Review: Sentence Structure

webform sentence structure

You will not become a better writer simply by learning to name the different types of sentences, but you will develop a more sophisticated understanding of how language works. If you would like to make certain that you understand how to identify a simple sentence, compound sentence, complex sentence, or a compound-complex sentence, you may try this simple exercise.

 

 

1. Ottawa is the capital of Canada, but Toronto is the capital of Ontario.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound sentence, because it contains two independent clauses joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "and."

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound sentence, because it contains two independent clauses joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "and."

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound sentence, because it contains two independent clauses joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "and."

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound sentence, because it contains two independent clauses joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "and."

 

 

2. Democracy is a noble goal; it is important, however, to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a special type of compound sentence, where the two independent clauses -- "democracy is a noble goal" and "it is important, however, to protect the minority ..." are joined by a semicolon instead of a co-ordinating conjunction.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a special type of compound sentence, where the two independent clauses -- "democracy is a noble goal" and "it is important, however, to protect the minority ..." are joined by a semicolon instead of a co-ordinating conjunction.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a special type of compound sentence, where the two independent clauses -- "democracy is a noble goal" and "it is important, however, to protect the minority ..." are joined by a semicolon instead of a co-ordinating conjunction.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a special type of compound sentence, where the two independent clauses -- "democracy is a noble goal" and "it is important, however, to protect the minority ..." are joined by a semicolon instead of a co-ordinating conjunction.

 

 

3. I do not own a Porsche.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence, containing only one independent clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence, containing only one independent clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence, containing only one independent clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence, containing only one independent clause.

 

 

4. Call your father as soon as you arrive in Antigonish.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence because it contains the dependent clause "as soon as you arrive in Antigonish." If that information were in a phrase instead of a clause, however, the sentence would be a simple sentence:
Call you father upon your arrival in Antigonish.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence because it contains the dependent clause "as soon as you arrive in Antigonish." If that information were in a phrase instead of a clause, however, the sentence would be a simple sentence:
Call you father upon your arrival in Antigonish.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence because it contains the dependent clause "as soon as you arrive in Antigonish." If that information were in a phrase instead of a clause, however, the sentence would be a simple sentence:
Call you father upon your arrival in Antigonish.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence because it contains the dependent clause "as soon as you arrive in Antigonish." If that information were in a phrase instead of a clause, however, the sentence would be a simple sentence:
Call you father upon your arrival in Antigonish.

 

 

5. I ate the sushi and left the restaurant.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence. It is easy to see, however, why someone might think that this is a compound sentence, since it contains the co-ordinating conjunction "and"; however, the conjunction actually joins two predicates -- "ate the sushi" and "left the restaurant" -- within a single clause. The clue that you are dealing with a compound predicate rather than a compound subject is the fact that there is only one subject, "I."

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence. It is easy to see, however, why someone might think that this is a compound sentence, since it contains the co-ordinating conjunction "and"; however, the conjunction actually joins two predicates -- "ate the sushi" and "left the restaurant" -- within a single clause. The clue that you are dealing with a compound predicate rather than a compound subject is the fact that there is only one subject, "I."

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence. It is easy to see, however, why someone might think that this is a compound sentence, since it contains the co-ordinating conjunction "and"; however, the conjunction actually joins two predicates -- "ate the sushi" and "left the restaurant" -- within a single clause. The clue that you are dealing with a compound predicate rather than a compound subject is the fact that there is only one subject, "I."

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence. It is easy to see, however, why someone might think that this is a compound sentence, since it contains the co-ordinating conjunction "and"; however, the conjunction actually joins two predicates -- "ate the sushi" and "left the restaurant" -- within a single clause. The clue that you are dealing with a compound predicate rather than a compound subject is the fact that there is only one subject, "I."

 

 

6. Unless my girlfriend postpones her visit from Calgary, I will not have time to study for my exam.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence, containing the independent clause "I will not have time to study for my exam" and the dependent clause "unless my girlfriend postpones her visit from Calgary." Note the subordinating conjunction "unless" at the beginning of the dependent clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence, containing the independent clause "I will not have time to study for my exam" and the dependent clause "unless my girlfriend postpones her visit from Calgary." Note the subordinating conjunction "unless" at the beginning of the dependent clause.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence, containing the independent clause "I will not have time to study for my exam" and the dependent clause "unless my girlfriend postpones her visit from Calgary." Note the subordinating conjunction "unless" at the beginning of the dependent clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence, containing the independent clause "I will not have time to study for my exam" and the dependent clause "unless my girlfriend postpones her visit from Calgary." Note the subordinating conjunction "unless" at the beginning of the dependent clause.

 

 

7. Susanne wanted to be here, but she cannot come because her car is in the shop.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound-complex sentence. First, it contains two independent clauses -- "Suzanne wanted to be here" and "she cannot come because her car is in the shop" -- joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "but"; the second independent clause, however, contains the dependent clause "because her car is in the shop," making the sentence complex as well as compound.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound-complex sentence. First, it contains two independent clauses -- "Suzanne wanted to be here" and "she cannot come because her car is in the shop" -- joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "but"; the second independent clause, however, contains the dependent clause "because her car is in the shop," making the sentence complex as well as compound.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound-complex sentence. First, it contains two independent clauses -- "Suzanne wanted to be here" and "she cannot come because her car is in the shop" -- joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "but"; the second independent clause, however, contains the dependent clause "because her car is in the shop," making the sentence complex as well as compound.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a compound-complex sentence. First, it contains two independent clauses -- "Suzanne wanted to be here" and "she cannot come because her car is in the shop" -- joined by the co-ordinating conjunction "but"; the second independent clause, however, contains the dependent clause "because her car is in the shop," making the sentence complex as well as compound.

 

 

8. The football game was cancelled because it was raining.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence since it contains the dependent clause "because it was raining."

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence since it contains the dependent clause "because it was raining."

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence since it contains the dependent clause "because it was raining."

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is incorrect.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence since it contains the dependent clause "because it was raining."

 

 

9. The football game was cancelled because of the rain.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence: since it does not have a predicate, "because of the rain" is a phrase rather than a clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence: since it does not have a predicate, "because of the rain" is a phrase rather than a clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence: since it does not have a predicate, "because of the rain" is a phrase rather than a clause.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a simple sentence: since it does not have a predicate, "because of the rain" is a phrase rather than a clause.

 

 

10. When the train arrives and if Ms. Langlois is on it, she will be served with a subpoena.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Simple Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence. At first glance, it might look like a compound-complex sentence because of the conjunction "and" joining the two dependent clauses "when the train arrives" and "if Ms. Langlois is on it"; however, there is only one independent clause in the sentence, so it cannot be compound.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence. At first glance, it might look like a compound-complex sentence because of the conjunction "and" joining the two dependent clauses "when the train arrives" and "if Ms. Langlois is on it"; however, there is only one independent clause in the sentence, so it cannot be compound.

Good Work!

Answer:

The answer Complex Sentence is correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence. At first glance, it might look like a compound-complex sentence because of the conjunction "and" joining the two dependent clauses "when the train arrives" and "if Ms. Langlois is on it"; however, there is only one independent clause in the sentence, so it cannot be compound.

Oops!

Answer:

The answer Compound-Complex Sentence is not correct.

Explanation: 

This is a complex sentence. At first glance, it might look like a compound-complex sentence because of the conjunction "and" joining the two dependent clauses "when the train arrives" and "if Ms. Langlois is on it"; however, there is only one independent clause in the sentence, so it cannot be compound.