Compound-complex Sentences for intermediate learners

A compound-complex sentence is comprised of at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. Let's get to know it in detail!

"Compound-complex" Sentences in the English Grammar

What Are Compound-complex Sentences?

We can combine compound and complex sentences together and form a new category of sentences. A compound-complex sentence is made up of at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. Remember that we can combine these sentences using different conjunctions.

Dependent vs. Independent Clauses

As you might already know, dependent clauses are those that must rely on an independent one to be complete and meaningful whereas, an independent clause is complete on its own. Compare the following sentences:

If I were in your shoes (A dependent clause)

As you can see, the sentence is incomplete and we cannot use it alone.

She can handle everything herself. (An independent clause)

Here, the sentence is full on its own.

Compound vs. Complex Sentences

Compound sentences are made up of two independent clauses. However, a complex sentence consists of at least one dependent clause. Analyze the following examples:

If you want to simply empty yourself, you can trust me.

As you can see, the first part is a dependent clause.

She is at the bus station and she is waiting for you, honey. (A compound sentence)

Here, both clauses are independent.

Compound-complex Sentences

As it was stated before, compound-complex sentences are comprised of at least two independent clauses along with at least one dependent clause. Study the following examples carefully:

Dependent clause Independent clause Depenedent clause Independent clause
Since I was a kid, I dreamed of becoming a singer and as you can see, I'm a famous vocalist right now.
Dependent clause Independent clause Independent clause
Although she pretended not to care, we could see it affected her and she was hardly able to manage it.
Dependent clause Independent clause Independent clause
Despite their troubled lives, my parents were able to push through everything and so they live peacefully now.

Punctuation Rules

Since compound-complex sentences are long, it is better to be able to punctuate them appropriately. Please remember to put a comma before the coordinating conjunction. Take a look at the following example:

Since I have not analyzed your paper, please wait till next week, and we will work on it then.


Please note that dependent clauses can come at the beginning, middle, or end of the sentences. Remember to use a comma at the end of the clause whenever you see the dependent clause at the beginning of the sentence.


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