Types of Sentences

Writing in English is a little bit different from writing in any other language, especially academic writing. While in some languages verbosity is key to convey academic concepts, in English, the less you say the better. This means conveying a message in as few words as possible. Therefor, the key to a better writing starts with identifying the three main types of sentences, and those are: The Simple Sentence, The Compound Sentence and the Complex Sentence.

What is a Sentence?

In English, a sentence is a group of words that have a complete meaning. This group of words must be in order. We start the sentence with a Subject, followed by a Verb, which means that the minimum number of words is two words. We start a sentence with a capital letter and end it with a full-stop.


The Simple Sentence:

A simple sentence is the most basic form of sentences. It has all the elements we mentioned above. It contains a subject + verb. For example, “John likes to travel.”


The Compound Sentence:

A compound sentence is formed by linking two simple sentences (independent clauses) with one of the “FANBOYS”. They are: For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So. For example: John likes to travel, but he doesn’t like to travel far. Those are two simple sentence combined into one using of of the coordinating conjunctions. We can also combine the two sentences with a semicolon instead of the coordinator.


The Complex Sentence:

A complex sentence is of two clauses. A dependent clause which cannot stand alone. It doesn’t convey a complete meaning. And an independent clause which completes the meaning of the previous clause. It is a whole complete sentence. For example, If I were an animal, (dependent clause) I would be a tiger. (independent clause).

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