Glossary

In writing, a sentence is marked by punctuation, but in speech the boundaries between sentences are not always so clear.

There are different types of sentences:

  • simple sentence – has a form of a single clause (for example, ‘David walked to the shops.’ or ‘Take a seat.’)
  • compound sentence – has two or more main clauses of equal grammatical status, usually marked by a coordinating conjunction such as ‘and’, ‘but’ or ‘or’. In the following examples below, the main clauses are indicated by square brackets
    • [Jill came home this morning] [but she didn't stay long].
    • [Kim is an actor], [Pat is a teacher], [and Sam is an architect].
  • complex sentence – has one or more subordinate clauses. In the following examples, subordinate clauses are indicated by square brackets:
    • I took my umbrella [because it was raining].
    • [Because I am reading Shakespeare], my time is limited.
    • The man [who came to dinner] is my brother.