Difference Between Simple and Compound Sentences

Main Difference – Simple vs Compound Sentences

A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. Sentences can be grouped into four types based on their structure. They are simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences and compound-complex sentences. In this article, we are going to talk about simple sentences and compound sentences. A simple sentence is a group of words that only consists of one independent clause. A compound sentence is a group of words that consists of at least two independent clauses. The main difference between simple and compound sentences is that a simple sentence is composed of a single clause whereas a compound sentence is composed of two or more clauses.

What is a Simple Sentence

A simple sentence, as the name suggests, is the simplest form of a sentence. It contains the basic components that make a sentence, that is, subject, verb, and the complete thought. It has one subject and one predicate. A simple sentence has one independent clause and no dependent clause. Therefore, a simple sentence is also referred to as an independent clause. Given below are some examples of simple sentences.

She cried. (She= subject, cried= verb)

Sarah liked James. (Sarah= subject, liked= verb, James= object)

They were late. (They= subject, were=verb, late=adjective)

My mother and I waited for my father. (My mother and I= subject, waited= verb, for my father=object of preposition)

She didn’t want to go to school. (She=subject, didn’t want= verb, to go to school= object of preposition)Difference Between Simple and Compound Sentences

What is a Compound Sentence

A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses. These clauses are combined with the use of a coordinating conjunction. (For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, and So)

Compound Sentence: He sang a song, and she danced.

Independent Clause 1: He sang a song.

Independent Clause 2: She danced.

Coordinating conjunction: and

Since compound sentences contain more than one clause, they are more complex and longer than simple sentences.

It is also important to notice that all the clauses in a compound are equally important. The independent clauses present related ideas, and neither clause is more important than the other.

It is also important to notice that punctuation can be used to form a compound sentence; using a dash or a semicolon between two independent clauses can also create compound sentences.

Given below are some examples of compound sentences.

He bought me a dress, but I didn’t like its color.

I went home and had my lunch.

John has returned home, so we didn’t meet him.

He can lift it with one hand – I’ve seen him do it.Main Difference - Simple vs Compound Sentences

Difference Between Simple and Compound Sentences

Independent Clauses

Simple sentences contain only one independent clause.

Compound sentences contain two or more independent clauses.


Simple sentences are shorter in length.

Compound sentences are longer than simple sentences.


Simple sentences do not generally use commas.

Compound sentences typically use commas between the clauses.


Simple sentences are the simplest form of sentences.

Compound sentences are more complex than simple sentences.

Subject and predicate                   

Simple sentences have only one subject and one predicate.

Compound sentences can have more than one subject and predicate.Difference Between Simple and Compound Sentences-infographic

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