Coordinating and Subordinating Conjunctions



A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses, or complete thoughts. The independent clauses are connected by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or). 


A complex sentence has one independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses. A subordinate clause does not express a complete thought. 


Clauses in a complex sentence are connected by a subordinating conjunction, such as because, if, then, when, before, or after


If a subordinate clause appears first in a sentence, use a comma to separate it from the independent clause. 


Compound sentence:  

Federalists thought one way, but Antifederalists disagreed. 


Complex sentence:

Because he was known as a great writer, he was assigned to work on the document. 


Complex sentence:  

They revolted when they were taxed unfairly.