Remember that in your student writing, you will want a nice blend of sentence types. Most sentences should be compound, complex, and compound-complex. Don’t forget to use a simple sentence for a strategic purpose in the context of your more sophisticated writing; this will draw your reader’s attention to that sentence since it won’t be the normal structure of your sentences.
In general, simple sentences should only be used once in a while in student writing. The following show the varying structure of a simple sentence.
- One word subject/ one verb
Ex. Joe works hard.
- More than one word subject/ one verb
Ex. Joe and Mary work hard.
- One word subject/ more than one verb
Ex. Joe works out and enjoys the benefits of exercise.
- More than one word subject/ more than one verb
Ex. Joe and Mary work out and enjoy the benefits of exercise.
This type of sentence uses a coordinating conjunction to join two complete sentences.
Ex. Kathy loves baseball, so she catches as many games as possible at the stadium in the summer.
Another type of compound sentence uses a semicolon to join two complete sentences.
Ex. Kathy loves baseball; she catches as many games as possible at the stadium in the summer.
Uses a subordinating conjunction to create a dependent clause.
Clauses are groups of words with subjects and verbs in them.
The dependent clause joins with an independent clause to create the complex sentence.
Ex. Since Kathy loves baseball, she catches as many games as possible at the stadium in the summer.
These join the coordination of a compound sentence and the subordination of the complex sentence to connect ideas in a more sophisticated fashion. These are the types of sentences that set your writing off in terms of academic sophistication.
Ex. While Jimmy watched television, he ate a lot of snacks, so he was too full to eat dinner later on.
Parts of Speech Review Activity: Match the correct definition to the part of speech. Choose from the following:
- a) describe nouns or pronouns
- b) name persons, places, or things
- c) substitute for verbs
- d) substitute for nouns
- e) link persons, places, or things
- f) join words, phrases, sentences, or clauses
- g) the action in the sentence
- h) show relationships between ideas
- i) a special grouping of adjectives that always come before nouns
- j) describe verbs, adjectives, or adverbs
Now fill in the blanks the letter before the correct definition:
1) Nouns _____
2) Pronouns _____
3) Verbs _____
4) Adjectives _____
5) The articles _____
6) Adverbs _____
7) Conjunctions _____