Transformation of complex sentences into compound sentences

A complex sentence contains one main clause (independent clause) and one or more subordinate clauses.

A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses.

You can change a complex sentence into a compound sentence by changing a dependent clause into an independent clause. This requires an understanding of the conjunctions used to introduce dependent and independent clauses.

Dependent clauses are introduced by subordinating conjunctions like when, before, after, because, since, as, if, unless, whether, till, until etc.

Independent or main clauses are usually introduced by the coordinating conjunctions: and, or, but, so, yet, no, for

An example is given below.

  • If you send in a written request, we will look into the matter.

As you can see, this is a complex sentence. It has one dependent clause (if you send in a written request) and one independent clause (we will look into the matter).

The dependent clause is introduced by the subordinating conjunction ‘if’. In order to change this complex sentence into a compound sentence, we need to remove that subordinating conjunction and connect the two clauses with a coordinating conjunction.

Study the example given below.

  • Send in a written request and we will look into the matter.

The sentence given above has two independent clauses connected by the coordinating conjunction and.

Another example is given below.

  • Though antibiotics are effective against a number of diseases, they should be taken only after consulting your doctor. (Complex sentence)

To change this complex sentence into a compound sentence, you need to remove that subordinating conjunction ‘though’.

Now connect the two clauses with a coordinating conjunction that expresses the same idea.

  • Antibiotics are effective against a number of diseases, but they should be taken only after consulting your doctor. (Compound)

One more example is given below.

  • As we couldn’t catch the last bus, we had to walk all the way home. (Complex sentence)
  • We couldn’t catch the last bus, so we had to walk all the way home. (Compound sentence)
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