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Simple, Compound, Complex, and Compound-Complex Sentences

English Sentence Forms

Dedication

 

THIS BOOK IS

DEDICATED

TO THOSE

WHO REALIZE

THE POWER OF ENGLISH

AND WANT TO

LEARN IT

SINCERELY

 

 

Copyright Notice

 

Please note that the content in this book is protected under copyright law. This book is for your personal use only. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, recording, or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the author.

 

Copy Right Holder – Manik Joshi

License – Standard Copyright License

Year of Publication – 2014

 

 

Sentence Forms

English sentences could be categorized as follows:

  1. Simple Sentence
  2. Compound Sentence
  3. Complex Sentence
  4. Compound-Complex Sentence [Mixed Sentence]

 

IMPORTANT TERMS

To understand these forms, you must know the following important terms:

 

SUBJECT

The part which names the person or thing we are speaking about is called subject.

Subject may also have an attribute.

Example:

My colleague bought fifty books from online book stores.

In this sentence, ‘colleague’ is a subject, while ‘my’ is an attribute.

 

PREDICATE

The part which tells something about the subject is called predicate.

Predicate may have ‘verb, direct object, indirect object, complement, etc.’

Example:

My colleague bought fifty books from online book stores.

In this sentence, ‘bought fifty books from online book stores’ is a predicate.

 

VERB

A word or group of words that expresses an action, event, or a state is called verb.

Example:

My colleague bought fifty books from online book stores.

In this sentence, ‘bought’ is a verb.

 

PHRASE

A group of words that does not have a subject and a verb is called phrase. A phrase makes sense, but not complete sense.

Phrases may be classified as follows:

 

Adjective Phrase:

A group of words that does the work of an adjective is called an adjective phrase. Thus, adjective phrase describes person or thing.

Examples:

Adjective phrase – covered with clouds [adjective – cloudy]

Adjective phrase – made of wood [adjective – wooden]

Adjective phrase – very small [adjective – tiny]

 

Adverb Phrase:

A group of words that does the work of an adverb is called an adverb phrase. Thus, adverb phrase describes adjective, phrase, or anther adverb.

Examples:

Adverb phrase – at that place [adverb – there]

Adverb phrase – at this place [adverb – here]

Adverb phrase – in a comfortable manner [adverb – comfortably]

Adverb phrase – in a suitable manner [adverb – suitably]

Adverb phrase – in an efficient manner [adverb – efficiently]

Adverb phrase – in an impatient manner [adverb – impatiently]

 

Noun Phrase:

A group of words that does the work of a noun is called a noun phrase. Thus, noun phrase does the work as a subject, an object, a complement, or as the object of the preposition.

Examples:

Noun phrase – the president of the country [noun – president]

Noun phrase – the monitor of the class [noun – monitor]

 

CLAUSE

A group of words which forms part of sentence, and contains a subject and a predicate is called a clause.

Clauses may be classified as follows:

 

Adjective Clause:

An adjective clause is a group of words which contains a subject and predicate of its own, and does the work of an adjective.

Example:

They live in the house which has three stories.

In this sentence – ‘which has three stories’ is an adjective clause.

 

Adverb Clause:

An adverb clause is a group of words which contains a subject and predicate of its own, and does the work of an adverb.

Example:

After they came, we left.

In this sentence – ‘After they came’ is an adverb clause.

 

Noun Clause:

A noun clause is a group of words which contains a subject and predicate of its own, and does the work of a noun.

Example:

They know who won the competition.

In this sentence – ‘who won the competition’ is a noun clause.

 

 

BASED ON DEPENDENCY, CLAUSES ARE OF TWO TYPES:

Independent or Principal Clause [Main Clause]:

An independent clause has a subject and a predicate. It can stand on its own. It makes sense all by itself. So, it is a complete sentence in itself.

Example:

We hired taxi for the stadium.

