Sentence Structures

Sentence Structures

What are Sentence Structures?

There are four types of sentence structures: simple, compound, complex, and compound- complex. Using these different types of sentence structures allows you to add variety to your essays.

Four Types of Sentence Structures:
  1. Simple Sentence
    A simple sentence is one independent clause with no subordinate clauses. This sentence contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.

                                   s        v
              Ex: Last winter was unusually cold.
                             independent clause

  2. Compound Sentence
    A compound sentence is formed with two or more independent clauses with no subordinate clauses. A comma and a conjunction will most likely join these clauses, though a semicolon may also join sentences.

              Ex: Last January was extremely cold, but February was even colder.
                             independent clause                      independent clause

  3. Complex Sentence
    A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses. The dependent clauses may precede, follow, or be "imbedded" within the independent clause.

              Ex: The girls were delighted because their mother let them play in the snow.
                            independent clause                              dependent clause

  4. Compound-Complex Sentence
    A compound-complex sentence contains at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

              Ex: Although officials finally came, many students had already left the auditorium,
                                       dependent clause                                            independent clause
                    and the others who remained were upset by the delay.
                                                             independent clause

Remember: There are four types of sentence structures. Using them adds variety to your essays.

Page last updated June 26, 2023.