Have you ever wondered how to tell the difference in between complicated sentences and compound sentences? I struggled via this idea as soon as I was discovering grammar, and also I know that you can be struggling via it also. 

But initially, let me define the issue so that we"re all on the exact same page! Take a look at these two sentences.

You are watching: Identify the sentence which contains a subordinating connection.


They differ by simply one word (and/because), and that word transforms the structure of the sentence.

One of those sentences is compound, and one of them is complex. How deserve to you tell the difference? First, let"s evaluation what compound and also complicated sentences are.


Independent claoffers are teams of words that have a subject and also a verb, and have the right to stand also alone as finish thoughts. When we join 2 or even more independent claoffers together, we have a compound sentence. 


She cooked and also he cleaned. (Compound Sentence)She cooked. (Independent Clause) He cleaned.  (Independent Clause)and (Coordinating Conjunction)


Did you alert that the independent claoffers over are associated through a coordinating conjunction (and)?

All of the claprovides in a compound sentence are equally crucial, and also the coordinating conjunction does nothing to change the rank of the clasupplies. The clasupplies express associated thoughts, and also neither clausage is more vital structurally.

The only feature of the coordinating conjunction is to affix the clauses and also show a very straightforward relationship between them.

Tbelow are just seven coordinating conjunctions, and memorizing them is an excellent principle. They are for, and also, nor, yet, or, yet, so. (Think FANBOYS.)

When we diagram compound sentences, we can really see the partnership in between the claoffers. We have the right to see that the claoffers have actually equal structural prominence. Check it out.


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These are formed from one independent clause and also at least one subordinate clause. This implies that the clasupplies in a complicated sentence are not structurally equal. The clasupplies express connected thoughts, but one clausage acts as the structure of the sentence. Here"s an instance.


Complex Sentence --> My mom smiled when I made dinner. Independent Clausage --> My mom smiled. Subordinate Clausage --> once I made dinner Subordinating Conjunction --> when


Subordinating Conjunctions

Subordinating conjunctions affix specific types of subordinate clasupplies to independent claoffers, and also they actually subordinate - or demote - the clausage that they are introducing. The attribute of the subordinating conjunction is to connect the claprovides and suggest a dependent (complex) relationship between them. As you"ll check out below, the dependent clausage actually modifies component of the independent clausage.Look at the subordinate clause once I made dinner. If we take amethod the subordinating conjunction when, it becomes the independent clause I made dinner. It can help to think of these conjunctions as "subordinators." Not just execute they affix clasupplies, but they likewise subordinate the one that they are introducing!

Tright here are many, many subordinating conjunctions, so memorizing them would be a huge job. Here are a couple of examples for you: after, bereason, if, because, as soon as, while.

Diagramming complicated sentences helps us to understand also the attribute of subordinating conjunctions. Diagrams make it easy to view that one clausage is even more necessary than the various other.You can check out that the totality dependent clausage is functioning as an adverb modifying smiled. You have the right to see that the subordinating conjunction is connected to the subordinate clausage. It is connecting the clauses, and it is subordinating the dependent clause.


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When you"re finding out grammar, it"s straightforward for complicated and compound sentences to seem the same. This pretty much sums it up: Blah blah blah CONNECTING WORD blah blah blah.Students are able to pick out the clasupplies (elegantly represented by blah blah blah in the example above), however they have trouble figuring out whether the sentence is compound or complex. They do not know enough about the word doing the connecting. That word is the key to the distinction in between compound and also complicated sentences. I left out the last sentence of Udaya"s question because she provided amethod the answer. Here it is.

Should I tell my students that a sentence"s structure deserve to be identified based upon the type of conjunction it has?


Yes, that is precisely what you need to tell them. If two clauses are linked through a coordinating conjunction, it"s a compound sentence. If two clauses are linked via a subordinating conjunction, it"s a complicated sentence.Tip:
If you simply memorize the salso coordinating conjunctions, you will certainly conveniently understand whether the conjunction is coordinating or subordinating. It"s less job-related than trying to memorize the subordinating conjunctions as well.

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If you do not want to teach or learn grammar by yourself,  click here to watch just how I can help you.


I offered my consistent ESL class yesterday, and also I knew exactly how to answer a question around dependent clauses and an additional about participles being supplied as adjectives. This remained in my even more progressed class. Hurray!

- Lana, ESL Teacher


Elizabeth O"Brien is the creator of Grammar Radvancement.

Her lessons are guaranteed to provide you more confidence in your communication skills and make you smile. :)


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