Grammar 10


Write a Long Compound Sentence

In this lesson, you will write a long compound sentence of your own.

You can keep it simple, as in this example:

We made paper dolls, and then we read a book, and then we sang a song, and then we played outside, and then we ate lunch, and then I drew a picture, and then we made Christmas decorations, and then we cleaned the classroom.

Or you can make it a bit more complicated, as in this next example. (Notice how each clause has a different subject).

The storm approached, and the wind stiffened, and the waves tossed the tiny boat, and the man rowed harder, and his face was grim, and the spray of the ocean lashed his face, and his heavy arms grew tired.

And don't be afraid to use semicolons to join some (or all) of the clauses. Here is an example from the book Stewart Little by E. B. White:

It was the loveliest town of all; the houses were white, and the elm trees were tall, and the front yards were wide, and the back yards were bushy, and the streets sloped down to the stream, and the stream flowed quietly under the bridge, and the lawns ended in orchards, and the orchards ended in fields, and the fields ended in pastures, and the pastures climbed the hill toward the wonderful sky; it was here, in this town, that Stewart stopped for the night.

The sentence you write must have at least five clauses. Your sentence doesn't have to be elegant, but it must be grammatically correct!

Remember, there are only two ways to join clauses in a compound sentence:

Caution: Do not write a run-on sentence!

  • No comma splices, like this:
    • We went to the beach, it was hot.
  • No fused sentences, like this:
    • We went to the beach it was hot.

Below are some more examples of long compound sentences. Like them or not, all these sentences are grammatically correct.

She loved Paris, and she loved the food, and most of all she loved the young man, and the man called her “mademoiselle,” and she flirted with him, and they ordered coffee at an old cafe, and they sat at one of the outside tables, under a cloudy sky, and they talked of love; then the clouds burst, and the rain poured down, and they both got wet, but they didn't care; they laughed at the rain, and they dashed through the streets, and they splashed through the puddles, and that night they drank beer in the bars until late, and then he walked her back to her room, and the rain had washed the old city clean, and the cobblestones glistened in the light of the flickering street lamps.

He sat at the kitchen table, and he watched his wife; she was cutting vegetables for dinner; in the other room, the children argued over the television channel; the teapot whistled, and his wife poured him a steaming cup of hot tea; the dog whined at the screen door; the dog had seen a squirrel, and he wanted to go outside; the man pushed the screen door open, and the dog ran out, and the dog chased the squirrel up a tree.

The drummer set the tempo; the guitarist strummed a chord, and the singer leaned into the microphone; the drunken crowd went wild; the bartender paused, and he leaned on the bar, and the girl on the bar stool offered him a cigarette; he accepted her offer, but he couldn't find a match, so she gave him a light, and he sucked in the smoke, and he let out his breath, and smoke twirled slowly out of his mouth; the girl on the stool fixed the ribbon in her hair, and then she lit a cigarette for herself; the cat on the bar crinkled its nose, and its whiskers twitched, and the cat’s long tail flicked back and forth, and the band was loud, and the crowd was loud, and the bartender sighed, and the girl smiled, and the cat jumped down from the bar; the cat walked slowly toward the back alley; everyone, except for the cat, was enjoying another typical evening at Jimbo's Bar and Grill.

Lesson Steps

  1. Open your writing portfolio.
    • Level 10
      • Practice with Semicolons: Exposition
  2. Write a long compound sentence with at least five clauses.

  3. When you are finished, return to this page and take the quiz.

Instructions for Quiz

Answer the questions.