Monday, December 09, 2013
The Rules of Writing-Syntax-The Sentence-Compound Comples Sentences
By OFW chief editor:
Carlos J Cortes And Renée Miller
Published: June 18, 2013
The fourth and final sentence structure is the compound-complex sentence. Now that we have an idea of the other sentence types, the forbidding “Compound-Complex” title shouldn’t cause much trepidation. Just as two or more simple sentences formed compound ones, compound-complex sentences are nothing more than combinations of one or more compound sentences and one or more complex sentences. A more precise definition would be: Sentences with at least one dependent clause and two or more independent clauses are compound-complex.
Sonia went to the beach because she wanted to get a tan, but she forgot the cream.
Here we have an independent clause:
Sonia went to the beach
Followed by a dependent one:
Because she wanted to get a tan
Together, they form a complex sentence:
Sonia went to the beach because she wanted to get a tan.
If we append the independent clause “She forgot the cream” with the conjunction “but,” we have a compound-complex sentence.
We can link the clauses with coordinating or subordinating conjunctions.
Unless we hurry up, your dad will complain, so get your socks on.
Dependent Independent Independent
Familiarity with sentence structure is critical for creating sentence variety, which is the soul of rhythm in creative writing, a major component of voice and style. Too many consecutive sentences sharing a similar construction soon give the prose a monotonous flavor.
Opening a passage with a simple sentence, following with compound or complex sentences, or interspacing simple and complex sentences will result in forceful and agile prose.
A few children played with marbles. Two cats turned something with their paws over in a corner. A man with a white, many-chinned face and an under lip that stood out like a ledge sat outside a dark entrance reading a paper and darting vigilant glances at the boys and the cats. The streets teemed with life and hope.
Somewhere, fingers tore from a slightly off-key piano an old Russian melody that was almost a lament, with the bitter calmness of dawn after a pogrom.
Renee Miller & Carlos Cortes
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