Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences

Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences

 

Basing on the clause structure, the sentences in English can be divided into three different kinds: Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences

 

Simple Sentence: (Single Clause)  

A sentence that consists of only one subject and one finite verb is called a Simple Sentence. 

  • It consists of one Subject and one Verb.
  • It expresses a complete thought.
  • It is also called an Independent Clause. 

Examples: 

  • She is a teacher.
  • The moon is bright.
  • We are learning English Grammar.
  • The children are playing cricket.
  • He bought a very nice pen.
  • Arjun and Aravind are attending the meeting.

 

Compound Sentence: (Two Main Clauses)  

A sentence that consists of two main or Independent Clauses is called a Compound Sentence. 

  • It consists of two Main or Independent Clauses.
  • A comma (sometimes semicolon) is used before the conjunction.
  • Coordinating Conjunctions are used to join these clauses.

 

Coordinating Conjunctions: They join together words, phrases, or clauses of equal rank.

They are:   for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (known as FANBOYS), however, otherwise, still, therefore, nevertheless, either…or, neither….nor, both… and, not only …. but also, as well as, etc.,

 

Examples:

  • He worked hard, but could not succeed.
  • She helped him several times, yet he was not happy.
  • He bought a pen, and it was very nice.
  • He must work hard, or he will not win the match.

 

Note: Very important to observe the punctuation patterns: 

  • I performed well in the interview, so they selected me for the job.
  • My son watches English movies on TV; however, I watch Hindi movies.
  • My son watches English movies on TV; I watch Hindi movies.

 

  • Independent clause, coordinating conjunction independent clause.
  • Independent clause; conjunctive adverb, independent clause.
  • Independent clause; independent clause.

 

Complex Sentence:  (With Subordinate Clause)  

A sentence that has one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses is called a complex sentence.

  • It consists of one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses.
  • Subordinating Conjunctions (sometimes relative pronouns) are used to join these clauses.
  • If the sentence begins with a Subordinate Clause, a comma is used after this clause.

 

Subordinating Conjunctions: They join a clause to another on which it depends for its full meaning.

TIME CAUSE & EFFECT OPPOSITION CONDITION
 after because although if
before since though unless
when now that even though only if
while as whereas whether or not
since in order that while even if
until so in case (that)
RELATIVE PRONOUNS:
who whoever that
whom whomever
which whichever

Examples

  • Though he worked hard, he failed in the exam.
  • When I went in, I found her watching TV.
  • He bought a pen which was very nice.
  • Unless you work hard, you will not win the match.
  • As I performed well in the interview, they selected me for the job.

 

Note: Very important to observe the punctuation patterns:

  • When we reached the ground, they had already started playing.
  • They had already started playing when we reached the ground.
  • Sravani, who spoke to me yesterday, has come to see you now.
  • The student who got the first rank in the I Unit Test failed in all the subjects in the II Unit Test. 

 

  • Dependent clause,  independent clause
  • Independent clause(Main Clause)   dependent clause
  • Independent, non-defining relative (dependent) clause, clause.
  • Independent   defining relative (dependent) clause    clause.
Compound-Complex Sentence: (Two Main Clauses and one or more Subordinate Clauses)

A sentence that has at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses is called a Compound-Complex Sentence.

Examples:

  • The students elected Krishna their captain, and though he did not participate in a single event, he was chosen for the best president award.
  • After Venky had completed his work, he went to meet his friend, and they both watched TV.
  • Neha had attended Yoga classes, and she realized that yoga could transform life if one would practise for a long time.

 

Exercise:

State the following sentences whether they are Simple, Compound, or Complex.

 

  • The old man got up and walked slowly away.
  • While Gopal threw down the hay, Govind milked the cow.
  • The angry boxer punched the referee on the nose.
  • My throat was parched, and so I could make no sound. 
  • Where there is a will, there’s a way.
  • The elephant with its huge body and stumpy legs is naturally slow in walking.
  • You can have all the money you require.
  • The man laughed as he looked at the picture.
  • Keep quiet, or you will be punished.
  • We have to ask the university authorities for any further postponement of M.A. entrance examinations.

