Is the sentance compound, complex, simple, or compound-complex? We know that women will continue to hold such high positions as cabinet member and governor, but when will a woman win the Presidency?

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litteacher8 | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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We know that women will continue to hold such high positions as cabinet member and governor, but when will a woman win the Presidency?

This sentence is a compound-complex sentence.  This is because it has independent clauses and subordinate (dependent) clauses.

A simple sentence has one clause.  For example, this is a simple sentence.

Women will continue to hold high positions.

This sentence is a simple sentence because it has one subject (women) and one verb (will continue) and expresses a complete thought.

A subordinate clause, on the other hand, is not a complete thought.  For example, this is a subordinate clause.

that women will continue to hold such high positions.

It has a verb, and it has a subject, but it does not express a complete thought because it has “that”, and “that” is connecting it to the independent clause “we know.”  Although “we know” is short, it has one subject and one verb.

A complex sentence has at least one independent and subordinate clause, so why is this one compound complex?  Because it has two independent clauses.  The last clause is an independent clause:

When will a woman win the Presidency?

The clause at the beginning of the sentence, “we know”, is an independent clause.  Therefore, the sentence is compound-complex.

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