Sentence Structure (Part 4) - Sentence Types

Making Sense out of English Sentences

Congratulations! You have reached the website that gives you all the information you need about the elements of sentences in English writing. Following is useful information about sentence patterns and the rules for varied sentence construction in English writing. Any good writer will tell you that an English editor is essential in order to improve a piece of writing before publishing.

Enjoy your reading and start writing good effective sentences.

What is a Sentence?

A sentence is basically a group of words which are tied together and convey an idea, event or description. The words in an English sentence have a certain order and rules regarding ways to either expand or shorten it. The boundaries of a sentence are easily recognized, as it begins with a capital letter and ends with a terminal punctuation mark (period, question mark or exclamation point). It is important for English writers to know the language of sentence grammar terms in order to be able to analyze and develop their writing.

The four main sections regarding English sentence structure are:

1.
Basic Clause Structure
2. Phrases
3. Clause Types

4. The 4 Sentence Types

Sentence Structure in English Writing

4. The Four Sentence Types in English Writing

Clauses of different types can combine to form the four types of sentences in English writing. Good writers use a variety of sentence types at varying lengths to make their writing more interesting and dynamic. Remember to use proper punctuation and a variety of connectors to make logical connections both within and between sentences.

1. A simple sentence is composed of a single independent clause and no dependent clauses.
We had a great visit to Paris and Berlin last September.

2. A compound sentence is composed of two or more independent clauses which may be connected by a coordinating conjunction ( and, but, for, nor, or, so, yet), a semicolon alone, or a semicolon and a conjunctive adverb (also called transition).
We visited Paris last September, but my sister visited Berlin last summer.

Most people enjoy visiting European cities; few do not.

Most people enjoy visiting European cities; however, few do not.

3. A complex sentence is composed of one independent clause (the main clause) and one or more dependent clauses. In the following examples, the independent clause is in bold.
While we were walking through the Louvre, we suddenly met our neighbor John and his family.
[dependent adverb clause starting with while; independent clause starting with we]


While we were walking through the Louvre, which is one of the most famous museums in the world, we suddenly met our neighbor John and his family, who were also on vacation in Paris.
[dependent adverb clause starting with while; dependent adjective clause starting with which; independent clause starting with we; dependent adjective clause starting with who]


4. A compound-complex sentence combines a compound sentence with a complex sentence. It contains two or more independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. In the following examples, the independent clauses is in bold.

While we were walking through the Louvre, which is one of the most famous museums in the world, we suddenly met our neighbor John with his family, and all of us went out for lunch at a splendid bistro.
[dependent adverb clause starting with while; independent clause starting with we; independent clause starting with all of us]

While we were walking through the Louvre, we suddenly met our neighbor John with his family, and all of us went out for lunch at a splendid bistro, located in a narrow street on the smaller island in the river Seine.
[dependent adverb clause starting with while; independent clause starting with we; independent clause starting with all of us; dependent elliptical adjective clause starting with located]

*Watch out !
1. Remember to use a comma before a coordinating conjunction which connects two independent clauses.
2. Use semicolons between independent clauses which themselves contain commas or are very long.

Sentence Structure: Summing it up

As our brief article shows, sentence structure rules are the basic building blocks of English writing. If you know the basics, you will be able to make your writing more complex as you advance your writing skills.

Grammar Guide Index
 

 







































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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