Sentence Structure

Hey guys! Welcome to this video on sentence structure. In this video, we’ll learn about the different types of sentences, so you can make sure your writing is interesting and engaging to the reader.

Take a look at this paragraph:

Daniel went to the grocery store. He wasn’t sure if it had any more fresh apples. The store did not have any apples. Daniel was very sad. Apples are Daniel’s favorite food.

How did this paragraph sound to you? Monotonous, boring, and uninteresting, right?

How about this version:

Daniel went to the grocery store, but he wasn’t sure if it had any more fresh apples. Much to his dismay, the store did not have any apples, and Daniel was distraught. After all, apples are Daniel’s favorite food.

Sounds a lot better, right?

While there are many differences between these two paragraphs, the main difference is that the first used the same, simple type of sentence throughout, while the second used many different types of sentences in order to enhance the content.

Simple Sentences

The first type of sentence we’re going to look at is a simple sentence, which consists of both a subject and predicate and can stand independently as its own sentence. A simple sentence is essentially the same thing as an independent clause.

Let’s look at an example:

The old car survived the drive across the country, despite the weather conditions.

There is only one independent clause, with a subject (the old car) and a predicate (survived the drive across the country, despite the weather conditions).

Compound Sentences

Let’s move on to the second type of sentence: compound sentences.

A compound sentence consists of two independent clauses, joined together by a conjunction.

Here’s an example:

Max drove to the store, and Ben picked up the grills.

Note that there are two independent clauses here that could stand alone as sentences. You could just as easily write “Max drove to the store. Ben picked up the grills.” But we’ve joined these two independent clauses together by using the conjunction and.

Another example would be:

With all the heavy traffic, Josh was able to get home in time for dinner, but Ariana was stuck on the busy freeway.

The first independent clause is “Josh was able to get home in time for dinner” and the second is “Ariana was stuck on the busy freeway”. The two clauses are joined by the conjunction but. The beginning of the sentence, “With all the heavy traffic,” is a prepositional phrase and does not have any bearing on this type of sentence.

Complex Sentences

The third type of sentence is a complex sentence, which consists of one independent clause with the addition of one or more dependent clauses.

Let’s look at an example:

After she took the time to clean her room, Sara could finally play with her new dollhouse.

The first part of the sentence, “After she took the time to clean her room,” is a dependent clause—more information is needed for it to serve as its own independent sentence. The second part of the sentence, “Sara could finally play with her new dollhouse,” is an independent clause, because it has a subject and predicate and can stand alone as a sentence.

Compound-Complex Sentences

The last type of sentence is a compound-complex sentence. This type of sentence contains two independent clauses, as well as a dependent clause.

An example would look something like this:

Before the treehouse is used for the first time, all the beams need to be checked and the ladder must be connected.

The two independent clauses are “all the beams need to be checked” and “the ladder must be connected”. They are combined using the conjunction and. The start of the sentence, “Before the treehouse is used for the first time,” is a dependent clause, since it has a subject (the treehouse) and a predicate (is used for the first time) but cannot stand independently as its own sentence.

We hope this quick review of sentence structure leaves you prepped and empowered. See you next time!

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | Last Updated: August 23, 2021