Daily Grammar

Lesson 291

Parts of the Sentence - Compound & Complex Sentences

A complex sentence is made up of an independent clauseA clause is a group of words having a subject and a verb. An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence.
Source: Lesson 246
and a dependent clauseA clause is a group of words having a subject and a verb. A dependent clause must be attached to the independent clause to make sense. It is always used as some part of speech. A dependent clause can be an adjective, adverb, or noun. It cannot stand alone as a sentence.  Source: Lesson 246.

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 76 and comma.  Only clauses closely related in thought should be joined to make a compound sentence.

Instructions: The following sentences are made up of two independent clauses with one or more dependent clauses. You are to identify the clauses telling what kind each is. The choices are independent clause, noun clauseA noun clause is a dependent clause that can be used in the same way as a noun or pronoun. It can be a subject, predicate nominative, direct object, appositive, indirect object, or object of the preposition. Some of the words that introduce noun clause are that, whether, who, why, whom, what, how, when, whoever, where, and whomever.  Source: Lesson 275, adjective clauseThe adjective clause is a dependent clause that is used to modify a noun or a pronoun. It will begin with a relative pronoun (who, whose, whom, which, and that) or a subordinate conjunction (when and where). Those are the only words that can be used to introduce an adjective clause.
Source: Lesson 255
, or adverb clauseThe adverb clause is a dependent clause that modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb. They usually modify the verb. Adverb clauses are introduced by subordinate conjunction including after, although, as, as if, before, because, if, since, so that, than, though, unless, until, when, where, and while.  Source: Lesson 265.

1. John went to school, but James remained at home because he had a sore throat.

John went to schoolindependent clause, 
but James remained at homeindependent clause  
because he had a sore throatadverb clause.

2. If he changes his mind, we shall know for sure that Joe has learned his lesson, but only time will tell.

If he changes his mindadverb clause, 
we shall know for sureindependent clause  
that Joe has learned his lessonnoun clause, but  
only time will tellindependent clause.

3. Those clouds promise rain; we should hurry before we get caught in a flash flood.

Those clouds promise rainindependent clause;  
we should hurryindependent clause  
before we get caught in a flash floodadverb clause.

4. Here is the money that I owe you, and I am happy to be free of debt.

Here is the moneyindependent clause that I owe youadjective clause, and  
I am happy to be free of debtindependent clause.

5. Were you ever in a storm that was full of lightning, or don't you recall?

Were you ever in a stormindependent clause  
that was full of lightningadjective clause, or  
don't you recallindependent clause?

© 1996 Word Place, Inc.