Is the following sentence a compound or complex sentence? 'From wicked queens, beautiful...

Question:

Is the following sentence a compound or complex sentence?

'From wicked queens, beautiful princesses, elves, monsters, and goblins to giants, glass slippers, poisoned apples, magic keys, and mirrors, the characters and images of fairy tales have cast a spell over readers and audiences, both adults and children, for centuries.'

Compound and Complex Sentences:

Compound sentences include at least two independent clauses, i.e. clauses that contain a subject and a predicate, and could stand alone as complete sentences. Complex sentences, by contrast, only have a single independent clause which is connected to at least one dependent clause. Complex sentences cannot be divided into multiple sentences.

Answer and Explanation:

This is a complex sentence. There is only a single independent clause: 'fairy tales have cast a spell'. Everything else in the sentence falls under the category of dependent clauses. The sentence opens with a dependent prepositional phrase, followed by a list of nouns, and it ends with another dependent prepositional phrase. The sentence cannot be broken into multiple shorter sentences and remain grammatically acceptable. Therefore, it is a complex sentence, not a compound one.


Learn more about this topic:

Types of Sentences: Simple, Compound & Complex

from AP English Literature: Exam Prep

Chapter 12 / Lesson 8
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