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One of the marks of good writer is the ability to use a variety of sentence types. The simple sentence is an important weapon to have in your writing task, but it is limited in the ways it can be used an in the jobs it can perform. Compound and complex sentences give you additional alternatives for expressing ideas, usually in more precise ways.

Simple Sentence
A Simple sentence is a sentence that has only one independent clause. It expresses one idea only.

|Mariam works in private firm. |A simple sentence has at least one subject | |[subject] [verb] |and one verb. | |Mariam and her sister work in a private firm. |A simple sentence can have a compound subject| |[2 subjects] | | |Mariam works and studies part-time in a private institution. |A simple sentence can have a compound verb | |[2 verbs] | |

Compound Sentence
A compound sentence is a sentence that has 2 or more independent clauses of generally equal importance.


independent clause 1 independent clause 2

We ate some spaghetti, and we had chocolate cheesecake for dessert.

independent clause 1 independent clause 2

Laura enjoys dancing; she can dance for hours.

There are 3 ways to join the clauses:

|1. with a comma followed by a coordinator |I wrote to her, but she did not reply. | | |[ind. Clause]; + [coordinator] + [ind. Clause] | |Coordinators: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. | | |2. with a semicolon followed by a conjunctive |I wrote to her; however , she did not reply. | |adverb and a comma |[ind. Clause]; + [conj. Adverb], + [ ind. Clause] | | | | |Common conjunctive adverb: however, besides, | | |accordingly, meanwhile, next, then, similarly, | | |also, furthermore, moreover, nevertheless | | |3. with a semicolon |I write to her; she did not reply. | | |[ind. Clause] +; [ ind. Clause] |

Complex Sentence
A complex sentence is a sentence that includes one independent clause and one (or more) subordinate clause(s). The more important idea is placed in the independent clause, and the less important idea is placed in the dependent clause.


independent clause dependent clause

She is skinny although she eats a lot.

independent clause dependent clause

All security guards will have to undergo training if they wish to remain employed.

There are 3 kinds of subordinate clauses: adverb; adjective and noun. A variety of connecting words may be used to join these clauses.

|Adverb dependent clause | | |Types of relationship | | | | | |Time- after, as, before, since, until, whenever, |After we have finished, we will go for a long vacation. | |when, while |We stopped because the light was red. | |Cause or reason- as, because, since, whereas | | |Purpose or result- so that, that, in order that |She stayed up late so that she can watch the live telecast football | |Condition- although, though, even though, while, |match. | |unless, if, provided |Although it was raining, we went to the game | | | | | |*Adverb clause can appear either before or after the independent | | |clause. If it comes before the independent clause, a comma follows it. | | |If it comes after the independent clause, no comma is needed. | |Adjective dependent clause | | |(relative Pronouns) | | | | | |Animals and things- which, that |Last year we vacationed on the Red Sea, which features excellent scuba | |People- who, whom that |diving | |Place- where |The student, who sits next to the President, receives an award for | |Possessives- whose |Overall Best Student. | |Reason- why, that | | |Time- when |* The adjective clause functions as an adjective: it modifies a noun or| | |a pronoun. | |Noun clause | | | | | |Common connective words: |John said that we should all go for the vacation | |Reported speech – that Embedded questions – how, if, |[Sub.] [v] [object] | |when, whether, why, and all other question words. | | | |* A dependent noun clause can function as either a subject or an object| | |of the sentence. |

Compound-Complex Sentence
It is a combination of two or more independent clauses and one (or more) dependent clauses. Many combinations are possible, and their punctuation requires careful attention.

dependent clause independent clause 1 independent clause 2

Although we were tired, we had to stay up till 3a.m. and study for our Mathematics examination.

independent clause 1 independent clause 2 dependent clause

He had washed the dishes, but he had forgotten to turn off the radio before he left this morning.

▪ I wanted to travel after I graduated from college; however, I had to work immediately. ▪ After I graduated from college, I wanted to travel, but I had to go to work immediately. ▪ I wanted to travel after I graduated from college, but I had to go to work immediately because I had to support my family.

Exercise: In the space provided, identify the following sentences as simple, compound, or complex sentence or compound complex.

1. Anyone who saw him once never forgot his nose and his body. __________ 2. The first time anyone saw him they were very surprised. __________ 3. The second time, they looked at his nose with admiration, as if it were

a valuable treasure. __________
4. His nose, which was longer than Barbra Streisand, occupied most of his face. __________ 5. When he smiled, nothing but his nose was visible. __________ 6. He was recognized by even in a crowd. __________ 7. The treasure made one think that in his previous life he had been a

collie or an anteater. __________
8. In addition, his nose was as thin as razor. __________ 9. If he had flown like a jet, he could have divided the clouds. __________ 10. His body was also very skinny. __________

11. He looked as if he had not eaten for ten days. __________ 12. He was a heavy eater, but one couldn’t imagine where he kept food in his body. __________ 13. Finally, on a windy day, he was blown away and gone, like Mary Poppins. __________


For many people, writing is a process that involves the following steps: 1. Discovering a thesis (often through prewriting).
2. Developing solid support for the thesis (often through more prewriting). 3. Organizing the thesis and supporting material and writing it out in a first draft. 4. Revising and then editing carefully to ensure an effective, error-free paper.

a) brainstorming
b) diagramming or clustering
c) preparing a scratch outline
d) free-writing
e) formal outline

Brainstorming - generating ideas, using what, when, why, where, who, how To get ideas and stimulate your thoughts, you can use the strategy of brainstorming. You can brainstorm alone or with a group.

Here are some guidelines to follow when brainstorming:
▪ Give yourself or the group a limited amount of time. ▪ Write down the word or phrase you need to get ideas about. ▪ Write down all the possible ideas that come to mind. ▪ Do not organise your points in any way.

▪ When time is up, look over the ideas to see if any can be grouped together.

addictive, fun, time consuming, more exciting than TV, bad for eyes, homework, too violent, expensive, takes time away

Diagramming or Clustering - mind-mapping; using the visual way Clustering is another way of generating ideas. To cluster you make a visual plan of the connections among your ideas.

Use the following guidelines for clustering:
▪ Write your topic in the c...

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