Coordinating conjunctions in compound sentences: Compound Sentences: Examples and How They’re Used

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Compound Sentence Examples to Better Understand Their Use


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A compound sentence has at least two independent clauses that have related ideas. The independent clauses can be joined by a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) or by a semicolon, as you can see in the compound sentence examples below.

Compound Sentences with Coordinating Conjunctions

Many compound sentences are made using coordinating conjunctions. To remember all the coordinating conjunctions, use the mnemonic FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). In this case, the sentence must contain a comma before the conjunction for correct punctuation. For example:

  • She did not cheat on the test, for it was the wrong thing to do.
  • I really need to go to work, but I am too sick to drive.
  • I am counting my calories, yet I really want dessert.
  • He ran out of money, so he had to stop playing poker.
  • They got there early, and they got really good seats.
  • They had no ice cream left at home, nor did they have money to go to the store.
  • Everyone was busy, so I went to the movie alone.
  • I thought the promotion was mine, but my attendance wasn’t good enough.
  • Should we start class now, or wait for everyone to get here?
  • It was getting dark, and we weren’t near the cabin yet.
  • Cats are good pets, for they are clean and are not noisy.
  • We have never been to Asia, nor have we visited Africa.
  • He didn’t want to go to the dentist, yet he went anyway.


Compound Sentences With a Semicolon

You can also combine two sentences into one without a conjunction. In this case, you must use a semicolon to join your two independent clauses.  

Examples of compound sentences with semicolons include:

  • The sky is clear; the stars are twinkling.
  • Joe made the sugar cookies; Susan decorated them.
  • The waves were crashing on the shore; it was a lovely sight.
  • Check back tomorrow; I will see if the book has arrived.
  • I am happy to take your donation; any amount will be greatly appreciated.
  • Malls are great places to shop; I can find everything I need under one roof.
  • Italy is my favorite country; I plan to spend two weeks there next year.
  • He turned in the research paper on Friday; he would have not passed the class otherwise.
  • She bought a cheeseburger for her friend; she forgot the fries.
  • He loved the dog; he gave it many treats.


Compound Sentences With Semicolons and Conjunctive Adverbs

To smooth the transition between clauses, use conjunctive adverbs (however, besides, therefore, meanwhile). Place these after the semicolon, and add a comma after the conjunctive adverb. Examples include:

  • It was a difficult assignment; however, Kelly was up to the challenge.
  • There were white-out conditions in the town; therefore, the roads were impassable.
  • He said he was not there yesterday; however, many people saw him there.
  • She only paints with bold colors; indeed, she does not like pastels at all.
  • She works two jobs to make ends meet; at least, that was her reason for not having time to join us.
  • You need to pack the appropriate things for camping; for example, a sleeping bag will keep you warm.
  • I have paid my dues; as a result, I expect to receive all the privileges listed in the bylaws.
  • He ate seven sandwiches for lunch; afterward, he felt ill.
  • Her knees ached from jogging; moreover, her shoes were starting to wear out.
  • His friends canceled dinner plans that night; on the other hand, he didn’t really want to go in the first place.



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Examples of Compound Sentences in Quotes

Compound sentences are common in both speech and writing. Here are examples of compound sentences used by famous public figures:

  • «Any jackass can kick down a barn, but it takes a good carpenter to build one.» — Sam Rayburn
  • «The drought had lasted now for 10 million years, and the reign of the terrible lizards had long since ended.» — Arthur C. Clarke, 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • «In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.” — Ronald Reagan
  • «I used to be snow white, but I drifted.» — Mae West
  • «I have often wanted to drown my troubles, but I can’t get my wife to go swimming. » — Jimmy Carter
  • «I have not sought this enormous responsibility, but I will not shirk it.» — Gerald R. Ford
  • «I have opinions of my own, strong opinions, but I don’t always agree with them.» — George H. W. Bush
  • «You can put wings on a pig, but you don’t make it an eagle.» — Bill Clinton


Constructing a Compound Sentence

Each half of a compound sentence must stand on its own as a complete sentence. That means each half needs a subject and a verb. For example:

I want the sporty red car, but I will lease the practical blue one.

