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Simple Sentences to Compound Sentences

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Basics on the topic Simple Sentences to Compound Sentences

Simple and Complex Sentences – Introduction

There are three types of sentences in English: simple, compound and complex sentences. In this article we will focus on what a simple sentence is and what a compound sentence is.

Simple sentence – Definition

What is a simple sentence in English? A simple sentence is a sentence that has only one independent clause. An independent clause is a group of words that has a subject and a verb.

Let’s have a look at this example of a simple sentence:

Subject Verb Object
Sam walked to the park.

SEO_25717_01.svg

As you can see, this sentence has a simple sentence structure. In this simple sentence example, there is only one independent clause. It has a subject (Sam) and a verb (walked). Now you know how to write a simple sentence! It’s time to find out what makes a compound sentence.

Compound Sentence – Definition

What is a compound sentence? A compound sentence structure is different from the one of a simple sentence. How? A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses. Here is a compound sentence example:

Independent clause 1 Independent clause 2
Sam walked to the park, but his sister stayed at home.

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In this sentence, there are two independent clauses. The first independent clause has a subject (Sam) and a verb (walked), and the second one also has a subject (sister) and a verb (stayed).

Subject Verb Object Coordinating
Conjunction
Subject Verb Object
Sam walked to the park, but his sister stayed at home.

Now you know the difference between simple sentences and compound sentences. But how to make a compound sentence? There are three compound sentence types in English, and the most common is a compound sentence with a conjunction. Let’s find out what it is!

Compound Sentences with Co-ordinating Conjunctions

A co-ordinating conjunction is a word that joins two or more sentences together. Co-ordinating conjunctions are:

Initial letter Co-ordinating conjunction
F for
A and
N nor
B but
O or
Y yet
S so

Have a look at the first letter of each conjunction. What word do the first letters make? Fanboys! You can use the word FANBOYS to remember all the compound sentence conjunctions.

Co-ordinating Conjunctions – Examples

Now, let’s have a look at examples of changing simple sentences to compound sentences with FANBOYS. There are two simple sentences, each of which has one independent clause:

Sentence 1 Sentence 2
I got a flat tyre. I called a breakdown truck.

Which co-ordinating conjunction can we use to combine these two simple sentences into a compound sentence? Be careful, as not all the conjunctions will make sense. In this case, we will choose so, because we are talking about the sequence of events and the result. Let’s have a look at the compound sentence that we made:

Independent clause 1 Co-ordinating conjunction Independent clause 2
I got a flat tyre, so I called a breakdown truck.

Did you notice how a full stop got changed into a comma? This is what we usually do when we use co-ordinating conjunctions to create a compound sentence. Let’s have a look at more examples of compound sentences with co-ordinating conjunctions: * Service with a smile. * We love to serve. For this sentence, it would be better to use the conjunction for, because the sentence describes a reason why they smile.

Independent clause 1 Co-ordinating conjunction Independent clause 2
Service with a smile, for we love to serve.

Can you tell which co-ordinating conjunction would best fit here? * We don’t take cash. * We do take card payments.

But fits best here, as the sentence gives contrast between two types of payment, giving a payment option they do accept over cash.

Independent clause 1 Co-ordinating
conjunction
Independent clause 2
We don’t take cash, but we do take card payments.

Simple Sentences to Compound Sentences – Summary

Let’s review what we learnt about simple sentences, compound sentences and co-ordinating conjunctions today.

  • A simple sentence is a sentence with one independent clause. An independent clause consists of a subject and a verb.
  • A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses. We can turn two simple sentences into a compound sentence using co-ordinating conjunctions.

  • Co-ordinating conjunctions are: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. You can remember them using the word FANBOYS.

Now you know how to write a compound sentence using co-ordinating conjunctions. For more examples and practice, watch the video and use our compound and simple sentence worksheets! You can learn more about complex sentences and about coordinating conjunctions with these other videos as well!

Frequently Asked Questions about Simple and Compound Sentences

What is a simple sentence?
What is a compound sentence?
What is a simple sentence example?
What is a compound sentence example?

