Types of sentences

Let’s learn about different types of sentences.

Then you can try to incorporate more variety into your writing.


Question 1 of 3

1. Identify whether the sentences are simple, complex, compound or compound-complex.

The dog cried for food.


Question 1 of 3

Question 2 of 3

2. Identify whether the sentences are simple, complex, compound or compound-complex.

They spoke to him in Chinese, but he responded in English.


Question 2 of 3

Question 3 of 3

3. Identify whether the sentences are simple, complex, compound or compound-complex.

After the two soccer players lost their game, they joined their other teammates for lunch, and they went to the movies.


Question 3 of 3


Next Lesson: Using Conjunctions 

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The transcript is provided for your convenience.
We have four different sentence types: compound sentences – simple sentences – complex sentences – complex-compound sentences, not necessarily in this order.

Simple sentences

Simple sentences contain 1 independent clause but not a dependent clauses. Take a look at these simple sentence examples:

  • He ran. (This is the shortest possible sentence that we ever can write: a 1-word subject as well as a 1-word predicate and it is complete as a thought.)
  • She ran fast.
  • He was late for work.
  • The 10-page paper addressed the issue of smoking on our college campus. 

Complex sentences

Complex sentences have 1 independent clause as well as at least 1 dependent clause. Look at the following examples of a few complex sentences:

  • Whereas generally, essays require substantial time commitments, argument essays, which generally require discovering and utilizing a different type of research, are generally taking the most time to write. This sentence includes 2 dependent clauses: “Whereas most essays require substantial time commitments” and “which generally require discovering and utilizing a different type of research.”
  • Because the alarm didn’t go off, I was late for work this morning. Notice that the sentence is starting with our dependent clause “Because the alarm didn’t go off”, followed by the independent clause “I was late for work this morning.”  You may also rewrite the sentence and start with the independent clause, then to be followed by the sentence’s dependent clause: “I was late to work this morning because my alarm didn’t go off.

Compound sentences

Compound sentences have at least two (2) independent clauses but do not contain dependent clauses. Take a look at these compound sentence examples:

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  • My instructor gave me really good advice to improve my essay, and my tutor looked it over as well and came up with some suggestions. 
  • Finding good sources for my essay caused me some trouble, so I went over to our writing center for assistance.
  • Our class began later than expected, but our teacher made the class interactive and very interesting. 

Complex–compound sentences

Complex–compound sentences have at least two (2) or more independent clauses as well as at least one (1) dependent clause. Look at these complex–compound sentence examples.

  • We went out to the movies last night and watched the latest comedy, which had just been released last week, and after that, we had dinner at our local steakhouse which was fine. 
  • Because I never before have written any argument essay for my college class, I worry if I use outside sources in my paper correctly, so I’m hoping I cited everything in a correct way.

It is key to understand these different sentence types that we can construct and to utilize these sentences when it is appropriate.

To write a good writing essay includes utilizing a number of possible sentences, in particular sentences of various lengths.

Keep in mind that you, as the writer, are in control of your sentences’length and that you can intentionally come up with longer or shorter sentences as you thin you need in your essay.

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