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Center for Writing Across the Curriculum, Dante 202

Types of Sentences:
Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences
Simple Sentence
Definition: A simple sentence consists of an independent clause, so it contains a subject and a verb. It
does NOT contain either a dependent clause or another simple sentence.

Examples (all subjects are in bold and verbs are italicized:


1. Jack kicked the ball.
 “Jack” is the subject and “kicked” is the verb describing what Jack did. Therefore,
this sentence is a simple sentence because it contains an independent clause.
2. While wearing his favorite blue shirt, an angry Jack powerfully kicked the heavy rainbow
colored ball towards the neighbor’s beautiful garden.
 That is not to say that simple sentences cannot be long. In this example, “Jack” is the
subject and “kicked” is still the verb. The other words are simply adjectives,
prepositions or adverbs.
3. Jack and Jill kicked the ball.
 Simple sentences can also have compound subjects. Both Jack and Jill are the
subjects of this sentence.
4. Jack kicked the ball and yelled, “Score!!!”
 Here is an example of a simple sentence with compound verbs.
5. Jack and Jill kicked the ball and yelled, “Score!!!”
 You can also combine the compound subject and verb to make a simple sentence.

Compound Sentences
Definition: Compound sentences are sentences with more than one simple clause. Compound sentences
are fairly easy to make. There are three different way to make compound sentences.

Examples (all subjects are in bold and verbs are italicized:


1. Jack kicked the ball, and Jill yelled, “Score!!!”
a. Add a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction (FANBOYS).
b. Or add a semicolon to attach two simple sentences
2. An example of this is “Jack kicked the ball, Jill yelled ‘score!!!!’ and the Jane waved her
arms.”
a. Add commas when the simple sentences are being treated as items in a series.
Center for Writing Across the Curriculum, Dante 202
(“Types of Sentences” continued)

Complex Sentences
Definition: Complex sentences are sentences with the combination of an independent clause and a
dependent clause/non-essential element.

Example (The independent clause is in bold and the dependent clause is italicized):
1. While being angry, Jack kicked the ball.”
a. “While being angry” is a dependent clause because it lacks a subject.

Complex-Compound Sentences
Definition: Complex-Compound Sentences are simple sentences that combine the characteristics of
complex and compound sentences.

Example (The independent clause is in bold and the dependent clause is italicized):
1. While being angry, Jack kicked the ball and Jill yelled, “Score!!!”’
a. “While being angry” is the dependent clause that makes this sentence a Complex
sentence.
b. Adding “and Jill yelled, “Score!!!” makes the sentence a Compound sentence.
Therefore, this sentence is both complex and compound or a Complex-Compound
Sentence.