Answers:

  • Compound
  • Complex
  • Simple
  • Compound
  • Complex
  • Simple
  • Complex
  • Complex
  • Compound
  • Simple

 

Note: Also focus on these topics to understand Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences.

Phrase:

A phrase is a group of words which makes sense but not complete sense; It has no subject and verb.

Examples:

  • in a corner,
  • in the East,
  • to win the match,
  • in my hand,
  • a thing of beauty,
  • on a wall etc.,

Clause:

A Clause is a group of words that forms a part of a sentence and contains a subject and a predicate of its own.

Examples:

  • We are learning English grammar.
  • We cannot start while it is raining.

The clauses are of two types:

Main  Clause:  It states the main fact and on which the rest of the sentence depends. It is also called an Independent Clause or Principal Clause.

  • As he was late, he left in a hurry.
  • If you work hard, you will get good results.

Subordinate Clause:  It depends on both Syntax and meaning under the main clause.  It is also called a dependent clause.

  • I like the story which ends happily.
  • He went to bed because he was tired.
  • He told me that he wanted money.
  • If you ask me, I can help you.
  • When I find it, you can inform me.

Synthesis of sentences:   The word synthesis means combining.  In synthesis, we combine a number of sentences into one new sentence which may be Simple, Compound, or Complex.

Transformation of Sentences

The following table helps us in transforming one sentence to another.

Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences

 

Sentences for Practice

 

Simple: In spite of her popularity, she is not a good actress.

Compound: She is popular, but not a good actress.

Complex: Though she is popular, she is not a good actress.

 

Simple: In spite of his hard work, he could not succeed.

Compound: He worked hard, but could not succeed.

Complex: Though he worked hard, he could not succeed.

 

Simple: With all his learning, he behaved foolishly.

Compound: He was learned, but he behaved foolishly.

Complex: Though he was learned, he behaved foolishly.

 

Simple: Despite his doing his best, he failed.

Compound: He did his best but failed.

Complex: Though he did his best, he failed.

 

Simple: In spite of her looking at me, she did not talk to me.

Compound: She looked at me, but she did not talk to me.

Complex: Though she looked at me, she did not talk to me.

 

Simple: In spite of my warning him several times, he continued to do so.

Compound: I warned him several times, but he continued to do so.

Complex: Though I warned him several times, he continued to do so.

 

Simple: Owing to his bad health, he did not come to college.

Compound: He was in bad health, and so he did not come to college.

Complex: As he was in bad health, he did not come to college.

 

Simple: It being a rainy day, he did not come to the office.

Compound: It was a rainy day, and so he did not come to the office.

Complex: As it was a rainy day, he did not come to the office.

 

Simple: Having no work to do, he took rest.

Compound: He had no work to do, and so he took rest.

Complex: As he had no work to do, he took rest.

 

Simple: In case of running fast, you can catch the train.

Compound: You must run fast, and then you can catch the train.

Complex: If you run fast, you can catch the train.

 

Simple: In case of completing the work, you can expect good remuneration.

Compound: You must complete the work, and then you can expect good remuneration.

Complex: If you complete the work, you can expect good remuneration.

 

Simple: In case of helping me, I will speak to you.

Compound: You must help me, and then I will speak to you.

Complex: If you help me, I will speak to you.

 

Simple: In case of not going there, I will kick you.

Compound: You must go there, or I will kick you.

Complex: Unless you go there, I will kick you.

 

Simple: In case of not taking a taxi, you will not catch the train.

Compound: You must take a taxi, or you will not catch the train.

Complex: Unless you take a taxi, you will not get the train.

 

Simple: In case of not paying the fee, you will not be allowed to attend the class.

Compound: Pay the fee, or you will not be allowed to attend the classes.

Complex: Unless you pay the fee, you will not be allowed to attend the class.

 

Simple: On hearing the news, she rushed to Delhi.

Compound: She heard the news, and she rushed to Delhi.

Complex: When she heard the news, she rushed to Delhi.

 

Simple: On opening the parcel, I found a beautiful card in it.

Compound: I opened the parcel and found a beautiful card in it.

Complex: As soon as I opened the parcel, I found a beautiful card in it.

 

Simple: Throwing off his shirt, he jumped into the canal.

