How to Get MS Word to Check for Compound Sentences

By Amy Dombrower

Use Microsoft Word to check writing style.
i laptop 9 image by Harvey Hudson from

Microsoft Word has a complex set of spelling and grammar checking tools. You can set it to automatically check for spelling and grammar errors and auto-correct mistakes as you go along. Word will also check for writing style errors, and you can customize the settings to detect certain things, such as fragments, punctuation mistakes and sentence structure. A compound sentence is a sentence that includes two independent clauses and is joined by a coordinating conjunction. Coordinators are usually preceded by a comma and include "and, or, nor, for, so, but and yet." An independent clause is a part of a sentence that could stand alone. Use Microsoft Word's proofing options to detect compound sentences.

Step 1

Open a document in Microsoft Word.

Step 2

Click the "Microsoft Office Button." Click "Proofing." Under "When Correcting Spelling and Grammar in Word, click the drop-down menu next to "Writing Style." Select "Grammar & Style."

Step 3

Click "Settings." Here you can choose which types of style errors are detected. Word will only detect something if it suspects a stylistic or grammatical error.

Step 4

Scroll through the checkboxes under the "Style" heading. Select "Sentence Structure" to make Word detect sentence fragments and overuse of conjunctions in compound sentences. Select "Sentences Beginning with 'And,' 'But,' or 'Hopefully'" to detect the use of "plus" between independent clauses. If you're worried about wordiness, select "Sentence Length."

Step 5

Click "OK."

Step 6

Open the "Proofing" window under "Word Options" again to make Word check grammar errors as you type. Click the checkbox next to "Mark Grammar Errors as You Type." You'll see an underline when an error is detected. Right-click the sentence for revision suggestions.