Compound and Complex Sentences



Use a FANBOYS conjunction, a CONJUNCTIVE ADVERB, or a semicolon/colon

Use these to connect two independent clauses and express a relationship between them. Compound sentences contain two independent clauses.


FANBOYS Conjunctions (comma + FANBOYS)


I could destroy the sun, but my electricity bill would increase.

Independent clause + comma + FANBOYS conjunction + independent clause.


FANBOYS Conjunctions

for          and        nor         but         or            yet         so


Conjunctive Adverbs (semicolon + conjunctive adverb + comma)


I could destroy the sun; however, my electricity bill would increase.

Independent clause + semicolon + conjunctive adverb + comma + independent clause.


To Emphasize

Indeed            of course                   certainly              in fact                    furthermore                      moreover                                                                             above all

To Add

in addition           next            still            additionally                 also                        again

To Show Time

before            earlier         afterward          meanwhile            thereafter             lately                  now            later subsequently

To Prove or Show Cause

consequently                    as a result                 therefore

To Compare

also                        likewise                again                     accordingly                         similarly

To Contrast

however                regardless            conversely            rather              instead                                 nevertheless                   on the contrary     

To Explain a Condition or Make a Concession

granted            certainly                   of course                  perhaps

To Clarify

for example              namely             that is                   for instance             in other words                         specifically


Semicolon or colon

Use a semicolon to connect two independent clauses that are strongly related to each other. 

Use a colon to introduce a second independent clause that adds to or explains the first clause. 


Example semicolon: Language arts involves daily reading and writing; it is a wonderful class.

Example colon: Language arts involves a lot of work: we read and write every day. 


COMPLEX SENTENCES: Use a Subordinating Conjunction


Use these to introduce a dependent clause. These will help you write a complex sentence. Complex Sentences contain a dependent clause and an independent clause. Use a comma if the dependent clause is first.



  • If I destroy the sun, my electricity bill will increase.      

Subordinating conjunction + dependent clause + comma + independent clause.


  • My electricity bill will increase if I destroy the sun.

Independent clause + subordinating conjunction + dependent clause.    (NO COMMA)



Common Subordinating Conjunctions

To Prove or Show Cause

as            because               in order that                       since                      so that                  why

To Compare or Contrast

although         rather than                  as though              just as             even though           while       though        whereas          as


To Explain a Condition

 even if                 given that            unless                   in case                  if             provided that

To Designate a Place

where                   wherever 


To Show Time

after        as soon as          as long as            before                           once                still           until             when           whenever           while