Now that you know the patterns of simple sentences, it is time to look at ways to join them together. As a refresher, a simple sentence in made up of one independent clause; that is, a group of words containing a single subject-verb combination that expresses a complete thought. Also, remember that each sentence can be divided into two sections: a complete subject and a complete predicate.
Can you imagine reading an entire story made up of simple sentences? How boring would that be? While your answer may be "Boring," you may also be thinking of all those run-on sentence comments on your writing and wondering how to avoid them. There are many ways to achieve sentence variety while avoiding the dread "run-on" notation. The first of these is to join the ideas and create compound sentences.
A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses and no dependent (subordinate) clauses. We will be examining dependent clauses in the next chapter. For now, we will look at three methods of creating compound sentences by joining independent clauses. Before showing the methods, I want to make sure you know that the content of the combined sentences must be closely related to each other. Do not combine sentences unless their content is closely related.
Here are three examples of pairs of sentences without a close relationship:
I have exaggerated the lack of connection between the above pairs of sentences for effect. Under most circumstances, the two sentences above would not appear in the same paragraph, let alone being joined in a sentence.
Compound Sentence Method 1: Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction to join independent clauses. The missing comma before a coordinating conjunction is number three on the University of New Mexico's list of "The 10 Most Common Writing Errors." http://coe.unm.edu/uploads/docs/writing-studio/03-errors-page.pdf
There are seven coordinating conjunctions:
It is a good idea to memorize the coordinating conjunctions. To help you do that, I have arranged them so the first letters of the words spell out FANBOYS.
Here are examples of independent clauses being joined using a comma and a coordinating conjunction. Notice that the comma is placed in front of the conjunction.
Be sure to select the coordinating conjunction that best fits the relationship between the two sentences.
Compound Sentence Method 1 Imprint:
Impress this method on your memory. Using "Hansel and Gretel" or the favorite fairy tale you selected in the previous chapter, write four Method 1 sentences.
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