Sentence Structure

Simple, Compound, Complex, and Compound-Complex Sentences

Simple Sentences

A simple sentence contains one subject verb relationship. In other words, it contains one independent clause and no subordinate (dependent) clauses.

*The boys went to the lake, played on the beach, and ate lunch.

*Sitting by the lake, the boys and girls ate lunch.

*Jane, Sally, Bob, and John swam, played, and ate at the lake.

Compound Sentences

A compound sentence contains two subject verb relationships. In other words, it contains two independent clauses and no subordinate (dependent) clauses.

*The boys ran along the beach, but the girls sat in the sun.

*Bob found various shells; Sally found someone’s garbage.

*Jane wanted to swim with her brother; however, he was busy eating

Compound Connectors (FANBOYS and such)

Coordinating Conjunctions: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet,

S(ubject) V(erb), CONJUNCTION S(ubject) V(erb)



S V ; S V

Transitional Word: however, furthermore, nevertheless, meanwhile, therefore, then,

consequently, next instead, thus, otherwise, hence, moreover

S V ; (transition word) , S V

Complex Sentences

A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one subordinate (dependent) clause. A subordinate (dependent) clause is always introduced by a complex connector (subordinating conjunction).

*Although the boys swim faster, the girls like to race them after they eat lunch.

*Sally went to the lake because all her friends decided to go.

*The sunbather who had on the pink bikini was covered in sunscreen.

Complex Connectors (Subordinating Conjunctions)

14 WH connectors: who, whom, whose, which, what, when, whether, where, why, while, whenever, wherever, whoever, whomever

2 BE connectors: before, because

6 THAT connectors: that, the fact that, in order that, provided that, so that,

(implied that) I know you want an A.

3 THOUGH connectors: though, even though, although

7 AS connectors: as, as if, as though, as well as, as soon as, as_______ as, just as

7 miscellaneous: after, how, if, since, than, unless, until

AAAWWUBBIS= as, although, after, while, when, unless, because, before, if, since)

Compound-Complex Sentences

A compound-complex sentence contains two independent clauses and at least one subordinate (dependent) clause. In other words, a compound-complex sentence contains one compound connector and one or more complex connectors.

*John ate lunch, but Bob swam in the lake until the girls got back from snorkeling.

*The girl who found a shark’s tooth walked two miles up and down the beach; therefore, she missed lunch with her friends.