Daily Grammar

Lesson 249

Parts of the Sentence - Compound Sentences

A clause is a group of words having a subjectThe subject tells who or what about the verb.  Source: Lesson 91 and a verbVerbs show action or state of being. Most verbs are action words, but a few verbs indicate state of being or existence.
Source: Lesson 1
.  An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence.  A dependent clause is always used as some part of speech.  It can be an adjectiveAdjectives modify or affect the meaning of nouns and pronouns and tell us which, whose, what kind, and how many about the nouns or pronouns they modify. They come before the noun or pronoun they modify.  Source: Lesson 151, adverbAdverbs are words that modify (1) verbs, (2) adjectives, and (3) other adverbs. They tell how (manner), when (time), where (place), how much (degree), and why (cause). Source: Lesson 161, or nounA noun is a word that names a person, place, thing, or idea. Examples: man, city, book, and courage.  Source: Lesson 16.  It cannot stand alone as a sentence.

A phrase is a group of words used as a sentence part. It does not have a subject and a verb.  It can be a noun, adjective, or adverb.  We have studied the following phrases: prepositionalA prepositional phrase starts with a preposition, ends with an object, and may have modifiers between the preposition and the object of the preposition.
Source: Lesson 180
, gerundA gerund is a verbal that always ends in ing and is used as a noun. Example: Eating is fun.  Gerunds can have with them direct objects, predicate nominatives, predicate adjectives, or modifiers to form what is called a gerund phrase.  Source: Lesson 212, participialA participle is a verbal and is used as an adjective. Participles end in various ways. They modify nouns and pronouns and can precede or follow the word they modify.  A participial phrase is made up of a participle and any complements.  Source: Lesson 222, and infinitiveAn infinitive is a verbal that is to plus a verb form. It can be a noun, an adjective, or an adverb. Examples: to be, to see, to be seen, to be eaten.  An infinitive phrase is made up of a infinitive and any complements.  Source: Lessons 217, 224, & 232.


A compound sentence combines two or more independent clauses.  Commas separate the clauses of a compound sentence. (A short sentence joined by and is sometimes combined without a comma.)  A semicolon can take the place of the conjunctionA conjunction is a word that joins other words, phrases (groups of words), or clauses (groups of words with a subjects and verb).  Source: Lesson 201 and comma.  Only clauses closely related in thought should be joined to make a compound sentence.

SheS talksV andC heS listensV.


The conjunction should express the proper relationship between the clauses. And joins ideas of equal importance. Or joins clauses that express alternatives. Nor joins negative ideas together. But joins clauses that express contrasting ideas.

Do not confuse a compound sentence with a simple sentenceA simple sentence is a group of words expressing a complete thought, and it must have a subject and a verb.
Source: Lesson 91
having compound parts. Both sides of the conjunction will have a subject and a verb in a compound sentence.

MotherS bakedV a cake andC IS frostedV it.


Instructions: Tell whether the following sentences are compound sentences or not.  If they are not, tell which compound part they are.

1. The girl just sat there but said nothing.

The girlS just satV there butC saidV nothing.

  - compound verb

2. I looked for the book, but I could not find it.

IS lookedV for the book, butC IS couldV not  
findV it.

  - compound sentence

3. Jeff must have arrived safely, or we would have been notified.

JeffS must have arrivedV safely, orC weS  
would have been notifiedV.

  - compound sentence

4. One of my friends and his dad have flown to Brazil.

One of my friendsS andC his dadS  
have flownV to Brazil.

  - compound subject

5. Everyone was playing or swimming in the pool.

EveryoneS was playingV orC swimmingV  
in the pool.

  - compound verb

6. Suddenly the rain poured down, and the party was ruined.

Suddenly the rainS pouredV down, andC  
the partyS was ruinedV.

  - compound sentence

7. We will vacation in the Black Hills or at Waterton.

WeS will vacationV in the Black Hills  
orC at Waterton.

  - compound object of a the preposition

8. I haven't heard from Becky, nor do I expect a call soon.

Suddenly the IS haveVn't heardV from  
Becky, norC doV IS expectV a  
call soon.

  - compound sentence

9. I climbed the tree and looked in the bird's nest.

IS climbedV the tree andC lookedV in the  
bird's nest.

  - compound verb

10. She planned to read the letter, but it could not be found.

SheS plannedV to read the letter, butC itS  
couldV not be foundV.

  - compound sentence

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