This post contains several examples of compound sentences. If you recall, a compound sentence contains at least two independent clauses and no dependent clause whatsoever.
But for a separate sub-category of three independent clauses, all compound sentences contain exactly two independent clauses. And you’ll notice in few examples that the independent clauses in a compound sentence may be of different type: declarative and interrogative, exclamatory and declarative, and so on.
Note: Comments that go with examples are in square brackets.
Compound sentences with coordinating conjunctions (FANBOYS)
Of the seven coordinating conjunctions, and, but, or, and so are used the most. To get the most out of these examples: first, identify the independent clauses and see if they’ve been connected by one of FANBOYS and comma; second, see if the coordinating conjunctions are showing the relationships they are meant to show.
The coordinating conjunction for shows cause-effect relationship, with the second independent clause being the cause and the first its effect. Examples of compound sentence with for:
The team lost once again, for it continues to get the mix of players wrong.
Several large animals may go extinct this century, for climate change and exploitation by humans are taking away their food supply and habitat.
Some people are avoiding vaccines, for they think vaccines might have side effects.
We should reuse plastic bags, for they are clogging our grounds, drains, rivers, and even oceans.
Ants dispose of their dead, for they can infect the entire ant population.
I can’t get further credit from the bank, for I’ve already taken loan up to my credit limit.
There has been a cut in government spending, for its tax collection has gone down due to decline in economic activity during Covid time.
I cannot openly criticize my boss, for he will write my year-end appraisal.
That’s yet another reason, for why we should get vaccinated. [It’s a simple sentence: for is a preposition here starting the prepositional phrase for why we should get vaccinated. Note that there is no cause-effect relationship as it should be in case of for the coordinating conjunction. The comma shouldn’t be there; it’s there to make the sentence look like a compound sentence.]
The coordinating conjunction and adds to the previous information, showing continuation of thought. Examples of compound sentence with and:
James went to the market, and Mary went to the hospital.
Dr. Johnson ate a big meal, and he went to work afterward.
Newton proposed the three famous laws of motion, and he also did exceptional work in astronomy.
With more than 30,000 deaths a week, the pandemic is hardly over, and these are just official numbers.
Climate politics has shifted in the last few years, and that gives us hope.
Ghosts are regular to this building, and some have reportedly seen them.
Get into a good college, and don’t look back at the past. [The second clause is an independent clause. It’s an imperative sentence, in which subject you is implied.]
There is no easy way to take out bad press about oneself from Google, and it can affect you for years.
He is polite and convincing, and never bulldozes his argument. [It’s a simple sentence because never bulldozes his argument is not an independent clause. The comma shouldn’t be there; it’s there to make the sentence look like a compound sentence.]
The coordinating conjunction nor adds a negative idea to another negative idea, showing continuation of negative thought. With nor, unlike other coordinating conjunctions, we reverse verb order in the second independent clause. Examples of compound sentence with nor:
The proposed tax raise doesn’t make economic sense, nor does it make political sense.
Medicine didn’t work for my backache, nor did the therapy.
Covid didn’t have a sure-fire treatment in 2020, nor does it have in 2021.
Nadal hasn’t won the coveted year-end ATP championship, nor has he won the prestigious ATP Masters 1000 titles at Miami and Paris.
I’ve never been to San Francisco, nor have I been to Los Angeles.
With high fever and weakness, I can neither eat, nor can I sleep.
We’re not investing in shares of companies, nor should you.
We don’t stop exploiting planet’s resources, nor do governments make decisive commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
Over a century ago, women did not have right to vote in many democracies, nor did many minorities.
The coordinating conjunction but shows contrasting relationship between two independent clauses. Examples of compound sentence with but:
The flight is late, but why is this happening so repeatedly with this airline? [The two independent clauses may not necessarily be of same type. Here, it’s declarative followed by interrogative]
Plan, but act.
They made plans for a weekend getaway, but they ended up staying at home.
She did not want to go to work, but she went anyways.
A book can be fun to read, but a book can be boring as well.
