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Learner Guide

Compound-Complex Sentences

Learning Objective: To understand what a compound-complex sentence

                                        is and to be able to recognize them.



If you need more help with this topic then a 5th Grade English tutor will explain.

A compound-complex sentence is a sentence made up of a compound

sentence and a complex sentence.



A compound sentence: is a sentence made up of two or more simple

sentences. These two or more simple sentences are normally joined

together by a coordinator such as “and” “but” “or”. If a compound sentence

is divided the parts will each make sense as smaller sentences on their own.


A complex sentence: is a sentence made up of two different types of

clauses. It contains a main clause (a simple sentence) and a subordinate

clause (a sentence which does not make sense by itself).




The main clauses provide the topics of the sentence, the subordinate

clause adds extra detail and information afterwards.



Lucy struggled with her English work but she now understands it because she

asked her online tutor for help.



This compound-complex sentence can be broken down into two main clauses

or simple sentences “Lucy struggled with her English work” and “she now

understands it”. There is also a subordinate clause “Because she asked her

online tutor for help.”


Remember you can check for main clauses by reading aloud and seeing if

the sentence makes sense on its own. If it does then it is a main clause. If it

does not make sense when read aloud then it is a subordinate clause.


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