In the sentence above, the subjects are italicized and the verbs are in bold. The first half is a complete sentence because it contains the subject «I» and the verb «want.» The second half that comes after the comma and coordinating conjunction (but) is also a complete sentence, with the subject «I» and the verb «will lease. «

Don’t Forget the Punctuation

Compound Sentences | Grammar | EnglishClub

We saw in sentence structure that a compound sentence is two (or more) independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction or semicolon. So a compound sentence is like two or more simple sentences added together. A compound sentence does not contain any dependent clauses.

  • I like coffee. Mary likes tea. → I like coffee, and Mary likes tea.
  • Mary went to work. John went to the party. I went home. → Mary went to work, but John went to the party, and I went home.
  • Our car broke down. We came last. → Our car broke down; we came last.

Joining Compound Sentences with Coordinating Conjunctions

Usually, we join independent clauses with one of the seven coordinating conjunctions.

The term coordinating conjunction sounds complicated, but in fact there are only seven of them and they are all short, one-syllable words: ForAndNorButOrYetSo — remember them with the mnemonic FANBOYS.

The most common of these coordinating conjunctions are and, but and or, in that order. Note that a comma (,) must come before the coordinating conjunction except when the clauses are short (in which case the comma is optional).


The and conjunction is the most common conjunction. It has several uses.

  • We use and to join two clauses that have equal value, for example: London is in England, and Rome is in Italy.
  • We use and to join two clauses when the second clause happens after the first clause, for example: There was a big bang and the lights went out.
  • We use and to join two clauses when the second clause is a result of the first clause, for example: He went to bed early, and the next day he felt better.


We use the but conjunction to introduce a clause that contrasts with the preceding clause, for example: Mary ran fast, but she couldn’t catch John.


We use the or conjunction to join two alternative clauses, for example: Will Mary go, or will John go?


We use the nor conjunction to join two alternative clauses when the first clause uses a negative such as neither or never. In this case both clauses are untrue or do not happen, for example: Mary never wrote the letter, nor did she call him. (Note the inversion of subject and auxiliary: did she.)


We use the for conjunction (meaning something like because) to join two clauses when the second clause is the reason for the first clause, for example: He felt cold, for it was snowing.


The yet conjunction is similar to but. It means something like but at the same time; but nevertheless; but in spite of this. As with but, there is a contrast between the clauses, for example: I have known him for a long time, yet I have never understood him.


The so conjunction means something like therefore; and for this reason. We use so to join two clauses when the first clause is the reason for the second clause, for example: He was feeling sick, so he went to the doctor.

Note that when using a coordinating conjunction, you can (if you wish) remove any subject word and modal auxiliary from the second clause. (This is not possible with subordinating conjunctions.)

  • He’s already had three beers, and now he wants another one.
    • He’s already had three beers and now wants another one.
  • You can take a train, or you can take a bus.
    • You can take a train or take a bus.

Joining Compound Sentences with Semicolons

Occasionally, we join independent clauses with a semicolon (;).

  • He studied very little; he failed his exams.
  • The sky is cloudy; it’s going to rain.
  • Ram cut the grass; Ati trimmed the hedge; Tara watched.

Joining Compound Sentences with Conjunctive Adverbs

We can also join independent clause with words and phrases like moreover, however, at least (conjunctive adverbs). In this case, the conjunctive adverb must be preceded by a semicolon (;) and followed by a comma (,).

Look at these examples:

  • John loves Mary; however, Mary doesn’t love John.
  • Salad is not expensive; moreover, it’s very healthy.
  • What he did was incredible; in fact, I can hardly believe it.
How to join independent clauses
comma + coordinating conjunction Independent clause , for
, and
, nor
, but
, or
, yet
, so
independent clause.
semicolon ;
semicolon + conjunctive adverb + comma ; moreover,
; however,
; indeed,
; therefore,
; at least,

The table shows all seven coordinating conjunctions, and a few conjunctive adverbs as examples.

Do not try to join independent clauses with a comma alone—that’s impossible!

  • John drank coffee. Mary drank tea.
  • John drank coffee, Mary drank tea.
  • John drank coffee, and Mary drank tea.
  • John drank coffee, but Mary drank tea.
  • John drank coffee; Mary drank tea.

Compound Sentence Examples

Now look at some more examples showing compound sentences and coordinating conjunctions or semicolons in context.

