Complex sentences

Unique meanings

Combining compound & complex sentences

Before we wrap up this lesson, it’s worth coming back to the idea of sentence types—simple, compound, complex.

A simple sentence contains one single event:

Snookle was delivered one morning with the milk.

Unbelievable!Paul JenningsSource

A compound sentence contains multiple events strung together using connectors:

Brian turned the wheel slightly and the plane immediately banked to the right.

HatchetGary PaulsenSource

And a complex sentence contains one main event that has one or more supporting events that add detail or do any of the other functions we’ve seen throughout this lesson:

Bod heard Scarlett choking back a scream.

The Graveyard BookNeil GaimanSource

Can we include complex events in a compound sentence? YES!

Either way, money is money is money, and a cramped diner haunted by insomniacs is as good as any joint.

A Song for QuietCassandra Khaw

Some people say I will never return home but I believe firmly in my heart that I will.

I Am MalalaMalala YousafzaiSource

When we include complex elements in a compound sentence, we call them compound-complex sentences.

There aren’t any special new techniques that only apply to compound-complex sentences.

If you understand how to layer events to get complex meaning and you understand how to create relationships using connectors, then you have all the tools you need to create all the sentence types. Hurray!

Your turn

Like what you see?

You’re not logged in!

If you want to save your writing, login and either assign this lesson to yourself or access it via your group.