Our product was good before, but it’s great now.
He claimed to have won state level championship in chess, buthe struggled to make even basic moves.
Translocating cheetahs to India may increase footprints of the species, but such an idea has never been tested.
Scientists are still studying these pictures and nothing concrete has been confirmed so far, but these pictures may very well be that of a Megalodon.
The plan is not perfect, but it indeed is a big step forward.
There have been reports of shortage of beds and oxygen, but the hospitals deny it.
It’s easier to make money and friendship, but difficult to keep them. [It’s a simple sentence because difficult to keep them is not an independent clause. The comma shouldn’t be there; it’s there to make the sentence look like a compound sentence.]
The coordinating conjunction or shows choice between two things or ideas. Examples of compound sentence with or:
Finish the task, or you won’t get the treat. [The independent clauses are imperative followed by declarative]
Finish the task in two hours, or is that too tight a deadline? [The independent clauses are imperative followed by interrogative]
Perform, or perish. [Two imperative sentences]
I might pass, or I might fail.
To soften the impact of Covid, the government should take immediate steps to boost economic growth, or we’ll see more misery in the coming days.
You better work hard to improve your academic standing, or it’ll be challenging to get shortlisted for job interviews.
After several failed attempts to catch the maneater leopard, the forest department decided to neutralize it, or it would’ve killed more humans.
The desperate lions decided to take on the elephant, a near-impossible kill, or they would’ve gone hungry for one more day.
It can occur due to human acts, or can be a result of environmental changes. [It’s a simple sentence because can be a result of environmental changes is not an independent clause. The comma shouldn’t be there; it’s there to make the sentence look like a compound sentence.]
The miscreant surrendered, or the police might have shot him.
Google stopped Google +, its social media platform, or it would have continued losing money on it.
Wear masks and maintain social distancing, or you may catch the virus.
The coordinating conjunction yet shows something is true (in the second independent clause) despite obstacles (in the first). Examples of compound sentence with yet:
What a performance it was, yet only few noticed it. [The independent clauses are exclamatory followed by declarative]
Sun blazed, yet flowers survived.
Mac’s parents didn’t attend college, yet he has nearly a dozen patents in his name.
Police has raided several hideouts of the runaway accused, yet he continues to evade them.
The top tennis players earn so much, yet they hanker for more.
It felt strange, and yet so wonderful to ski in the summer. [It’s a simple sentence because so wonderful to ski in the summer is not an independent clause. The comma shouldn’t be there; it’s there to make the sentence look like a compound sentence.]
Social media and gaming waste so much time, yet they’re popular.
In 2017, Roger Federer came back to active tennis after months of injury break and little match practice, yet he won Australian Open.
My dog just had food, yet he is after me for more.
The newspaper op-ed was unsparing in its criticism of the government, yet it highlighted government’s achievements wherever it deserved.
I stayed in the office till 9 PM, yet the project is nowhere near completion.
Tom hardly helps others, yet he expects others to help him in time of need.
The coordinating conjunction so shows cause-effect relationship between two independent clauses, with the first being the cause and the second its effect. Examples of compound sentence with so:
It might rain, so take umbrella. [The independent clauses are declarative followed by imperative]
Growing food crops isn’t that remunerative now, so farmers are turning to cash crops such as cotton and sugarcane.
Some people buy jeans in a size down, so they look tighter.
What you learnt is probably obsolete now, so don’t limit your children to your own learning.
Fuel prices are high again, so people should be worried about their household budget.
Temperatures soared to as high as 49 degrees Celsius in British Columbia, Canada, in 2021, so people there would be wary when the next summer comes.
I was not feeling well, so I decided to withdraw from the competition.
Our favorite restaurant was packed and had a waiting line, so we abandoned our plan to eat out.
There was a mugging incident in the neighbourhood, so police were questioning eye witnesses and collecting other evidence.
Collision by an asteroid of even few hundred meters can cause apocalyptic harm to humans and the planet, so scientists are mapping each and every near-earth asteroid of significant size.