This sentence has a subject ‘we’ and a predicate ‘hired taxi for the stadium’. This sentence can stand on its own. It is a simple sentence.

 

Dependent or Subordinate Clause:

A dependent clause also has a subject and a predicate. However, it cannot stand on its own. It does not make sense by itself. So, it is dependent on independent clause to make complete sense.

Example:

As we got off the bus

This clause has a subject ‘we’ and a predicate ‘got off the bus’. But this clause is unable to stand on its own. It needs independent clause to make complete sense.

 

Now, combine both these clauses –

As we got off the bus, we hired taxi for the stadium.

This sentence has both independent and dependent clauses, and stands on its own.

 

Note: Types of Dependent Clause: (a). Adjective Clause, (b). Adverb Clause, (c). Noun Clause.

Simple Sentence

A sentence which has one subject and one predicate is called simple sentence. A simple sentence is always an independent clause. A simple sentence expresses a complete thought.

 

Examples:

We attended the class.

[subject – we, predicate – attended the class]

 

They are busy.

[subject – they, predicate – are busy]

 

She is innocent.

[subject – she, predicate – is innocent]

 

He finished his graduation.

[subject – he, predicate – finished his graduation]

 

They opened bank accounts.

[subject – they, predicate – opened bank accounts]

 

Committee awarded him for his outstanding performance.

[subject – committee, predicate – awarded him for his outstanding performance]

 

 

IMPORTANT NOTES:

‘Compound subject’ in a simple sentence

[Two subjects, One verb]

Example:

David and harry won the competition.

[subject – David and Harry. verb – won]

[Note – There are two subjects in this sentence. (So, this is called ‘compound subject’)]

 

 

‘Compound verb’ in a simple sentence

[One subject, Two verbs]

Example:

He wrote and sang a song.

[subject – he, verb – wrote and sang]

[Note – There are two verbs in this simple sentence. (So, this is called ‘compound verb’)]

 

 

‘Compound subject’ and ‘compound verb’ in a simple sentence

[Two subjects, Two verbs]

Example:

Clark and Tom jogged and swam.

[subject – Clark and Tom, verb – jogged and swam]

[Note – There are both ‘compound subject’ and ‘compound verb’ in this simple sentence.]

Compound Sentence

A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses joined together by (a). coordinating conjunctions, (b). correlative conjunctions or (c). transitional expressions (transitional words or phrases).

 

Following is the brief description of coordinating conjunctions, correlative conjunctions and transitional expressions:

 

(A). Coordinating conjunctions [Also known as ‘Coordinators]

They are used to merely connect independent clauses of equal importance.

 

There are SEVEN coordinating conjunctions in English -

  1. and -- used to express a relationship of ‘addition’
  2. but -- used to express a relationship of ‘contrast’
  3. for -- used to express a relationship of ‘effect-cause’
  4. nor -- used to express a relationship of ‘negative addition’
  5. or -- used to express a relationship of ‘alternative’
  6. so -- used to express a relationship of ‘cause-effect’
  7. yet -- used to express a relationship of ‘contrast’

To remember these words, you should remember an acronym ‘FANBOYS’. Acronym ‘FANBOYS’ is made up of the first letters of the names of the seven coordinators For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So.

 

Examples:

He participated in the national games, and she fought the general election.

We played football, but they watched movie.

He studied grammar, for he wanted to improve his English.

He didn’t read a book, nor did he write a letter.

He will go for a stroll in the park, or he will stay at home.

He was thirsty, so he drank water.

I had invited him, yet he didn’t attend the function.

 

 

(B). Correlative conjunctions [Also known as “Paired Coordinators”] –

They are used in “pairs” and join words, phrases, and independent clauses which are grammatically equal. They are separated in a sentence but work together to perform a single function.

 

Following are the most common correlative conjunctions that are used to join independent clauses in compound sentences:

  1. although….yet
  2. not only….but also
  3. either….or
  4. neither….nor

 

Examples:

Although he is quite old, yet he is still very active.

