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Types of Sentences

Updated on October 22, 2011

To speak fluently in a language one must be aware of its tone and wary of the uses of the same word in different ways. However, to achieve that level of fluency the basics need to be read.

The basics usually decipher the alphabets, grammar and sentence structure. Just to speak sometimes may not be enough, therefore writers need to remember the various aspects of sentence structure, i.e. types of sentences.

Although a simple sentence is particularly and comparatively easier to read, it is also usually immature and sounds incomplete and rather un flowing. A direly long sentence may not only be tiresome to read but also difficult to understand.

Therefore a writer when he/she takes that first step into writing must realise these implications and follow the proper sentence structure.

There are three specific types of sentence structure:

Simple Sentence

Also known as an independent clause, it usually consists of a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought. It may also contain a compound subject (Juan and Anita) and a compound verb (goes and studies)


  • Ailsa goes to school and studies every day.
  • Juan and Anita usually play football in the afternoon.
  • Some students like to study in the evenings.

Compound Sentence

These types of sentences are two types of independent clauses joint together with a coordinator. Some of these coordinators are for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so and many more. Usually coordinators are preceded by commas, with the exception of small sentences.


  • Ashton played football, for his team Red Marks of the Holly Dam Public School.
  • I ate my breakfast, and packed my school bag while waiting for the bus.
  • My mother was ill, so I decided to stay home and look after her.

Complex Sentence

This sentence has an independent clause or simple sentence joined together with one or two dependent clauses. These sentences always contain a subordinator for example because, after, since, although, or a relative pronoun such as who, that or which.


  • The teacher returned the homework after she noticed the error.
  • Jose and Maddie went to the movies after they finished studying.
  • These students are studying because they have a test tomorrow.

Some of these complex sentences may contain an adjective along with an independent clause and dependent clause. These are known as adjective clauses. For example,

  • The book Allen read is on the Arts and Humanity titled shelf.

Other various types of sentences are:


An interrogative sentence asks a question. This type of sentence usually ends with a question mark (?) For example,

  • ‘’Did you drink the last bottle of beer?’’


This sentence makes a statement and always ends with a period. For example,

  • ‘’I will be going for my vacation tomorrow.’’


Shows strong feeling and usually ends with an exclamation mark (!) For example,

  • ‘’The monster attacked a man!’’


One which gives a command. For example,

  • ‘’Stop looking at her and do your work!’’

These various sentences are used to make the passage or work more interesting. Consider this paragraph,

  • "My name is Lisa Kenzington. I love to eat burgers. I like to eat hamburgers. But my favourite type of burger is McDonalds’ chicken burger! I usually like to have pickles on my burger. I like cheese too as an addition in the filling of my burger. I am hungry. I want to order a burger now!"

Boring right? Not only is this grammatically wrong but also is quite mundane. Such a long, tedious and weird passage would either irritate your reader or make them sleepy. 

Now consider this short yet affective paragraph:

  • "My name is Lisa Kenzington and as any normal teenager I enjoy all kinds of fast food. My favourite type of fast foods are burgers; cheesy, meaty, juicy burgers! Although, I enjoy hamburgers, my favourite type is a chicken burger from McDonalds. All this talk about burgers is making me hungry, therefore, I will go and order a burger!"

This may not be a Noble Award winning passage however, it is better than the passage before and its more exciting and has strong emotions and seems to flow as a sentence. It is as long as the previous one, however, it is well structure and quite interesting to read. Also it makes the writer come alive and vibrant and the reader is allowed to venture into the writers’ mind.


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    • profile image

      George 5 years ago

      There are "Suspended" sentences, and "Postponed" sentences, and "Time Served" sentences, and "Time Off For Good Behavior" sentences, to name just a few.

    • profile image

      hench 6 years ago

      It really helped me!

    • hassam profile image

      hassam 6 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks a lot! :) Basically I am a teacher and what ever I write, I keep in mind that it helps students. I will definitely check out your articles.

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 6 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      You are obviously a language man, Hassam. I am all for language leaners to have at least SOME degree of grammatical knowledge...I have also written a few articles on this...for students of Spanish. Keep the articles flowing!