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English Grammar

Types of Sentences

There are four different types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.

Simple Sentences

A simple sentence has one main clause. That means it has one subject and one verb. In addition, a simple sentence can have adjectives and adverbs. Note that a simple sentence can't have another main clause or any subordinate clauses.

Example are given below.

  • Man is mortal.
  • Alice is a beautiful girl.
  • I have two kids.
Compound Sentences

A compound sentence consists of two or more main clauses. The clauses can be joined with a coordinating conjunction (e.g. for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so) or a semicolon (;). As with a simple sentence, a compound sentence can't have any subordinate clauses.

  • Mike smokes but Peter doesn’t.
  • Alice wrote the letters and Peter posted them.
Complex Sentences

A complex sentence contains one main clause and at least one subordinate clause. These sentences use subordinating conjunctions to link ideas.

  • Parallel lines never meet (main) until (subordinating conjunction) you bend one of them (subordinate clause).
  • Alice said (main clause) that she would come (subordinate clause).
  • You may stay (main clause) as long as you want (subordinate clause).
  • Will you wait (main clause) till I return (subordinate clause)?
  • If you eat too much (subordinate clause) you will fall ill (main clause).
Compound-Complex Sentences

A compound-complex sentence has at least two main clauses and at least one subordinating clause. The dependent clause can be part of the independent clause.

  • After she left university (subordinate), Alice moved to London (main) and her boyfriend followed her (main).

Sections In This Article
Types of sentences
Sentence functions