Grammar 8


Compound Elements

Compound elements can sometimes make a sentence look more complicated than it really is. Learning how not to get fooled by these compounds is the subject of the next few lessons.

A "compound" is a combination of two or more different elements.

For example, a chemical compound consists of different elements chemically bonded together. Water is an example of a chemical compound; it consists of two hydrogen atoms bonded with an oxygen atom.

In grammar, the word “compound” has a similar meaning. It describes a combination of two or more elements.

Study the following sentences:

Sentence Pattern Explanation

Joe and Bob are stupid.


"Joe and Bob" form a compound subject. Think of them as one big subject.

Sally is fat and lazy.


"fat and lazy" form a compound complement. Think of them as one big complement.

Joe kicked the table and the chair.


"the table and the chair" form a compound object. Think of them as one big object.

Bob gave Sue and Ellen a present.


"Sue and Ellen" form a compound indirect object. Think of them as one big indirect object.


Compounding subjects, complements, and objects does not affect the underlying clause pattern.

Instructions for the Quiz

Find the base clause.


Most of the sentences on this quiz have one of the following:

  • compound subject
  • compound complement
  • compound object
  • compound indirect object

Don't let these compounds fool you. They don't affect the underlying pattern.

However, just to keep you on your toes, I've also thrown in a few sentences with a dummy subjects. Remember those?

Any sentence that starts with the word "There" or "It" is automatically a dummy subject sentence. You don't even have to finish reading the sentence to know the answer!

Instructions for the Quiz

Answer the questions.