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§ 136. The composite sentence is a sentence consisting of two or more clauses. In its structure a clause is similar to a simple sentence, but unlike a simple sentence it forms part of a bigger syntactical unit.

Within a composite sentence clauses may be joined by means of coordination or subordination, thus forming a compound or a complex sentence respectively.

Coordination is a way of linking grammatical elements to make them equal in rank.

Subordination is a way of linking grammatical elements that makes one of them dependent upon the other (or they are mutually dependent).


1. The door of Henry’s lunch-room opened, and two men came in.

2. I have come to you, because I know from reading your accounts that you are Mr Sherlock Holme’s most

intimate acquaintance.


These sentences may be graphically presented in the following way:


1. The door... opened ————and———— two men came in
2. I have come to   
  you because I know...   
  that you are...   


A compound sentence may contain coordinate clauses extended by subordinate clauses, and the resulting structure is a compound-complex sentence.


Pooh was very proud when he heard this, and he felt that Heffalump was as good as caught already, but

there was just one other thing which had to be thought about.



A complex sentence may contain subordinate clauses joined by means of coordination, the resulting structure being a complex sentence with homogeneous subordinate clauses.


I must impress upon you again that you are in a very great danger, and that the utmost frankness is



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