Compound Sentences with Coordinating Conjunctions

  • The cinema was sold out, so we watched a movie on TV.
  • I’ll have a week in Rome, or I’ll go to Paris for three days.
  • I really need a holiday, but I don’t have the money, and I don’t have the time.
  • He’s crazy! He doesn’t like the car, yet he bought it anyway.
  • It’s gone 10pm, and he still hasn’t arrived.
  • Our car broke down, so we took a taxi.
  • Our plane left Bangkok on schedule, and we arrived in London early.
  • I cannot criticize him, for he is my brother.
  • There are no eggs in the fridge, nor is there any bread in the cupboard.
  • I would have passed the exam, but I didn’t study enough.
  • Should they take the test now, or should they wait until next month?
  • I have never visited Moscow, nor have I been to St Petersburg.
  • The pain was really bad, yet he refused to see a doctor.

Compound Sentences with Semicolons

  • The Angel Falls waterfall in Venezuela plunges 907 metres; it looks spectacular.
  • The entire town was flooded; people used boats.
  • We always shop at the supermarket; it’s got everything in one place.
  • Call us next week; it should be in then.
  • You can pay online; we accept all major credit cards.
  • I only write non-fiction; I’ve never tried fiction.

Compound Sentences with Conjunctive Adverbs

  • Frantic is my favourite film; however, I’ve only seen it once.
  • He turned himself in to the police; otherwise, they would have arrested him.
  • He’s got a really good job; at least, that’s what he says.
  • He claimed he was working last night; however, nobody saw him at the office.

Compound Sentences in Famous Quotations

Here are some examples of compound sentences in quotes from famous people and sources.

  • «Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.» Laurence Binyon
  • «To be uncertain is uncomfortable; but to be certain is ridiculous.» Goethe
  • «For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt though return.» Bible
  • «Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.» Oscar Wilde
  • «The girl was beheaded, chopped into pieces and placed in a trunk, but was not interfered with.» British newspaper report
  • «I am just going outside and may be some time.» Captain Lawrence Oates
  • «I desire to go to Hell and not to Heaven.» Niccolo Machiavelli
  • «Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. » Lord Acton
  • «Don’t confuse fame with success. Madonna is one; Helen Keller is the other.» Erma Bombeck

Compound Sentences in Sayings

These compound sentence examples come from everyday sayings and proverbs in the English language.

  • Give a thief enough rope and he’ll hang himself.
  • There’s one law for the rich, and another for the poor.
  • A man is as old as he feels, and a woman is as old as she looks.
  • Money is a good servant, but a bad master.
  • Talk of the Devil, and he is bound to appear.
  • There is a time to speak and a time to be silent.
  • You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

Contributor: Josef Essberger

Compound sentence (CSP) — what is it? Rules and examples

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What is a compound sentence

A compound sentence (CSP) is a sentence with two or more grammatical bases that are related in meaning, intonation and connected by coordinating conjunctions. The parts of this sentence can be divided by a dot into independent and simple. But it is impossible to single out the main and subordinate clauses among them.

Compound sentence example:

  • The beginning of July, but the plums are already ripe, and you can make jam.

It can be broken down into separate simple sentences:

Types of compound sentences

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9001 4 Types of unions in the SSP

Simple parts in a compound sentence can be connected by unions. Namely:

Let’s consider each type of unions in the BSC with examples.

Sentences with connecting conjunctions

Connecting conjunctions in a compound sentence — and, yes, neither … nor, also, also — indicate that the actions occurred simultaneously or one after another.


  • Apple trees were blooming and smelled of honey.

  • Low pears, but easy to get.

Sentences with opposing conjunctions

Opposite conjunctions in a compound sentence — a, but, yes (but), however, but — indicate opposition, comparison or concession.


  • I wanted a pie, but the apples weren’t ripe yet.

  • The summer was delayed, but the berries were already full of juice.

  • I arrived early, but no one was home.

Sentences with divisive conjunctions

Divisive conjunctions — either, then … then, not that … not that — indicate an alternation of actions.


  • Either a sweet berry will fall, or it will reduce the cheekbones from acid.

  • Either curb your fear or turn back.

  • Either cherries on a tree or red drops.

