Sentence Patterns

By: Madeline, Britney, and Ishika

Pattern 5

Pattern 5 consists of a dependent marker (because before etc.), a dependent clause (a clause that won’t make sense by itself), a comma, and an independent clause (a clause that can make sense alone.)

Dependent Marker Examples: because, before, since, while, although, if, until, when, after, as, as if.

Examples of this pattern:

  • Because I couldn’t find my shoes, I went to steal my brother’s tennis shoes.

  • Since Craig didn't have friends, he began to develop relationships with inanimate objects.

  • While the doctors were gone, the patient went to steal bread to make a sandwich.

  • Before she was able to go to the park, she had to go bury the body.

  • As a car came by, the little girl threw a handful of nails in front of it.

These sentences are correct because the dependent clause has an independent clause that can support it to have it make sense. If the dependent clause was by itself, the sentence wouldn't be complete. They also have the dependent maker in the front and the comma in the right place.

Non-Examples of this pattern

  • Before they had a cat, because they couldn't wait.

    • This sentence is incorrect because it has 2 dependent markers and clauses. It doesn't have an independent clause to support it.

  • He couldn't find his friends he went to see the movie by himself

    • This is incorrect because there’s no dependent marker or a comma.

  • This book is impossible to put down, because it’s about anti-gravity.

    • This sentence is incorrect because the clauses and marker are in the wrong places. It is also because this pun is bad. It is actually correct for another pattern which is pattern 6.

  • Because they couldn't wait, when the food was ready.

    • This is incorrect because it has 2 dependent clauses with no independent clause to support it.

  • Before I got a time machine.

    • This is wrong because there’s only 1 dependent marker and 1 dependent clause. It doesn't have an independent clause to help it.

Which one of the two sentences is correct?

  1. Before I could go walk my dog, I had to make sure there were no kids outside.

  2. I could go walk my dog.

  1. When we were stuck in traffic my friend decided that it was a good idea to pour her coke on the car beside us.

  2. When we were stuck in traffic, my friend decided that it was a good idea to pour her coke on the car beside us.

  1. Because there was bad weather today.

  2. Because there was bad weather today, our outdoor activities were cancelled.

  1. As Sam walked down the street, she saw something shining in the sewers.

  2. As Sam walked down the street, when she saw something in the sewers

  1. Because Becky forgot to lock up her parrot, her home was a wreck.

  2. Her home was a wreck because.







Pattern 6: Complex Sentence

Pattern 6: Complex sentence

This is a complex sentence with a dependent marker following the independent clause.

Independent clause, dependent marker, dependent clause.

A list of the dependent markers are up above on Pattern 5.

Using the example from Pattern 5, you can also apply it to make a similar pattern

Correct Examples:

Example 1:

I went to steal my brother’s tennis shoes, because I can’t find my shoes.

The independent clause at the beginning of the sentence can stand on its own. The part that is, “I went to steal my brother’s tennis shoes.”, is an example of the independent clause in the sentence. The “because” is the dependent marker. “Because I can’t find my shoes.”, is the dependent clause.

Example 2:

Mary loves to swim, since she has been swimming since she was 2.

Example 3:

She used to go to parties all the time, before she got hit by a car.

Example 4:

He used to wear the same shirt all the time, until it tore.

Example 5:

The dog was very happy, after it left the pound.

Notice that all of the above sentences include a independent clause followed by the dependent marker and then the dependent clause.

Example 1: Before she went to the dance

Example 2: Nobody wanted to hang out with him, so he went to the movies alone.

Example 3: The dog likes pancakes.

Example 4: Because she wanted a donkey

Example 5: Lisa wanted to go to the bouncy house.

Sentence Pattern 7

This pattern includes an independent clause with a non-essential clause or phrase. You can remove the non-essential clause or phrase, and the reader would be none the wiser. Upon removal of this phrase, the sentences context and meaning will not have changed, and it will still be grammatically correct. So, in other words, the non-essential clause or phrase provides extra information that could be interesting to know, but it’s non-essential towards the main idea, if you catch my drift. ;)

Here’s an example of Pattern 7:

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches [,] on any type of bread, can be considered delicious[.]

