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Sentence Structure. Four Types of Sentences. Simple Compound Complex Compound-Complex. S imple. A sentence is a group of words with a subject and a predicate that forms a complete thought. Another name for a simple sentence is an independent clause.

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Sentence Structure

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Sentence structure l.jpg

Sentence Structure

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Four Types of Sentences

  • Simple

  • Compound

  • Complex

  • Compound-Complex

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  • A sentence is a group of words with a subject and a predicate that forms a complete thought.

  • Another name for a simple sentence is an independent clause.

  • A simple sentence expresses one thought or idea.

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Four Simple Sentence Formulas

  • Sv

  • Ssv

  • Svv

  • Ssvv

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Compound Sentence

  • A compound sentence is formed when two complete sentences are joined together to form one new thought.

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Compound Sentence Formulas

  • I,c I

  • This occurs when you have two thoughts, and you join them using a coordinating conjunction.

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Coordinating Conjunctions

  • These conjunctions are used to combine or coordinate thoughts and make then sound as if they belong together.

  • Never begin a sentence with a coordinating conjunction. They are meant to connect thoughts, not to begin them.

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Introducing the FANBOYS!

  • For

  • And

  • Nor

  • But

  • Or

  • Yet

  • So

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  • Don’t confuse an I,c I with an ssv sentence.

  • I,c I I went to the store, and I bought some bread. YOU NEED A COMMA HERE!

  • Svv I went to the store and bought some bread. YOU DO NOT NEED A COMMA HERE!

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Another Compound Formula

  • I;I

  • This one is easy; just add a semi-colon to join two thoughts.

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  • Note that I,I is not a formula.

  • This makes a comma splice.

  • This means trouble for you.

  • This means an F.

  • Don’t use one!!!!!

  • Comma splices are wrong, don’t use one in your paper.

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Complex Sentences

  • Complex sentences are formed when a dependent clause is added to an independent clause.

  • What is an independent clause?

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Dependent Clause

  • A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate but does not form a complete thought. It must begin with a subordinating conjunction.

  • How can that be, you ask? It has a subject and predicate, but it is not a complete thought!

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  • It is not a complete thought because it begins with a subordinating conjunction.

  • If something is subordinate, it is less than something else. Hence, a clause with a subordinating conjunction is less than a sentence. Get it?

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Subordinating Conjunctions

afterbeforeunless wherever



as ifthatwhenever


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  • Now make this sentence less than a complete sentence.

  • Sally burned the food.

  • Try this one. Her mother gave her a recipe.

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Complex Formulas

  • There are two formulas to form complex sentences.

  • D,I

  • ID

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  • If a complex sentence begins with a subordinate (dependent) clause, put a comma after the opening clause to divide it from the main (independent clause).

  • Because I was hungry, I made a sandwich.

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  • Don’t put a comma after an independent clause if it is the first clause in the sentence.

  • I made a sandwich because I was hungry.

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Compound-Complex Sentences

  • These are formed when you write a compound sentence, but one half of that compound sentence is also complex.

  • Confusing?

  • Let’s figure this out.

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  • When I see my friend Rob, I am always happy. (D,I)

  • I do not get to see him very often. (sv)

  • Now connect them with a fanboy!

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  • When I see my friend Rob, I am always happy, but I do not get to see him very often.

  • Formula?

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  • That’s right. D,I,cI

  • You now have a compound-complex sentence.

  • Can you come up with other compound-complex formulas?

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Name the formula and type.

  • I can. I will.

  • I can, and I will.

  • If I can, I will.

  • If I can, I will, but he won’t.

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