SENTENCE STRUCTURE

5/12/2016 4:17:11 PM
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Simple sentences:

A simple sentence has only one clause:
  • The children were laughing.
  • John wanted a new bicycle.
  • All the girls are learning English.

Compound sentences:

    ✻ A compound sentence has two or more clauses:
  • (We stayed behind) and (finished the job)
  • (We stayed behind) and (finished the job), then (we went home)
    ✻ The clauses in a compound sentence are joined by co-ordinating conjunctions:
  • John shouted and everybody waved.
  • We looked everywhere but we couldn’t find him.
  • They are coming by car so they should be here soon.
   ✻ The common coordinating conjunctions are: and – but – or – nor – so – then – yet

Complex sentences:

   ✻ A complex sentence has a main clause and one or more adverbial clauses. Adverbial clauses usually come after the main clause:
  • Her father died when she was very young
    • Her father died (main clause)
    • when (subordinating conjunction)
    • she was very young (adverbial clause) 
  • She had a difficult childhood because her father died when she was very young.
    • She had a difficult childhood (main clause)
    • because (subordinating conjunction)
    • her father died (adverbial clause)
    • when (subordinating conjunction)
    • she was very young (adverbial clause). 
   ✻ Some subordinate clauses can come in front of the main clause:
  • Although a few snakes are dangerous most of them are quite harmless
    • Although (subordinating conjunction)
    • some snakes are dangerous (adverbial clause)
    • most of them are harmless (main clause). 
   ✻ A sentence can contain both subordinate and coordinate clauses:
  • Although she has always lived in France, she speaks fluent English because her mother was American and her father was Nigerian
    • Although (subordinating conjunction)
    • she has always lived in France (adverbial clause),
    • she speaks fluent English (main clause)
    • because (subordinating conjunction)
    • her mother was American (adverbial clause)
    • and (coordinating conjunction)
    • her father was Nigerian (adverbial clause). 
There are seven types of adverbial clauses:

Common conjunctions

   ✻  Contrast clauses: although; though; even though; while;
   ✻ Reason clauses: because; since; as
   ✻ Place clauses: where; wherever; everywhere
   ✻ Purpose clauses: so that; so; because + want
   ✻ Result clauses: so that; so … that; such … that
   ✻ Time clauses: when; before; after; since; while; as; as soon as; by the time; until
   ✻ Conditional clauses:  if; unless; provided (that); as long as

 

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