Compound: He threw off his shirt and jumped into the canal.

Complex: After he threw off his shirt, he jumped into the canal.

 

Simple: Having crossed the bridge, he entered the village.

Compound: He crossed the bridge and entered the village.

Complex: After he had crossed the bridge, he entered the village.

 

Simple: The problem is too difficult to understand.

Compound: The problem is very difficult, and therefore we cannot understand.

Complex: The problem is so difficult that we cannot understand.

 

Simple: He was too scared to speak out anything. 

Compound: He was very scared, and therefore he could not speak out anything.

Complex: He was so scared that he could not speak out anything.

 

Simple: You must work hard to win the match.

Compound: You must work hard, or you will not win the match.

Complex: Unless you work hard, you will not win the match.

 

Simple: I punished my son for his disobedience.

Compound: My son was disobedient, and so I punished him.

Complex: I punished my son because he was disobedient.

 

Simple: He went to Hyderabad to attend the meeting.

Compound: He wanted to attend the meeting, and so he went to Hyderabad.

Complex: He went to Hyderabad so that we might attend the meeting.

 

Simple: To avoid punishment, she must confess.

Compound: She must confess, or she will not avoid punishment.

Complex: Unless she confesses, she will not avoid punishment.

 

Simple: He behaved like a drunkard.

Compound: He behaved like a drunkard, but he was not.

Complex: He behaved as if he had drunk.

 

Simple: It looked like a silk saree.

Compound: It looked like a silk saree, but it was not.

Complex: It looked as if it had been a silk saree.

 

Simple: The sun having set, the boys stopped playing.

Compound: The sun had set, and the boys stopped playing.

Complex: When the sun had set, the boys stopped playing.

 

Simple: We eat to live.

Compound: We want to live, and so we eat.

Complex: We eat so that we can live.

 

Simple: The factory is said to be on fire.

Compound: The factory is on fire, and it is said.

Complex: It is said that the factory is on fire.

 

Simple: He confessed his guilt.

Compound: He was guilty, and he confessed it.

Complex: He confessed that he was guilty.

 

Simple: He saw a wounded tiger.

Compound: He saw a tiger, and it was wounded. (or)

Compound: The tiger was wounded, and he saw it.

Complex: He saw a tiger that was wounded. 

 

Simple: I met a famous businessman yesterday.

Compound: I met a businessman, and he was famous.

Complex: I met a businessman who was famous.

 

Simple: The drowning man cried for help.

Compound: A man was drowning, and he cried for help.

Complex: A man who was drowning cried for help.

 

Simple: The man on the ship fell into the sea.

Compound: The man was on the ship, and he fell into the sea.

Complex: The man who was on the ship fell into the sea.

 

Simple: He will fulfill his promise.

Compound: He promises something, and he will fulfill it.

Complex: He will fulfill what he promises. 

 

Synthesis of Sentences

Combining two or more Simple Sentences into one Simple Sentence:

By using a participle: present or past

He heard a noise. He stopped.

Hearing a noise, he stopped.

 

He took a stick.  He beat the dog.

Taking a stick, he beat the dog (or)

Having taken a stick, he beat the dog.

 

By using a preposition with a noun or gerund:

 

He began his work.  He was very enthusiastic about it.

He began his work with great enthusiasm.

 

He heard the reply.  He became angry.

On hearing the reply, he became angry.

 

It rained. The cricket match ended.

It rained at the end of the cricket match.

 

By using absolute phrases:

 

The sun rose. The fog disappeared.

The sun having risen, the fog disappeared.

 

The weather was good.  We went on a picnic.

The weather being good, we went on a picnic.

 

By using an infinitive:

 

The lady is very fat.  She cannot run.

The lady was too fat to run.

 

My friend has a daughter.  she must be married.

My friend has a daughter to be married.

 

By using adverbs or adverbial phrases:

 

Renu is the best girl in the class.  This is certain.

Renu is certainly the best girl in the class.

 

It was at 10 o’clock. The train arrived.

The train arrived by 10 o’clock.

 

By using a noun or a noun phrase in opposition:

 

He is Venkat.  He is my friend.

He is Venkat, my friend.