Sentences with a combination of unions

Sometimes several types of unions are combined in a compound sentence, for example:

  • Either there is little rain, and the berry has fallen, or the matter is completely different.

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Punctuation marks in the SSP

Comma in a compound sentence

A comma is needed between parts of a complex sentence with conjunctions and, yes, or , etc.


If the parts of a sentence have a common secondary member or a subordinate clause, but they are connected by a repeating union, a comma must be used.

  • Heavy trucks were moving along the streets, and cars were racing, and pedestrians were hurrying.

Allied proposals

If there are no unions in the sentence, its parts are connected with each other by punctuation marks:

  • comma,
  • semicolons,
  • colon,
  • dash.

Let’s consider each case of such BSCs with examples.

A comma in a non-union SSP

A comma in a compound non-union sentence is needed to show a list of objects or events.


  • The sky became clear, the stars were hidden behind a veil of morning clouds.

Semicolon in a compound sentence

If one of the parts of the SSP is a very common or complicated sentence, a semicolon must be put between these parts. Consider an example of such a complex syntactic construction:

  • Light dust rises in a yellow column and rushes along the road; a friendly clatter echoes far, the horses run with their ears pricked up.

Colon in non-union SSP

When one part of a compound sentence explains and completes the meaning of the first, it is customary to put a colon between them.


A dash in a compound sentence

If the meaning of the second part is sharply opposed to the meaning of the first, a dash can be put between them. For example:

An important role in the question of whether to put a dash between parts of a sentence with a coordinative connection is played by intonation. So, a dash can be used both in nominal sentences and in short syntactic constructions, if their tone requires it.


  • I hear a scream and suddenly there is silence.

  • Take a picture — and immediately to the newspaper!

Test yourself

Put punctuation marks in complex sentences:

  1. For six years the commission was fussing around the building, but the climate was in the way or the material was already like that, but the state-owned building did not go above the foundation.

  2. The forest is cut and the chips fly.

  3. I walked among the yellow-green sea and my soul was filled with peace.

  4. Everyone went home and I was left alone in silence.

  5. I would go to the fair but everyone has already left because of the bad weather.

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Compound Sentence

At an introductory lesson with a methodologist

  1. We will identify gaps in knowledge and give advice on learning

  2. We will tell you how the classes are going

  3. Let’s choose a course

Coordinating conjunctions in a compound sentence

Coordinating conjunctions are special functional words in Russian for connecting homogeneous members or equal sentences in complex sentences.

There are function words in the Russian language. Unlike independent ones, they do not talk about the subject, nor about its quality, nor about the action that is performed in relation to the subject.

The only purpose of the service parts of speech is to connect simple sentences within a complex sentence or separate words. Coordinating conjunctions were no exception, to which we owe the opportunity to formulate thoughts not in short sentences, but in long ones.


Coordinating connection

Coordinating conjunctions in Russian serve as a means of connecting equal parts of a sentence or even several sentences within one complex one. It is necessary to responsibly approach the chosen way of expressing one’s own thoughts. Otherwise, the interlocutor or reader may misunderstand, and a conversation between two people who cannot hear each other is not real communication.

Let’s consider how, using an example, coordinating conjunctions help us express thoughts more accurately in simple sentences. The reader already knows that each phrase is a complete thought. Every word is important in it and it is desirable to use it correctly.

There is a grammatical basis in the sentence. This is the subject and the predicate. The grammatical basis speaks of a specific subject and the action performed by the subject or in relation to it. The grammatical basis is not divided among themselves.

The coordinating union in this case is aimed at connecting the secondary members of the sentence. These are words that clarify the events described in the grammatical basis. Showing from some new side is allowed.

Examples of composing communication

Let’s take the sentence as an example

« The sun and the sky in spring and summer are sure to be bright and inviting »

Here the coordinating union showed itself in all its glory! The sun and the sky are the subject, and the bright and alluring predicate, and there are circumstances — in spring, summer. The union «and» connects equal members of the proposal. Finding such a connection is not difficult at all. It is enough to mentally remove the composing union and one connecting word. Will the meaning of the sentence remain? Let’s check:

« The sun and the sky in spring are sure to be bright and inviting «.

