- I like coffee
This is a simple sentence with one subject and one verb forming an independent clause. Naturally, a simple sentence can include other things:
- I like a couple of cups of coffee first thing in the morning.
A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses, often joined by a co-ordinator.
- I like coffee, but my partner prefers tea.
A complex sentence contains an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.
- Because I have trouble waking up, I have coffee first thing in the morning. (The dependent clause is in bold and the independent clause is italicized)
The dependent clause cannot exist on its own; it requires the independent clause to make sense.
A compound-complex sentence contains at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.
- Some people say that the best coffee comes from Brazil, but others say that the best coffee comes from the Blue Mountains in Jamaica.