Compound sentences with three independent clauses
A compound sentence can contain any number of independent clauses (more than one) as long as it doesn’t have any dependent clause. But more than two make a sentence clumsy and difficult to follow. Here are few compound sentences with three independent clauses for your understanding, but use them sparingly in actual writing. Examples of compound sentences with three independent clauses:
I don’t like James Bond movies, but I need to watch something on weekends, so I decided to watch comedy show.
Susan took her regular route to office, but a breakdown on the road led to a massive traffic jam, so she decided to turn back and work from home.
I am disoriented this morning, for I didn’t sleep well the last night, but I can’t use this as an excuse.
Cows grazed, and flowers waved in the gentle breeze, and the bees buzzed over the flowers. [Since and is common, you can use it just once before the third independent clause like you do in writing elements in a list. This too is fine though.]
I could watch a movie, or I could go shopping, or I could just catch up on some sleep. [Like in the previous sentence, you can use or just once. Note that such lists of independent clauses work best with and and or.]
Mom went for work, and dad left for the airport, but I stayed at home. [Another list. You can drop and here.]
Bequeathed money is helpful, but it can go away, and then you’ll have nothing to fall back on.
He didn’t participate in sporting events, nor did he participate in cultural activities, so he got poor marks in extracurricular activities.
Mac likes to cook; Susan would rather watch TV; I like to solve crossword puzzles. [Three independent clauses joined by two semicolons. The examples in semicolon category contain two independent clauses.]
Compound sentences with semicolon
Semicolons are used to join two or more closely related independent clauses. To get the most out of these examples, see if this indeed is the case. These compound sentences though are much less common than compound sentences with coordinating conjunctions. Example of compound sentences with semicolons:
Simona Halep cruised through her quarterfinal match; Emma Raducanu though lost.
Simona Halep cruised through her quarterfinal match; in the post-match interview, she weighed on her chances in the next match. [Since the two independent clauses aren’t closely related in meaning, we can’t use semicolon to form a compound sentence.]
The mob wasn’t just sloganeering; it was intent on stepping beyond to loot and arson.
Millions of Covid shots are ready to roll out; states will get them proportionate to their populations.
In these bad times, few TV journalists working in multilingual news channels are anchoring in two languages; therefore, they are more likely to survive this storm.
The government further eased Covid restrictions on people’s movement and gatherings; restrictions though continue on theaters, other events, and elementary schools.
Alexander Zverev won gold medal in men’s singles event at Tokyo Olympics; Novak Djokovic, surprisingly, failed to win any medal.
Cheetah has one of the highest success rates in catching a prey because of its high speed; it can hit as high as 60 miles per hour in just three seconds and reach top speed of 70 miles per hour.
The two friends decided to part ways; their friends though think that they’ll be back together.
We think we’ve a fantastic product; it’s just a matter of finding how to spread the word about it.
In 2016 U.S. presidential election, voter turnout was nearly 55 percent; in 2020, it was nearly 62 percent.
Compound sentences with colon
Even less common than compound sentences with semicolon are compound sentences with colon. You can use a colon to join two independent clauses when the second independent clause explains or expands on the first. To get the most out of these examples, see if the second independent clause indeed does this. Example of compound sentences with colons:
To say the least, the return on this investment has been wild: John made more than 900 percent in just 18 months.
This line, paraphrased, from the book Sapiens sums this up well: You love your children more than evolution requires.
His father should have remembered the saying: Giving your son a skill is better than giving him one thousand pieces of gold.
It’s rightly said: Don’t be too sweet lest you be eaten up; don’t be too bitter lest you be spewed out.
His reason for joining a smaller company was simple: Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion.
This proverb exemplifies one of the fundamentals of networking: Know few but know them well.
This is also called responsibility bias: People tend to overvalue their own contributions and undervalue contributions of others.
This is also called responsibility bias: People can get biased in many ways. [Since the second independent clause doesn’t explain or expand on the first, we can’t use colon to form a compound sentence.] A verb has two participle forms: present participle and past participle. [The part after colon is not an independent clause.]