Transcript Simple Sentences to Compound Sentences

"This is not what I wanted. Pip, I need you to bring out the machine immediately, we need some conjunctions out here!" "What do we need to fix, Koko?" "The signs! I want those simple sentences to be compound sentences, pretty please!" Let's learn with Koko and Pip all about changing simple sentences to compound sentences. A simple sentence has a single independent clause. An independent clause has a subject and a verb. A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction. A coordinating conjunction is a word that joins two or more sentences together. Co-ordinating conjunctions are words such as for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so! You can remember these using the word FANBOYS! Now we know what simple sentences and compound sentences are, let's look at an example of changing a simple sentence to a compound sentence using FANBOYS! Here, we have two sentences. I got a flat tyre. I called a breakdown truck. I got a flat tyre is a simple sentence because it has a single independent clause. I called a breakdown truck is a simple sentence because it also has a single independent clause. Now we look at FANBOYS and decide which coordinating conjunction fits best between these two simple sentences. Not all co-ordinating conjunctions make sense, so you must choose carefully! Since we are talking about a sequence of events so fits best here, as it tells us what happened next to solve the problem! I got a flat tyre, so I called a breakdown truck. When we add a co-ordinating conjunction, the full stop is usually replaced with a comma, like this. Now that we are familiar with co-ordinating conjunctions, let's help Koko and Pip fix some shop signs! The first sign says; Service with a smile. We love to serve. Which FANBOYS word fits best here? For is the word that fits best here, since it is giving a reason why they smile. Service with a smile, for we love to serve, with a comma added here! Let's take a look at another sign. We don't take cash. We do take card payments. Which FANBOYS word fits best here? But, since it is giving a payment option they do accept over cash. We don't take cash, but we do take card payments, adding a comma here. Let's take a look at one last sign. The shop is not open today. The shop is not open tomorrow. Which FANBOYS word fits best here? Nor fits best here, since it is adding another negative part to the sentence. The shop is not open today, nor tomorrow, replacing the full stop with a comma! Sometimes, you need to rewrite simple sentences when adding co-ordinating conjunctions. Whilst Koko and Pip make sure they didn't miss any signs, let's review! Remember, a simple sentence can be changed to a compound sentence by adding co-ordinating conjunctions. Co-ordinating conjunctions are words such as for, and, nor, but, or, yet and so! You can remember these using the acronym FANBOYS! "Pip! Please stop!" "Sorry, Koko. I got a little carried away!" "I'm in a sticky situation now!"

Simple Sentences to Compound Sentences exercise

Would you like to apply the knowledge you’ve learnt? You can review and practice it with the tasks for the video Simple Sentences to Compound Sentences.
  • Which sentence is a simple sentence?

    Hints

    A simple sentence has a single independent clause.

    A simple sentence has a single independent clause. An independent clause has a subject and a verb.

    A compound sentence has a coordinating conjunction. This choice is a compound sentence: It is raining outside, so I have to bring my umbrella.

    Solution

    This sentence is a simple sentence:

    It is raining outside.

    It is a single, independent clause.

  • Highlight the type of sentence.

    Hints

    There are two simple sentences and two compound sentences.

    A compound sentence uses a coordinating conjunction. Remember: FANBOYS

    A simple sentence has a single independent clause. An independent clause has a subject and a verb.

    Solution

    A simple sentence has a single independent clause. These sentences are simple sentences:

    • Sammy went to the park.
    • He swung on the swings.
    A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction. These sentences are compound sentences:
    • It was a rainy day outside, but the sun was still shining.
    • He jumped in the puddles and danced in the rain.

  • Is the sentence a simple or compound sentence?

    Hints

    A simple sentence has a single (one) independent clause.

    A simple sentence has a single (one) independent clause. An independent clause has a subject and a verb.

    • Which sentences have only one independent clause?

    A compound sentence uses a coordinating conjunction. Remember: FANBOYS

    Solution

    Simple Sentences

    • Koko loves to paint.
    • Koko walked to the park.
    Compound Sentences

    • Koko does not miss the winter, nor does she miss the freezing weather!
    • Koko brought a picnic to the park, for it was a sunny day.
  • Match the simple sentences to the compound sentences.

    Hints

    Think about what the two simple sentences are telling you and make sure you choose the correct coordinating conjunction.

    Here is an example of an incorrect conjunction in a sentence.

    • The weather is snowy outside, but people are going sledging.
    • But does not make sense here because sledging is a snowy, outdoor activity.

    Here are examples of simple sentences:

    • Pip went snowboarding.
    • He had a fun time.
    Here is an example of a compound sentence:
    • Pip went snowboarding, and he had a fun time.

    Solution

    Pair 1

    • Technology is helpful.
    • People should take breaks from using it.
    • Technology is helpful, but people should take breaks from using it.
    Pair 2
    • The weather is snowy outside.
    • People are going sledging.
    • The weather is snowy outside, so people are going sledging.
    Pair 3
    • Pip went snowboarding.
    • He had a fun time.
    • Pip went snowboarding, and he had a fun time.
    Pair 4
    • Koko paints portraits of her friends.
    • She paints portraits of puppies.
    • Koko paints portraits of her friends, or she paints portraits of puppies.

  • Which sentence is a compound sentence?

    Hints

    A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses.

    • A compound sentence uses a coordinating conjunction. Remember: FANBOYS
    • Look for a sentence that includes one of these words.

    A simple sentence has a single independent clause and no coordinating conjunction. This choice is a simple sentence: The whale swims in the ocean.

    Solution

    A compound sentence is two or more independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction.
    The compound sentence is: Earth has many animals, so we should do our best to protect them.

  • Change the simple sentences to compound sentences.

    Hints

    So is used to connect a sequence of events here as it tells you what happens next to solve the problem.

    For connects these simple sentences since it is giving a reason why they smile.

    But fits best here since it is giving a payment option they accept over cash.

    Solution

    The conjunctions are in bold. These words change the simple sentences to compound sentences.

    • 1) The museum is not open today, nor tomorrow.
    • 2) Cece wanted to go rock climbing, for she loved to climb tall mountains.
    • 3) Andrea remembered her sleeping bag for the camping trip, but she forgot her tent!
    • 4) I felt very hungry, so I ate a big meal.