English Learner Article Types of Sentences

Summary: Learn about Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences.

By: |Audience: All|Category: English Grammar Usage Articles & Notes


Simple Sentences

A simple sentence contains a subject and a main verb; it contains one independent clause.

  • I like coffee

This is a simple sentence with one subject and one verb forming an independent clause. Naturally, a simple sentence can include other things:

  • I like a couple of cups of coffee first thing in the morning.

Compound Sentences

A compound sentence contains two or more independent clauses, often joined by a co-ordinator.

  • I like coffee, but my partner prefers tea.

Complex Sentences

A complex sentence contains an independent clause and one or more dependent clauses.

  • Because I have trouble waking up, I have coffee first thing in the morning. (The dependent clause is in bold and the independent clause is italicized)

The dependent clause cannot exist on its own; it requires the independent clause to make sense.

Compound-Complex Sentences

A compound-complex sentence contains at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.

  • Some people say that the best coffee comes from Brazil, but others say that the best coffee comes from the Blue Mountains in Jamaica.
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