This example features an independent clause (peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be considered delicious), with the non essential clause or phrase (on any type of bread). It is not essential towards the sentence, which is about how this type of sandwich can be considered delicious. If you took out the non-essential clause or phrase, you would get: Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches can be considered delicious. This sentence is grammatically correct, and makes sense, without the non-essential clause or phrase.

Now, let’s play a game. You know what this pattern type of sentence is, or at least get the main idea. I will present you with 8 sentences. 4 will be correct representations of this sentence pattern, and 4 will be incorrect examples. The sentences won’t have any signification as to where the non-essential clause or phrase may or may not be, so you’ll have to search for it. To find out if you are right, click on the sentence, as it will be a link, and find out! A non-essential phrase will say: YAY, and if it is not non-essential, you will get: NO. Have fun, and let’s begin.

  1. Many aliens, including Daleks and Cyberman, hate the Doctor

  2. The Doctor, and his companion Rose, were fighting them all the time.

  3. Once, they stumbled upon a huge league of Daleks, and had to defend themselves.

  4. One Dalek, whose name was Bill, rapidly fired shots at the TARDIS.

  5. The TARDIS was the Doctor’s time traveling vehicle, and it was inactive at the moment.

  6. Rose hurriedly tried to fix it, using the Doctor’s instructions, but the Doctor’s instructions were too complicated and lengthy.

  7. Suddenly, the Doctor ran back inside the TARDIS to Rose, and fixed it himself.

  8. The TARDIS started back up again, made it’s signature “whoosh” sounds, and flew the two back home.

Was that fun? Sure hope it was. If you aren’t a fan of Doctor Who, it might have been a wee bit confusing, but that hardly matters! Alright, after that game, you probably fully understand this sentence pattern, and how to locate it, but now let’s see if you can write it.

I’m leaving my full trust up to you, reader. I hope I can trust you! Here goes. Pull out a sheet of paper, or pull up a google doc. I will give you a paragraph, and when you see a !!!, you have to fill in a sentence that matches, and also has a non-essential clause or phrase! Ready? Let’s go! There will be two opportunities for you to fill in a sentence, so I hope you are prepared.

Joel and Susie the mice lived under the kitchen cupboard. !!! One day, the baker Strauss, was baking a cake. The smell wafted up into the cupboard and into Joel’s nose, and he eagerly followed the smell. “Don’t do it!” Susie cried. “The baker might spot you, and squash you like a bug.” All day the smell persisted, until Joel couldn’t take it anymore, so at night he crept out and onto the counter. !!! “Mmm…”, Joel thought. “I know I shouldn’t have snuck out, but it sure tasted great!”

I hope you had fun learning about Sentence Pattern 7, reader, and that you fully understand it and can use it in your writing! Salutations, reader!

Pattern 8

Pattern 8: The pattern includes and independent clause and an essential clause or phrase. You cannot remove it from the sentence or it would end up changing the overall meaning of the sentence. But keep in mind that the independent clause can still stand on its own.

First there is the independent clause then following the independent clause is the essential clause or phrase. Then there is the rest of the independent clause.

Correct Examples:

Example 1:

A large group of people, at the local park, found a pterodactyl fossil.

^ This is an example of an independent clause with an essential clause because without knowing that it was found at the park would lead to confusion as to where it was found. But, even without the essential phrase the sentence could still stand on its own since it is an independent clause.

Example 2:

Megan makes the best goodies she specializes in cookies, which are so good.

Example 3:

The kids in the neighborhood ,throw parties every other day, are very noisy.

Example 4:

Robert screamed like a little girl because of a spider, so the whole neighborhood heard him.

Example 5:

I tried to finish my math homework, which was due the next day, but got so bored that I fell asleep.

Notice that all of the above examples include an independent clause followed by

an essential clause and then the independent clause is finished.

Non Examples

Example 1:

Susan collected money so she found a $2.00 bill.

Example 2:

Since the birds flew away

Example 3:

He had to go to the bathroom.

Example 4:

She ate the whole donut, since she was so hungry

Example 5:

Because she was gone