Christina is not only a bright student, but she is also a good player.

They are either incompetent, or they simply don't want to do it.

I am neither his supporter, nor do I know him.

 

 

(C). Transitional Expressions

Transitional Expressions are used to provide a connection between sentences or paragraphs. The word transition literally means passing from one subject to another. Thus, transitional expressions show the logical relationships between ideas. They help to make a piece of writing flow better.

NOTE: Joining two independent clauses with a coordinating or correlating conjunction implies that they are part of the same idea. While, joining two independent clauses with a transitional expression (transitional words or phrases) implies that they are NOT part of the same idea. Instead, there is a specific and logical relationship between two independent clauses.

 

There are two types of transitional expressions: (1). Transitional words, (2). Transitional phrases

 

(C1). Transitional Words

[There are numerous transitional words that are used to link or join two or more clauses. Functioning as transitional words, Conjunctive Adverbs are commonly used to join independent clauses in compound sentences. Adverbs that are used as conjunctions are called “conjunctive adverbs”.]

 

List of Useful ‘Transitional Words’ Based on Logical Relationship They Express:

(a). Logical relationship: ‘Addition’

Transition Words:

  1. besides
  2. further
  3. furthermore
  4. moreover

 

(b). Logical relationship: ‘Cause and Effect’

Transition Words:

  1. accordingly
  2. consequently
  3. therefore
  4. thus

 

(c). Logical relationship: ‘Comparison’

Transition Words:

  1. however
  2. likewise
  3. nevertheless
  4. otherwise
  5. similarly
  6. still

 

(d). Logical relationship: ‘Concession’

Transition Words:

  1. certainly
  2. nonetheless

 

(e). Logical relationship: ‘Consequence (Result)’

Transition Words:

  1. hence
  2. incidentally

 

(f). Logical relationship: ‘Contrast (Opposition)’

Transition Words:

  1. conversely
  2. instead

 

(g). Logical relationship: ‘Emphasis’

Transition Word:

  1. Indeed

 

(h). Logical relationship: ‘Explanation’

Transition Words:

  1. namely
  2. specifically

 

(i). Logical relationship: ‘Summary’

Transition Word:

  1. finally

 

(j). Logical relationship: ‘Time’ and ‘Sequence’

Transition Words:

  1. afterwards
  2. meanwhile
  3. next
  4. now
  5. previously
  6. subsequently
  7. then

 

 

(C2). Transitional Phrases

[Transitional phrases are formed of ‘group of words’ and are used to join independent clauses in compound sentences]

 

List of Useful ‘Transitional Phrases’ Based on Logical Relationship They Express:

(a). Logical relationship: ‘Addition’

Transition Phrase:

  1. in addition

 

(b). Logical relationship: ‘Cause and Effect’

Transition Phrase:

  1. as a consequence (or result)

 

(c). Logical relationship: ‘Comparison’

Transition Phrase:

  1. in comparison

 

(d). Logical relationship: ‘Concession’

Transition Phrase:

  1. on the other hand

 

(e). Logical relationship: ‘Contrast’

Transition Phrases:

  1. after all
  2. even so
  3. in contrast
  4. on the contrary

 

(f). Logical relationship: ‘Emphasis’

Transition Phrase:

  1. in fact

 

(g). Logical relationship: ‘Example’

Transition Phrases:

  1. for example
  2. for instance
  3. in other words
  4. that is

 

(h). Logical relationship: ‘Similarity’

Transition Phrase:

  1. in the same way

 

(i). Logical relationship: ‘Summary’

Transition Phrase:

  1. in conclusion

 

 

PUNCTUATION RULES

 

(A). Punctuation Rules: coordinating conjunction

You should use a comma (,) before a coordinating conjunction to connect independent clauses.

Pattern: independent clause + comma + coordinator + independent clause

Example: He won the competition, but he was not satisfied with his performance.

