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    #1

    compound/complex difference

    I'm trying to understand the difference between a compound and a complex sentence. The example given is 'I like coffe' - simple sentence. 'I like coffee but my partner prefers tea' - a compound sentence, because it is two independent clauses joined by a coordinator. However, 'but my partner prefers tea' can't stand alone. Take away the coordinating conjunction and it can. BUT that's the same with complex sentences. If you take away the conjunctions they can stand alone. So I can't see the difference between compound and complex.

    Thanks, Rhonda.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #2

    Re: compound/complex difference

    compound: two independent
    complex: one independent and at least one dpendent

    I like you and you like me. -- compound

    I like you -- independent
    you like me -- indep


    I like tea but my partner prefers coffee. -compound

    I like tea -- indep
    my partner prefers coffee -- indep

    but is a coordinating conjunction that joins the indep clauses

    Neither you nor I like them. -- compound

    you (like them) -- indep
    I like them -- indep


    After she drank her coffee I drank mine. -- complex

    After she drank her coffee -- dependent subordinate clause
    I drank mine -- main clause (indep)

    The adverbial clause adds to the meaning of the main clause.

    Hope this helps.


    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #3

    Re: compound/complex difference

    That a clause is dependent does not mean it can not stand alone. Each clause can be a grammatical sentence in itself. A clause is dependent because without it the main clause is not complete. The subordinate clause adds to the meaning of the main clause. Without the subordinate clause the meaning of the main clause is not complete.

    Comprende?

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