Intro to Sentence Types
There are so many different types of sentences out there! Luckily, you can group them into one of just four sentence types.
The four types of sentences are:
- Simple Sentence
- Compound Sentence
- Complex Sentence
- Compound-Complex Sentence
A simple sentence is a sentence that has only one independent clause. This does not mean that the sentence is short, or that there is not another phrase tacked onto it. As long as there is only one independent clause, and not two or more.
Let’s take a look:
I do not like sentences.
Pretty straightforward. It’s clearly one simple independent clause. But look at this:
Being a Math major with minimum experience in creative writing, I do not like sentences.
We still have a simple sentence. Sure it’s longer and more challenging, but it’s still an independent clause. Now, check this one out:
Being a Math major with minimum experience in creative writing, I do not like sentences even though I have to use them to write proofs and theorems.
It is still a simple sentence. I’ve added so much onto this sucker, but it’s still just a simple sentence. See how the first part of the sentence, before the comma, does not express a complete thought, but the part after the comma is an independent clause. It express a complete thought, and makes sense by itself.
Enough with simple sentences. Let’s look at a compound sentence.
A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses.
I like quiet, but my students like to scream.
See? Both “I like quiet,” and “my students like to scream” are independent clauses. They each form a complete thought. You can even use longer words to link two independent clauses together. For instance, “I like quiet so much, inevitably, my students like to scream.”
A complex sentence is a sentence that has one independent clause, and one or more dependent clauses.
Because I like chocolate, my friends got me a basket of chocolate.
“Because I like chocolate” is a dependent clause, and “my friends got me a basket of chocolate” is an independent clause.
A compound-complex sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.
Because I am tall, some people expect me to play basketball, and other people expect me to play volleyball.
The dependent clauses are bolded, and the independent clauses are underlined. One thing that may be confusing is that the dependent clauses can be integrated into the independent clauses, and not separated by commas.
Some people tell me that my writing is complex, and others tell me that my writing could be more complex.
The independent clauses are bolded, and the dependent clauses are underlined.
So, that was a brief overview of the variation of sentence types. I hope this helped you to better identify the four types of sentences! See you next time!