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"He said" is a simple statement. What kind of statement is: He said Mark didn't like Susan. "He said" can be called a sentence. So can "Mark didn't like Susan." Yet this is neither a compound or complex sentence. What is it called when two different subject/verbs are co-joined without a semi-colon or the usual and, or , but, yet, etc.

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    "He said" is not a complete sentence. "say" is a transitive verb, it needs an object. – Barmar Feb 1 '17 at 21:10
  • Seconding Barmar's comment. He said is fragment. He said something, for example, would be a complete sentence – freeling10 Feb 1 '17 at 21:14
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    In the traditional pedagogy I underwent in childhood this is a complex sentence, composed of an independent clause and a dependent clause. He said, incidentally, is not "sentence" or an indendent clause: say requires either an object or a complement, so without the dependent clause it is incomplete. – StoneyB Feb 1 '17 at 21:18
  • Sometimes transitive verbs can be used without overt objects -- like "He ate." – Greg Lee Feb 1 '17 at 21:26
  • The sentence 'He said Mark didn't like Susan" has the word 'that' understood, connecting the two clauses: "He said that Mark didn't like Susan." – Yosef Baskin Feb 1 '17 at 21:27
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Think of the sentence like this:

He said that Mark didn't like Susan.

So it's actually a complex sentence.

The two sentences are identical except for their complementizers. When you omit the "that", you're using the empty complementizer.


Note that you need to use an agentive ambitransitive verb in your main clause if you want it to be grammatical without the other clause. Your main clause ("he said") by itself just seems awkward if not ungrammatical (although say can be used intransitively).

A better verb would be noticed:

He noticed.
Mark didn't like Susan.
He noticed [that] Mark didn't like Susan.

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