Simple and Compound Sentence Basics

Looking at independent clauses in sentences.

Complete Sentences

For a complete sentence, you need a capital letter to start, a "complete thought," and end punctuation.
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Complete Thoughts?! Let's try Independent Clauses!

"Today her drab school outfit has been replaced by an expensive white dress, and her blonde hair is done up with a pink ribbon. Reaping clothes." (12)

The above is an excerpt from The Hunger Games. The bolded section is NOT a complete sentence; however this is a complete thought. How can this be?!

First, we must understand that Suzanne Collins writes the novel from Katniss's first person point of view, which means we have access to her thoughts. Often, our thoughts do not appear in complete sentences, but the thoughts are still considered complete.

Second, Collins is a professional writer, so in the name of writer's style, she can do this. We as students must still write in complete sentences in order to demonstrate that we possess this skill.

To alleviate confusion in the future, we are changing our language! Instead of saying complete thought, we will now refer to this concept as an independent clause. This will make things much easier in the future.

Independent Clauses


Subject- the who or what, as single or compound

Predicate- the verb whether action or state or being, again single or compound

Any modifying phrases or single words

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Simple Sentences

Simple sentences are compose of one independent clause.


Subject Predicate

Miss Benthul creates Smore flyers to help students learn.

Subject Predicate

The class is reading sections of The Hunger Games nearly every day.

Compound Sentences

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Compound Format

Independent clause , FANBOY Independent clause.

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FANBOYS are your coordinating conjunctions that join independent clauses together with a comma to make a compound sentence.

For, And, Nor, But, Or, Yet, So
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