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Variety of Sentence Structures
In writing or identifying sentences, we use the following
Simple Sentence = one Independent Clause_
Four Sentence Formulas
SV (one subject, one verb)
SVV (one subject, two verbs)
SSV (two subjects, one verb)
SSVV (two subjects, two verbs)
Compound Sentence: Two Sentence Formulas
1) I,cI (Independent Clause – comma – coordinating
Conjunction – Independent Clause)
2) I;I (Independent Clause – semicolon – Independent
Complex Sentence: Two Sentence Formulas
1) D,I (Dependent Clause-comma-Independent Clause)
2) I dc D (Independent Clause-dependent conjunctionDependent Clause)
*Dependent Clause = Subordinate Clause = Fragment*
Compound-Complex Sentence: Six Sentence Formulas
1) D,I,cI
3) IdcD,cI
5) I,cIdcD
2) D,I;I
4) IdcD;I
6) I;IdcD
Remember: A Compound-Complex Sentence is just that: One
Compound Sentence formula before or after a Complex Sentence
A clause is a word group used as a complete sentence (Independent clause)
or as an incomplete sentence/fragment = Subordinate clause - aka:
Dependent clause.
An independent clause is a group of words that contains at least one subject
and one verb and can stand alone. (It makes a
complete thought)
Simple Sentence:
A simple sentence is a group of words with one independent clause. A
simple sentence may contain a single subject and a single verb, a compound
subject and a single verb, a single subject and a compound verb, or a
compound subject and a compound verb. The sentence must be complete (no
words left out) in order to be scored as a simple sentence.
****** Subjects are underlined with ONE line and verbs are underlined with TWO lines******
s v
The boy ran to the store (SV)
s v
The boy and girl ran in a relay race (SSV)
Kevin went to the party and had a
wonderful time. (SVV)
Sally and Susan are friends and play
together often. (SSVV)
(Simple sentence with single
subject and single verb)
(Simple sentence with
compound subject, single verb)
(Simple sentence with single
subject, compound verb)
(Simple sentence with
compound subject , compound
Compound Sentence
A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses.
In order to be scored as a compound sentence, two independent clauses must
be joined either by a comma and coordinating conjunction or by a semicolon.
(NO subordinating clauses – Dependent clauses in a compound sentence)
A Coordinating Conjunction is always has a comma before it, and can be
remembered as:
, for , and, ,nor
,but ,or , yet ,so
The boy ran to the store, and he
bought some apples. (I,cI)
(Compound sentence with a comma and
a coordinating conjunction (,and)
separating the two independent
Angles and devils came to the
costume party; they got along
fine. (I;I)
(Compound sentence with a semicolon
(;) followed by a pronoun,
separating the independent clauses)
*A Semicolon (;) in a Compound Sentence is always followed by the word
“the”, a “noun”, or a “pronoun” which begins the second Independent Clause. *
; the
; noun (person, place, thing, quality or idea)
; pronoun (it, she, he, them, us etc.)
Complex Sentence
A Complex Sentence consists of one independent clause and one or
more dependent clauses. Each clause must have a subject and a verb. A
dependent clause must include a subordinating word (dependent conjunction),
a subject and a verb.
Subordinate / dependent clause = Fragment sentence. It cannot stand
alone – It needs an independent clause either before it or after it.
Two complex sentence formulas: D,I
I dc D
Common Subordinate (Dependent) Conjunction Words: (dc)
even if
even though
so that
as if
in order that
as long as
just as
as soon as
as though
rather than
** Dependent Conjunction words can be at the beginning of a complex sentence or in the middle**
The dependent clause in a complex sentence may be an adverb clause, an adjective clause, or
a noun clause.
Complex Sentences with adverb clauses- An adverb clause tells when, why, how, where,
under what conditions, or with what result an action took place. The adverb clause my come
before or after the independent clause.
Because baseball involves so much
strategy, it is my dad’s favorite
sport. (D, I)
(Complex sentence with the
dependent clause first and a
comma separating the clauses.)
Baseball is my dad’s favorite sport
because it involves so much strategy.
(I dc D)
(Complex sentence with the
Independent clause first. NO
COMMA is required to separate
the clauses) Used a Dep. Conj.
Compound-Complex Sentence
A compound-complex sentence consists of two or more independent
clauses and at least one dependent clause.
*Remember*: A Compound-Complex Sentence is just that: One Compound
Sentence formula before or after a Complex Sentence Formula.*
After the party was over, Jean had
a headache, so Paul cleaned up the mess.
(A dependent clause (beginning
with a dc) followed by two
independent clauses. -with
comma and conjunction: ,so)
Jean had a headache after the party
was over, so Paul cleaned up the house.
(I dc D, I)
(An independent clause followed
by a dependent clause (dc) and
an independent clause. -with
comma and conjunction: ,so)
Jean had a headache, so Paul cleaned up
the house after the party was over.
(I,cI dc D)
(An independent clause-with
comma and conjunction: ,so.
Followed by an independent
clause and a dependent clause.)
Although it was snowing, Floyd
planned to go to the game; Helen
wanted to stay home. (D,I;I)
(An dependent clause followed
by two independent clauses.)