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5. Types of Sentences

There are three types of sentences:
a) Simple Sentence
b) Complex Sentence
c) Compound Sentence
d) Compound-complex Sentence

 

The type of sentence is determined by the number and type of clauses it contains. It falls into one of the following:

a) Simple Sentence
A simple sentence conveys a single idea. It has only one subject and one verb.

EXAMPLE: She is my girlfriend. / I am bored. / That is a fat monkey.
The verb in each sentence is in bold.

 

b) Complex Sentence
A complex sentence has one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. The independent clause is called the main clause, and the dependent clause is called the subordinate clause. These clauses are joined by conjunctions which include: as, as if, even if, if, because, unless, etc.

EXAMPLE: As she is a big bully, I stay away from her. / I will do it if I have the time.
The main clauses are in bold; the subordinate clauses are not.

 

c) Compound Sentence
A compound sentence is composed of at least two clauses or sentences joined together by a conjunction, i.e. words like: and, but, for, nor, or, so, therefore, either ... or, neither ... nor, not only ... but also, etc., or punctuated by a semi-colon. A compound sentence consists of at least two Independent or Main Clauses and verbs. The subordinate or dependent clause may or may not be present in a compound sentence. It is possible for a compound sentence to have three, four or more independent clauses. But commonly, it contains only two clauses.

EXAMPLE: I am skinny and you are obese. (Two main clauses joined by a conjunction.)
EXAMPLE: I know what you know. (Main clause: I know; subordinate clause: what you know)
EXAMPLE: I always tell you what I know but you never tell me what you know.

The last example shows a sentence with two main clauses and two subordinate clauses.

 

d) Compound-complex Sentence
A compound-complex sentence has at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.

EXAMPLE: Although the car is old, it still runs well, and we intend to keep it.
  Dep. Clause indep. clause indep. clause