Compound-Complex Sentence*

Compound-Complex Sentence

April 4, 2019

Native English Instructor

Written by Douglas Shaw

A sentence is the largest unit of any language. In English, it begins with a capital letter and ends with a period (.)(full-stop), or a question mark (?), or an exclamation mark (!).

The sentence is generally defined as a word or a group of words that expresses a thorough idea by giving a statement/order, or asking a question, or exclaiming.

A complete English sentence must have three characteristics:

  • First, in written form, a sentence begins with a capital letter and ends with a period (i.e., a full stop) [.], a note of interrogation (i.e., a question mark) [?], or a note of exclamation (i.e., an exclamation mark) [!].
  • Second, it must express a complete thought.
  • Third, it must contain at least one subject (hidden/visible) and one verb comprising an independent clause. (An independent clause contains an independent subject and verb and expresses a complete thought.)

compound-complex sentence (or complex–compound sentence) is a mixture of the features of compound and complex sentences in one sentence. So, it must contain at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.


I know that you always wanted to become a teacher, but I always wanted to become a doctor. (Here, one dependent clause is followed by a complex connector and two independent clauses with a compound conjunction between them.)  

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