Sentence structure is incredibly important to the way we communicate. The ability to effectively combine a complete sentence or independent clause with a dependent clause comes to native English speakers with time and experience. To easily form a complex sentence is vital to basic business communications and human interactions.
Whether you’re new to learning about sentence structure or just need to brush up on the basics, an American English writing course like this one through Udemy can help you learn to better structure your sentences and get your point across with a minimum of effort and confusion.Those of us who communicate well give the impression of having a higher intellect. Being well written and well spoken can take you a long way in life. Expand your possibilities by learning as much as you can about the English language.
Types of Sentence Structures
Any basic English writing course teaches students that there are four main types of sentence structures. These four types are: simple, compound, complex and compound-complex. Understanding the difference between an independent clause and a complex sentence will help you tremendously while trying to learn how to properly structure sentences in English. The ability to effectively combine sentences is vital to success in life and in business.
1) A simple sentence is short and to the point, containing just one independent clause. An independent clause can stand alone as a simple sentence while a dependent clause cannot. “I burned dinner” is a good example of a simple sentence/independent clause.
2) A compound sentence is one comprised of two independent clauses joined using a conjunction. Compound sentences can be divided to make two simple sentences by removing the conjunction. “I burned dinner, but I didn’t burn the cake,” is an example of a compound sentence.
3) A complex sentence contains an independent clause and a dependent clause. An example of a complex sentence is this: “I burned dinner but not the cake.”
4) Compound-complex sentences contain two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause. For example: “I burned dinner because I was watching The Walking Dead, but not the cake because I started paying attention to the oven timer when I smelled smoke.”
Nearly all sentences we use in everyday speech are complex. Simple sentences aren’t in-depth enough to describe thoughts, feelings and details that accompany living life. We don’t communicate like cave men anymore. It’s human nature to expound on thoughts and richly describe ideas. The ability to go into minute detail about something that’s important to you is precious and should be cultivated. To say, “I thought of something today” just doesn’t cut it. Expand your knowledge of language with a business writing class from Udemy.
Examples of Complex Sentences are below:
If you want to speak to me, then learn English.
Metal robots are cool and look tough.
I want to blow some money, but not mine.
I own a beautifully restored antique boat and a jet ski too.
Weeds are easy to grow, and hard to kill.
Playing hard is all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
My dad is a strict disciplinarian, but mom isn’t!
If you mess with the bull, you get the horns.
Notice that all of these sentences include an independent clause that could be used to create a sentence all on its own. The dependent clause is used as a tool of comparison or may be used to turn a simple thought into a more descriptive, informative one. You can learn how to form complex sentences, write essays and even learn how to get your writing published by taking a writing course like this one from Udemy.
To learn how to create complex sentences, do writing exercises at home. Describe your day or the actions of those close to you using complex sentences. For example:
After I got home, I cooked and cleaned the house.
I ate leftover roast beef, but the kids didn’t.
I hide ice cream at my house because I can.
My toddler won’t eat her potatoes, but I will.
Bethany dumped her soda in the car, but didn’t clean it up.
I went to the store before sunset.
Studying before the test is good, if you want to pass.
Her hair color is fake, and it shows.
Often times, complex sentences begin with the word “because.” For example:
Because I twisted the heel on my shoe, it broke.
Because she lied on her application, she’s out.
Because her sister likes chocolate, she doesn’t.
Because Murphy’s Law always prevails, you won’t.
Complex sentences contain at least one dependent clause, also known as a subordinate clause. A dependent clause expresses an incomplete thought and needs back-up from an independent clause to form a proper sentence. When you use two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses, you are forming compound-complex sentences. For Example:
Crashing was a terrible idea, but it was all she had at the moment.
Winning the lottery is a fun fantasy, but a bad retirement plan.
Hard work pays off, for some.
For others, theft works.
Learn how to float, and not drown.
Dependent clauses contain a subordinating conjunction along with a subject and verb. Subordinating conjunctions lend dependent clauses adverbial function, meaning that they can specify a setting. For example:
When I came into the light after emerging from the dark depths of the cave, I only wanted two things: soap and water.
While the English language is complex, it’s not impossible to learn. Whether or not you’re a native English speaker, taking writing or literature courses can help improve your reading, writing and speaking skills. Communication is vitally important to your success and happiness. Get better at communicating by taking an upper level English course, like this one from Udemy. With a little effort and a bit of practice, you can learn to communicate effectively in English.