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Types Of Sentences

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There are several types of sentences, and with the flexibility to combine various kinds of clauses, you can create any structure you desire.

Independent clauses

Independent clauses are simply complete thoughts with subjects and verbs. When capitalized and finished with a period, question mark, or exclamation point, an independent clause is also a complete sentence.

The sky darkened.

The school teaches students.

Caution: Include a verb to avoid a sentence fragment.

Sentence fragment: The baboon in the cage.

Dependent clause:

Dependent clauses are groups of words with a subject and verb that do not express a complete thought.

Because the school teaches parents, it is unusual.

Parents who are illiterate often avoid their children?s schools.

Compound sentences

A compound sentence consists of two independent clauses joined by a (coordinating) conjunction.

Last July was hot, but August was even hotter.

The hot sun scorched the land to power, and the lack of rain made the soil untillable.

Caution: Be sure to use a conjunction to prevent comma splice.

Comma splice: Last July was hot, August was even hotter.

Complex sentences:

A complex sentence consists of at least one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.

Rain finally came, although many had left the area by then. (Main clause, then dependent clause.)

When the rain came, people rejoiced. (Dependent clause, then main clause.)

Exercise 8 ? Types of Sentences

Identify the following sentences as simple, compound, complex, or compound complex.

1. The desk is unusually shiny. ____________________

2. Nancy finally arrived, though she was half an hour late. ____________________

3. The boss called at 10, but she wasn?t supposed to call until 11. ___________________________

4. All the e-mails were sent to John; consequently, nobody knew about the problem. ________________________________

5. Even though the CEO assured everyone all was okay, some of the employees were nervous about returning to work, and I can?t blame them.


6. Most of the employees attended the morning training session. ____________________

7. Stan can speak Spanish, and Susan speaks French.


8. The shipment arrived in the warehouse, although the warehouse staff was not ready to receive the delivery. __________________

9. Sales in September were better than expected, but the increased revenue did not offset last month?s losses. _________________

10. He finished the report last night. __________________________

Exercise 9 ? Creating Types of Sentences

1. For each phrase below, identify the correct phrase type.

the era of computers is coming to a close (independent/dependent)

new technology will take the place of the almighty computer (independent/dependent)

2. Using the phrases above, create a compound sentence with a semicolon.



3. Using the same phrases, create a compound sentence with a conjunction.



4. For each phrase below, identify the correct phrase type.

when the sun sinks below the horizon (independent/dependent)

pink tendrils cling to the clouds (independent/dependent)

for as long as they can (independent/dependent)

5. Using the phrases above, create a complex sentence.



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