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Lesson 7 – Compound and Complex Sentences


Language Arts  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Writing and Grammar Unit – Lesson 7
By – John Foley
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Grade Level – 9-12

Unit Contents: Introduction
Lesson 1:   Writing by Ear
Lesson 2:   Nouns
Lesson 3:   Active and Passive Verbs
Lesson 4:   Modify in Moderation
Lesson 5:   Coordinating Conjunctions
Lesson 6:   Simple Sentences
Lesson 7:   Compound and Complex Sentences


Lesson 8:   Periods and Commas
Lesson 9:   Logic and Questions
Lesson 10: Interjections and Exclamation Points
Study Guide
Writing and Grammar Test

Lesson 7: Compound & Complex Sentences

      A compound sentence consists of two independent clauses. A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. And a compound-complex sentence carries two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. Whew! That’s more clauses than in a mall on Christmas Eve.
      Bad jokes aside, compound and complex sentences are moderately to very long. While long sentences can be elegant and a pleasure to read, they are more difficult for young writers to control. Read the following long sentence (52 words), which is always under control.

I spent several days and nights in mid-September with an ailing pig and I feel driven to account for this stretch of time, more particularly since the pig died at last, and I lived, and things might easily have gone the other way round and none left to do the accounting.

–E.B. White
    E.B. White is perhaps the only writer who can make me care about pigs. This seemingly effortless sentence is a model of elegance. Try to write three elegant compound/complex sentences of your own about school.


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