 

Note: You may omit the comma before the conjunction in FORMAL writing.

Example: He won the competition but he was not satisfied with his performance.

 

Note: You may omit the comma before the conjunction if independent clauses are short.

Example: She studied but he played.

 

Note: You can also skip using coordinating conjunction and instead use a semicolon (;) to join two independent clauses.

Example: He won the competition; he was not satisfied with his performance.

Example: She studied; he played.

 

However, a semi-colon should be used only where ideas are very closely related--

Example: I can defeat him; he cannot defeat me.

 

Note - Never join two independent clauses with a comma alone.

 

 

(B). Punctuation Rules: correlative conjunction

You should use a comma (,) before the second part to connect two independent clauses.

Pattern: correlative word + independent clause + comma + correlative word + independent clause

Example: Although he won the competition, yet he was not satisfied with his performance.

 

 

(C). Punctuation Rules: transitional words or phrases

You should use a semicolon (;) before a transitional words or phrases to connect independent clauses. In addition, transitional words or phrases should be followed by a comma (,).

Pattern: independent clause + semicolon + transitional word or phrase + comma + independent clause

Example: He won the competition; however, he was not satisfied with his performance.

 

Other Examples:

I will go to office after two hours; meanwhile, I will read the novel.

He didn’t tell me his home address; on the contrary, he asked me for my home address.

 

 

Compound sentences may have two or more independent clauses –

  1. Compound sentence having two independent clauses or simple sentences

Examples:

David joined party, and Henry studied English.

David joined party, but Henry studied English.

David joined party, so Henry studied English.

David joined party, yet Henry studied English.

 

There are two independent clauses in the above sentences –

David joined party. [subject – David, predicate – joined party]

Henry studied English. [subject – Henry, predicate – studied English]

 

Coordinators (‘and, but, so, yet’) have been used to join these clauses.

Thus, there are two independent clauses in a single sentence. [Compound sentence]

 

Note – When there are two independent clauses in compound sentence, it is also called a ‘Double Sentence’.

 

Another Example:

He was intelligent, yet he couldn’t get the first rank.

There are two independent clauses in this sentence.

He was intelligent. [subject – He, predicate – was intelligent]

He couldn’t get the first rank. [subject – He, predicate – couldn’t get the first rank.]

 

Coordinator (‘yet’) has been used to join these clauses.

Thus, there are two independent clauses in a single sentence. [Compound sentence]

 

 

  1. Compound sentence having more than two independent clauses or simple sentences

Example:

Mark studied for five hours, and George played for four hours, yet Jimmy sang for two hours, and Bill ran for one hour.

There are four independent clauses in this sentence.

Mark studied for five hours.

George played for four hours.

Jimmy sang for two hours.

Bill ran for one hour.

 

Coordinator (‘and’, yet) has been used to join these clauses.

Thus, there are four independent clauses in a single sentence. [Compound sentence]

 

Note – When there are more than two independent clauses in a compound sentence, it is also called a ‘Multiple Sentence’.

 

Another Example:

I read the novel, and I watched the movie, but I didn’t write anything.

There are three independent clauses in this sentence.

I read the novel.

I watched the movie.

I didn’t write anything.

 

Coordinators (‘and, but’) have been used to join these clauses.

Thus, there are three Independent clauses in a single sentence. [Compound sentence]

 

 

Important Note

Compound verb should not be confused with a compound sentence. Sentences may contain coordinating conjunctions and not be compound.

I have given the following examples in the ‘Simple Sentence’ section:

David and harry won the competition.

He wrote and sang a song.

Clark and Tom jogged and swam.

Here, coordinating conjunction ‘and’ has been used merely to join two words (two subjects or two verbs).

While in a compound sentence, coordinating conjunction ‘and’ is used to join two independent clauses.