The sentence has a meaning, although it has changed. Now the author believes that the sun and sky are always bright and inviting only in spring. It is possible that he has the same opinion about summer weather, but we will not know this from this particular phrase.

This is how the richness of the Russian language is manifested. Every word is needed. It is worth removing at least one, as the meaning of the sentence will change. All coordinating conjunctions add some new flavor to the sentence. If you remove the union itself and the connecting word, the meaning may change, but the sentence will be complete.

Types of coordinating conjunctions

If the reader wants to better understand and memorize coordinating conjunctions, the table below will be very helpful.

Type of unions


Unions 0359

and yes (if the union is used in the sense of «too»), neither (including with the addition of additional words), too, also others

Most often, unions are used to list the attributes of an object, list actions that are performed in relation to an object, or list the objects themselves.

For example, «it rains all day and the wind»

Dividing unions

9002 4

or, or, then (including with the addition of additional words) and other

Most often, conjunctions are used to express relations of exclusion or the alternation of specific actions.

For example. «whole day then rain, then wind

Opposing alliances

a, but, however, this or that, and not that other

Most often, conjunctions are used to express the relationship of opposition to each other,

For example, «it rains all day, but the wind does not blow.»

It may seem to some that only three groups of coordinating conjunctions are not enough. But learn how to use these tools! Then the possibilities of composing unions will open up from a new perspective and amaze with the variety of verbal constructions that can be created with their help.

Let the table of composing conjunctions become a reliable assistant for those who want to learn more about composing conjunctions and learn how to use this truly rich tool in the Russian language.

Compound sentences

No less interesting is that the coordinating conjunctions the list of which the reader could see above are used in complex sentences. In such sentences, homogeneous definitions can be found in the form of participial or adverbial phrases.

Useful information: the rules of the Russian language do not prohibit the creation of complex sentences in which there are three grammatical bases at once or even more. But in order for such complex constructions to be easily perceived by others, the author must be able to brilliantly use all the opportunities offered by Russian literature. Otherwise, there is a great danger of being misunderstood due to the incorrect formulation of a complex sentence.

In such sentences, coordinating conjunctions are most often used. Enumeration with their help is a favorite technique of the masters of Russian literature to convey a wealth of descriptions and conditions in a relatively simple phrase.

There is an unwritten rule that the fewer words used in a text, the better. On the other hand, not a single superfluous word can be removed. Some people spend their whole lives looking for a solution to the problem that the Russian language has set for them. The balance between conciseness, brevity of descriptions and full transmission of feelings is not easy to find.

Here, the coordinating connecting conjunctions come in handy, with which you can:

  1. Reduce the number of words used in the text. Just connect the necessary union with the necessary parts of speech.

  2. Add as many feelings and descriptions as possible to each phrase.

The main thing is not to get too carried away with alliances. Despite all the richness of possibilities that the compositional connection gives, one must be able to pick up a tool when it is needed and put it aside at the very moment when it is no longer suitable for solving a specific problem.

How to determine a coordinative connection in a sentence

It is possible to recognize a coordinative connection not only due to the equality of two thoughts that are presented in one sentence. The intonational unity, the inseparable emotional connection between the two parts of the sentence is another sure indicator of the compositional connection.

Useful information: a coordinative connection can also be present in a complex sentence. In this case, homogeneous adnexal parts of the same type are connected.

Finally, it is not at all necessary to use conjunctions as such for a composing connection.

Examples of compound sentences

Consider an example of compound sentences: coordinating conjunctions and how they combine two simple sentences into one.

Consider two grammatical bases:

  1. The sun began to sink, where the sun is the subject, and the predicate began to fall.

  2. The cloud appeared, where the cloud was the subject, but the predicate appeared.

Now let’s mentally remove the coordinating union «and», which connects two sentences. Will it be possible to perceive both phrases as complete thoughts? Undoubtedly. Both thoughts are complete.

Unionless connection

There is unionless and allied coordinating connection . The reader already knows how to use unions. Service parts of speech only seem insignificant or uninteresting. In fact, they have great potential and it is difficult to imagine a text or story that does not use coordinating conjunctions.

But what if the author has conceived a coordinating connection, and the conjunctions have already been used too often? The same technique can get boring over time.

Fortunately, there is a non-union coordinating connection.

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