© 2017 Steve Campsall
the compound sentence (2)
When two ideas are closely related, it makes sense to put them together into a single sentence. A compound sentence allows for this. The process is called co-ordination and is achieved by the use of a co-ordinating conjunction. There are three common ones: and, but and or.
Notice that the word 'and' can be used not only to join sentences, but to join words and phrases, too, so the existence of the word 'and' in a sentence does not necessarily indicate that you have found a compound sentence.
Like simple sentences, compound sentences are a common part of speech - of the spoken register and especially so of young or less educated speakers. This is because compound sentences can be straightforward to construct.
Compound sentences are also a useful way of adding sentence variety to a text - another important aspect of style.
Here is an example of a story written for a very young child that relies on compound sentences to create an easily followed and understood syntax:
Peter Rabbit ran quickly but it wasn't easy. He was tired and his legs felt heavy. This was no fun but it will keep him safe. He didn't want to get caught or he might end up in the farmer's pot!
A compound sentence can also be created by the use of a semicolon (;). Try writing out a few sentences using 'and' - then convert these to semicolons. Can you notice the stylistic effect created? You can maybe see why the semicolon is so useful in subtle writing.