Complex Sentence

A complex sentence contains an independent clause joined by one or more dependent or subordinate clauses. Dependent (subordinate) clause begins with a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun. In other words, a complex sentence always has a subordinating conjunction (subordinator) or a relative pronoun.

 

Clauses in a complex sentence are not structurally equal. They express related thoughts. Subordinators or relative pronouns are used not only to connect these clauses but also to show the ‘clear and specific relationship’ between the clauses. In other words, subordinator or relative pronoun show how one clause (dependent or subordinate clause) is dependent on other. The two parts are no longer of equal importance.

 

Following is the brief description of subordinating conjunctions and relative pronouns:

 

(A). Subordinating conjunctions [Also known as ‘Subordinators]

 

Subordinators may be classified according to their meaning (logical relationship), as follows:-

 

(a). Subordinating Conjunctions [Cause or Reason]:

as

because

considering that

in order (that)

since

so (that)

that

why

 

(b). Subordinating Conjunctions [Comparison]:

as much as

rather than

than

whereas

whether

 

(c). Subordinating Conjunctions [Concession]:

although

as

as though

even though

except

just as

though

whereas

while

 

(d). Subordinating Conjunctions [Condition]:

assuming (that)

even if

if

in case (that)

lest

only if

provided (that)

unless

until

whether

whether or not

 

(e). Subordinating Conjunctions [Consequence or Result]:

that

 

(f). Subordinating Conjunctions [Manner]:

as

as if

as though

how

 

(g). Subordinating Conjunctions [Place]:

whence

where

wherever

 

(h). Subordinating Conjunctions [Purpose]:

in order that

so

so that

that

 

(i). Subordinating Conjunctions [Time]:

after

as

as long as

as soon as

before

by the time

now that

once

since

still

till (or until)

when

whenever

while

 

Following words are also subordinating conjunctions:

wherein [Meaning: in which]

whereby [Meaning: by which]

wherewith [Meaning: with which]

wherefore [Meaning: for which]

 

Punctuation Rules: Subordinating conjunction

Subordinator could be used in the beginning or in the middle of the sentence. When you begin sentence with subordinator, you should use comma (,) before beginning second clause. If you put subordinator in the middle of the sentence, you don’t need to use comma before second clause. In Other Words - When ‘dependent clause’ comes first, you should separate the clauses with a comma. When ‘independent clause’ comes first, you don’t need to use a comma.

Pattern: subordinate clause + comma + independent clause

 

Complex Sentence: Examples [using subordinating conjunctions]

 

Example 1:

After he completed his post-graduation, he applied for the job. Or

He applied for the job after he completed his post-graduation.

 

Independent clause – He applied for the job.

Dependent clause – After he completed his post-graduation. [This sentence cannot stand on its own.]

 

 

Example 2:

When her mother arrived at home, she was singing. Or

She was singing when her mother arrived at home.

 

Independent clause – She was singing.

Dependent clause – When her mother arrived at home. [This sentence cannot stand on its own.]

 

 

Example 3:

If you help me in this hour of crisis, I will help you later. Or

I will help you later if you help me in this hour of crisis.

 

Independent clause – I will help you later.

Dependent clause – If you help me in this hour of crisis. [This sentence cannot stand on its own.]

 

 

(B). RELATIVE PRONOUNS:

A relative pronoun is used to connect a clause or phrase to a noun or pronoun. That, Which, Who, Whom, and Whose are relative pronouns that are commonly used in complex sentences. “Which” is more formal than ‘that’

 

Following is the complete list of relative pronouns:

  1. that
  2. what
  3. whatever
  4. whatsoever
  5. which
  6. whichever
  7. who
  8. whoever
  9. whom
  10. whomever
  11. whomsoever
  12. whose
  13. whoso
  14. whosoever

 

 

Complex Sentence: Examples [using relative pronouns]

 

Example 1:

Complex Sentence – She has a house that looks like a palace.

Independent clause – She has a house.

