Sentence Structure- Compound or Simple?


Just wondering if there is ellipsis of the subject in the supposed, 'second' clause, then does it still count as an 'independent clause'.


For example- is the following sentence COMPOUND OR SIMPLE?
Opposing parties often sit down and chat it out.



1 answer


Though the dictionary does define ellipsis as the omission of one or more words, I have never heard or read the word used for anything but the punctuation mark used to indicate that.  We do not use is as a synonym for the word omission


A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses.   An independent clause contains a subject and a verb and is a complete thought. 


A simple sentence may have a compound subject or a compound verb.  It can also have dependent phrases.  A simple sentence does not have to be a very short sentence. 


The easiest way to find out if you have two independent clauses is to split the sentence up and see if each part can stand alone as a sentence.  "Chat it out" might cause a bit of confusion.  I could be used as an independent clause as a directive.  But the subject of that sentence is an implied "you" - not "opposing parties."  So it cannot stand alone and is not an independent clause.


When a sentence has two independent clauses, they are joined with either a semicolon or a comma and a conjunction.  Your sentence has neither and is punctuated properly because it is only one independent clause. 

link comment answered Mar 02 '14 at 12:02 Patty T Grammarly Fellow

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