Compound Sentence Worksheet

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There are three types of sentences in English: Simple, compound and complex sentences. This worksheet focuses on writing compound sentences and is ideal for lower-intermediate classes. Teachers can feel free to print out this page to use in-class.

Compound Sentences - What are They?

Compound sentences are made up of two simple sentences connected by a coordinating conjunction. These conjunctions are also known as FANBOYS:

F - For - reasons
A - And - addition / next action
N - Nor - not one or the other
B - But - contrasting and unexpected results
O - Or - choices and conditions
Y - Yet - contrasting and unexpected results
S - So - actions taken 

Here are some example compound sentences:

Tom arrived home. Then, he ate dinner. -> Tom arrived home, and ate dinner.
We studied many hours for the test. We didn't pass the test. -> We studied many hours for the test, but we didn't pass it.
Peter doesn't need to buy a new car. He also doesn't need to go on vacation. -> Peter doesn't need to buy a new car, nor does he need to go on vacation.

Conjunction Use in Compound Sentences

Conjunctions are used for different purposes in sentences. A comma is always placed before the conjunction. Here are the main uses of the FANBOYS:

Addition / Next Action

and

'And' is used as a coordinating conjunction to show that something is in addition to something else.

Another use of 'and' is to show that one action follows another. 

addition -> Tom enjoys playing tennis, and he likes cooking.
next action -> We drove home, and we went to bed.

Opposition - Contrasting or Showing Unexpected Results

Both 'but' and 'yet' are used to contrast pros and cons or show unexpected results.

 

but / yet

Pros and cons of a situation -> We wanted to visit our friends, but we didn't have enough money to get a flight.
Unexpected results -> Janet did very well on her job interview, yet she didn't get the position.

Effect / Cause - so / for

It's easy to confuse these two coordinating conjunctions. 'So' expresses a result based on a reason. 'For' provides the reason. Consider the following sentences: 

I need some money. I went to the bank.

The result of needing money is that I went to the bank. In this case, use 'so'.

I needed some money, so I went to the bank.

The reason I went to the bank is because I needed money. In this case, use 'for'.

I went to the bank, for I needed some money.

effect -> Mary needed some new clothing, so she went shopping.
cause -> They stayed home for the holiday, for they had to work.

Choice Between Two

or

We thought we might go to see a film, or we might have dinner out.
Angela said she might buy him a watch, or she might give him a gift certificate.

Conditions

or

You should study a lot for the test, or you won't pass. = If you don't study a lot for the test, you won't pass. 

Not One nor the Other

nor

We won't be able to visit our friends, nor will they be able to visit us this summer.


Sharon isn't going to the conference, nor is she going to present there.

NOTE: Notice how when using 'nor' the sentence structure is inverted. In other words, after 'nor' place the helping verb before the subject.

Compound Sentence Worksheet

Use FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) to write one compound sentence using the two simple sentences.

  • Peter drove to visit his friend. They went out for dinner. - Show a sequence of events
  • Mary thinks she should go to school. She wants to get qualifications for a new profession. - Provide a reason
  • Alan invested a lot of money in the business. The business went bankrupt. - Show an unexpected result
  • Doug didn't understand the homework assignment. He asked the teacher for help. - Show an action taken based on a reason
  • The students didn't prepare for the test. They didn't realize how important the test was. - Give a reason
  • Susan thinks she should stay home and relax. She also thinks she should go on vacation. - Show additional information
  • The doctors looked at the x-rays. They decided to operate on the patient. - Show an action taken based on a reason
  • We went out on the town. We came home late. - Show a sequence of events
  • Jack flew to London to visit his Uncle. He also wanted to visit the National Museum. - Show addition
  • It is sunny. It is very cold. - Show a contrast
  • Henry studied very hard for the test. He passed with high marks. - Provide a reason
  • I would like to play tennis today. If I don't play tennis, I would like to play golf. - Give a choice
  • We needed some food for the week. We went to the supermarket. - Show an action taken based on a reason
  • Tom asked his teacher for help. He also asked his parents for help. - Show addition
  • Janet doesn't like sushi. She doesn't like any kind of fish. - Show that Susan doesn't like either sushi or fish
  • Peter drove to visit his friend, and they went out for dinner.
  • Mary thinks she should go to school, for she wants to get qualifications for a new profession.
  • Alan invested a lot of money in the business, but the business went bankrupt.
  • Doug didn't understand the homework assignment, so he asked the teacher for help.
  • The students didn't prepare for the test, nor did they realize how important the test was.
  • Susan thinks she should stay home and relax, or she should go on vacation.
  • The doctors looked at the x-rays, so they decided to operate on the patient.
  • We went out on the town, and we came home late.
  • Jack flew to London to visit his Uncle, and to visit the National Museum.
  • It is sunny, but it is very cold.
  • Henry studied very hard for the test, so passed with high marks.
  • I would like to play tennis today, or I would like to play golf.
  • We needed some food for the week, so We went to the supermarket.
  • Tom asked his teacher for help, and he asked his parents.
  • Janet doesn't like sushi, nor does she like any kind of fish.

There are other variations that are possible than those provided in the answers. Ask your teacher for other ways to connect these to write compound sentences.