Dependent clause – That looks like a palace. [This sentence cannot stand on its own.]

 

Example 2:

Complex Sentence – This is the book which I bought for him.

Independent clause – This is the book.

Dependent clause – Which I bought for him. [This sentence cannot stand on its own.]

 

Example 3:

Complex Sentences – School administration praised the boy who won the first prize.

Independent clause – School administration praised the boy.

Dependent clause – Who won the first prize. [This sentence cannot stand on its own.]

 

Example 4:

Complex Sentences – He entered the building whose windows were broken.

Independent clause – He entered the building.

Dependent clause – Whose windows were broken. [This sentence cannot stand on its own.]

 

 

NOTE: Difference between Subordinating Conjunctions and Relative Pronouns:

Relative Pronouns act as the subject of a dependent clause.

Subordinating conjunctions are followed by the subject of their clause.

Compound-Complex Sentence

A mixed sentence or compound-complex sentence is a type of complex sentence in which there is more than one independent clause joined by one or more dependent or subordinate clauses. Thus, a mixed sentence is the combination of compound sentence and subordinate clause. Sometimes, complex sentence is connected with simple sentence. Sometimes, there is more than one complex sentence.

 

Thus, three situations are possible:

 

  1. Mixed Sentence Having A Subordinate Clause And A Compound Sentence.

Example:

Even though he won the competition, he didn’t organize the party, but his father bought him a laptop.

There is one subordinate clause and a compound sentence.

 

Subordinate Clause – Even though he won the competition.

Compound Sentence – He didn’t organize the party, but his father bought him a laptop.

[Two Independent Clauses – He didn’t organize the party. His father bought him a laptop.]

 

 

  1. Mixed Sentence Having A Simple And A Complex Sentence.

Example:

I entered the class after teacher came, but my classmate didn’t join the class.

Here, first part is a complex sentence. Second part is a simple sentence.

 

Complex Sentence – I entered the class after teacher came.

[Independent Clause – I entered the class. Subordinate Clause – After teacher came.]

Simple Sentence (Independent Clause) My classmate didn’t join the class [subject – classmate, predicate – didn’t join the class]

 

 

  1. Mixed Sentence Having More Than One Complex Sentence.

Example:

I will go to market when I finish my work, and he will go to playground when he completes his duty.

Here both the clauses are complex sentences.

 

Complex Sentence 1:

I will go to market when I finish my work

[Independent Clause – I will go to market. Subordinate Clause – when I finish my work.]

 

Complex Sentence 2:

He will go to playground when he completes his duty.

[Independent Clause – He will go to playground. Subordinate Clause – when he completes his duty.]

Sentence Forms - Comparison

Based on the use of independent and dependent clause; simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences could be compared as follows:

 

Simple sentence –

One independent clause

 

Compound sentence –

Two or more independent clauses

 

Complex sentence –

One independent clause and one or more dependent (subordinate) clauses

 

Compound-Complex sentence (Mixed Sentence) –

Two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent (subordinate) clause

 

 

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About the Author

 

Manik Joshi, the author of this book was born on Jan 26, 1979 at Ranikhet and is permanent resident of Haldwani, Kumaon zone of India. He is an Internet Marketer by profession. He is interested in domaining (business of buying and selling domain names), web designing (creating websites), and various online jobs (including 'self book publishing'). He is science graduate with ZBC (zoology, botany, and chemistry) subjects. He is also an MBA (with specialization in marketing). He has done three diploma courses in computer too. ManikJoshi.com is the personal website of the author.

 

Email:

mail@manikjoshi.com

 

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Imprint

Text: Manik Joshi
Editing/Proofreading: Manik Joshi
Publication Date: 04-02-2014

All Rights Reserved

Dedication:
THIS BOOK IS DEDICATED TO THOSE WHO REALIZE THE POWER OF ENGLISH AND WANT TO LEARN IT SINCERELY

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