will get promotion by chance; our company has terminated more employees because they demanded high salaries.
  •  I was busy when she called; therefore, I did not attend her call.

Key Points

At least two independent clauses

Compound complex sentence must have more than one independent clause. A sentence with one independent clause can’t be a compound complex.

Though I am very busy these days, I give time to my children because it is necessary to give them time.

Using comma

Using of comma has great importance in compound complex sentences. When dependent clause is used earlier, it is also followed by a comma. When we join two independent clauses, we use comma before conjunctions. Remember that you can also use colon or semicolon in some cases.

When I was twenty years old, I wanted to marry her, however my parents discouraged me.  

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