Simple and Compound Sentences
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In this grammar section we’ll be looking at simple and compound sentences.
So first let’s start off with simple sentences.
Now if you’re taking this course I expect that you should already know how to construct these simple
But just to remind you what they are.
I’ll quickly go over these.
So a simple sentence is basically when you have a subject plus a verb plus an object.
So those three things together make up a simple sentence so we have a few examples here.
The first sentence is taxes should be increased.
Next we have children are the future of our nation and last.
We have community service develops strong character individuals so I want you to notice that each of
these simple sentences is only conveying one main idea to convey more than one idea in a single sentence.
We use either compound sentences or complex sentences.
We’ll be talking more about those very soon.
So in these simple sentences we have our subjects in the blue color the verbs are in the purple color
and the objects are in the red color.
I want you to notice that objects are optional.
They don’t have to be there for a simple sentence but if you would like to add an object you can do
that as well you will also notice that simple sentences can include other basic elements such as prepositions
articles and so on.
Now let’s move on to the compound sentences.
So basically you have a compound sentence when you have two or more independent clauses that are connected
together an independent clause is complete idea.
The idea is complete in and of itself.
So in a compound sentence we are connecting two complete ideas.
Now the question is what do we use to connect these two independent clauses will we connect these clauses
by using what are called coordinating conjunctions and when we connect these clauses using the coordinating
conjunction we use a comma coordinating conjunctions are words like for and Naw but or yet so so let’s
look at some examples here’s our first example.
Britain invested over one million pounds in books and France only invested one hundred thousand.
Now I want you to notice that the word and here is a coordinating conjunction.
We’re using this coordinating conjunction to connect two independent clauses both of these independent
clauses are complete ideas in and of themselves.
So how do you know if an idea is complete Well there’s an easy way to find out.
I want you to imagine that instead of the word and here there is a full stop a period imagine that the
first class is a complete sentence.
Britain invested over 1 million pounds in books.
Now if you were to end this sentence here there would be no problem.
It would be a complete idea.
So if we want we can simply end the sentence over here.
Similarly we could just say France only invested one hundred thousand.
That’s also a complete idea.
We can add a full stop there and leave this clause as its own sentence.
So that’s how you know if we have an independent clause basically independent clauses are complete ideas.
So we use compound sentences when we don’t want to write these clauses as separate sentences instead
of writing these clauses as separate sentences.
We can just connect these two clauses by a coordinating conjunction in this case.
We have used the word and also notice that we have used it with a comma.
Let’s take another example.
Switzerland rank the highest in 1999 but it was outranked by Britain the following year.
Again I want you to notice that we have two independent clauses here.
The first independent clause is Switzerland ranked the highest in 1999.
That’s a complete idea.
We can stop here and that will be fine.
However we want to add extra information in this sentence.
So we used the coordinating conjunction.
But and we have added a second independent clause here.
And the second independent clause is it was outranked by Britain the following year notice that whenever
we join two independent clauses together we have to use a comma with the coordinating conjunction.
So we’ve used a common here and we’ve used to comma here.
And when you use this comma and coordinate in conjunction together to join two independent clauses then
what you have is a compound sentence.
Now let me give you some examples of how to use different coordinating conjunctions so we’ll start off
with our first coordinating conjunction which is part here we have an example.
The proposed legislation seems promising but it has several drawbacks here’s another example.
It is common knowledge that exercise is healthy.
Yet many people never go to the gyms Germany and France both experienced significant growth in 2002.
Now what I want you to notice with this sentence is that we don’t have a comma here.
Why is that well we don’t use a comma when we use a coordinating conjunction like and to join words
or phrases together.
You’ll notice that the coordinating conjunction and is simply connecting two words together.
In this case the two words are Germany and France here’s another example those who are unemployed or
underpaid are forced to consume unhealthy foods to save costs now.
In this example we also don’t use a comma.
The reason for that is that this conjunction here is simply connecting the words unemployed and underpaid
It’s just connecting these two words it’s not connecting independent clauses and therefore we don’t
use any come up with it.
So let’s summarize when exactly you should use a comma with a coordinating conjunction and when should
you not so whenever a coordinating conjunction connects to independent clauses we always use a comma.
For example we use a comma here and here because in both these sentences the coordinating conjunctions
part and yet are connecting two independent clauses together an independent clause conveys a complete
idea on the other hand if a coordinating conjunction simply connects words or phrases together then
we do not use a comma as you can see here.
This conjunction is only connecting words together so we don’t use the comma and in this sentence here
the conjunction or is simply connecting the words unemployed and underpaid together now on a final note
Whenever you have a list using the comma with the end is optional.
So for example if you have a sentence like I love books movies and music.
The comma before the and in a list is optional so if you want you can use a comma and if you don’t want
you don’t have to.
Now here’s our list of coordinating conjunctions.
You’re probably wondering what are these two boys doing over here.
Why are they so excited.
Well they’re excited because they are what we call fanboys fanboys are boys who are very excited and
huge fans of something they are really excited about something.
Why are we talking about this actually fanboys is an acronym for coordinating conjunctions so whenever
you forget what the coordinating conjunctions are you can use this acronym to quickly remember what
all the coordinating conjunctions are F stands for for a stance for and and for nor B for but O for
or Y for yet and S for so.
So those are all the coordinating conjunctions in the English language and using the acronym fanboys
is a very easy way for you to remember them.
Now you may be wondering when exactly should I use the compound sentences.
Generally speaking you should use the compound sentences whenever you’re trying to give extra detail
or add richness to your sentences so let’s look at examples of that.
Let’s say that you have this table over here in your writing task one question and you have to describe
the data in this table.
Well if we’re trying to describe the data here and the data here we could say something like Oceania
experienced a 13 percent land degradation but none from over cultivation.
So in this sentence we have conveyed two separate ideas two separate ideas both of which are complete
and we’ve done this without using two separate sentences.
What we have done is we have given extra detail in a single sentence by using the coordinating conjunction.
But let’s look at another example.
Here is another table.
And if we’re trying to describe the data from Switzerland we could say considering bananas.
Switzerland earned the highest revenue in 1999 and it also more than tripled its sales in 2004.
So again in this sentence we’re conveying two complete ideas.
The first idea is that Switzerland earned the highest revenue in 1999 which is this data point over
And then we’re saying that it also more than tripled its sales in 2004.
So here we’re describing the second data point.
So do you see how our sentence sounds much better when we combine the two different ideas and convey
them in a single sentence.
This is what the IRS examiners are looking for.
They want to see if you can write complex structures such as compound sentences so use these compound
sentences to show off your grammatical range.
So that’s all for this video.
I’ll see you in the next grammar section in which we’re going to talk about the complex sentences.
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