 

Rabindranath Tagore was a versatile genius.  Rabindranath Tagore was a Bengali poet.

Rabindranath Tagore,  a Bengali poet,  was a versatile genius.

 

 Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Combine each of the following sets of sentences into a Simple Sentence:

  • He failed in the examination. He discontinued his studies.
  • He was unwilling to go any further.   He returned home.
  • He gave up his job. He was not satisfied with the salary.
  • The stable door was open. The horse was stolen.
  • I went to the city yesterday. I wished to see a dentist.
  • I was returning home.  I saw a man.  He looked very ill. He was lying by the roadside.
  • There goes, my brother.  He is called Raj Manohar.
  • He attended to his duties.  He earned a promotion.
  • I have told you all.  There is nothing more to be said.
  • He answered me.   His answer was correct.

Answers:

  • Having failed in the examination, he discontinued his studies.
  • Unwilling to go any further, he returned home.
  • Not satisfied with his salary,  he gave up his job.
  • The stable door being open,  the horse was stolen.
  • I went to the city yesterday to see a dentist.
  • Returning home, I saw a man looking very ill and lying on the roadside.
  • There goes my brother Raj Manohar.
  • He earned his position by attending to his duties. 
  • I have nothing more to tell you.
  • He answered me correctly.

 

Synthesis of Sentences:

Combining two or more Simple Sentences into a Single Compound Sentence:

 

By the use of coordinating conjunctions, we combine simple sentences to form compound sentences.  These conjunctions are four kinds –   Cumulative, Adversative,  Alternative, and Illative.

 

Cumulative or Copulative Conjunctions: 

They are used to add one statement to another. ( and,  both….. and,  as well as,  not only…. but also)

 

It is good.  It is cheap.

It is both good and cheap.

 

He is guilty.  She is guilty. 

He, as well as she,  is guilty.

 

John is a writer. He is a singer.

John is not only a writer but also a singer.

 

Adversative Conjunctions:  

They express a contrast between one sentence and the other. (but, still, yet, nevertheless, however, whereas, otherwise, only)

 

He is slow.  He is sure.

He is slow, but he is sure.

 

She was annoyed. She did not do anything.

She was annoyed, still (or yet) she did not do anything.

 

Shyla was all right.  She was fatigued.

Shyla was all right, only she was fatigued.

 

Alternative or Disjunctive Conjunctions: 

They express a choice between two alternatives. (or, either…or, neither …..nor)

 

Arrange everything before 9 am.  You will be late.

Arrange everything before 9 am, or you will be late.

 

You can attend the class. You can prepare by yourself.

You can either attend the class or prepare yourself.

 

He did not plead his guilty.  He did not prove his innocence.

He neither pleaded his guilty nor proved his innocence.

 

Illative Conjunctions:  

They express an inference or conclusion. (therefore, for, so)

 

I cannot read it.  I do not know English.

I cannot read it, for I do not know English.

 

He has the required qualifications.  He was offered the job.

He has the required qualifications, therefore was offered the job.

 

He was obstinate.  He was punished.

He was obstinate, so he was punished.

 

 Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Combine each of the following sets of sentences into a Compound Sentence:

  • He does well.  He is nervous at the start.
  • It is raining heavily.  I will take an umbrella with me.
  • Write the letter neatly.  He cannot read it.
  • He was fined.  He was sent to prison.

Answers:

  • He does well, only he is nervous at the start.
  • It is raining heavily, so I will take an umbrella with me.
  • Write the letter neatly, or  He cannot read it.
  • He was not only fined but also sent to prison.

 

Synthesis of Sentences:

Combining two or more Simple Sentences into one Complex Sentence:

 

By using a noun clause:

Ricky is naughty. They all said so.

They all said that Ricky is naughty.

 

He resigned.  This news came as a great surprise.

The news that he had resigned came as a great surprise.

 

By using an adjective clause:

 

This is the boy.  He got a first-class.

This is the boy who got a first-class.

 

The students are found without textbooks.  They will be sent out of the class.

The students who are found without textbooks will be sent out of the class.

 

By using an adverb clause:

 

He arrived.  The hotels were all closed.

When he arrived, the hotels were all closed.

 

He rang me up.  He was lonely.

He rang me up because he was lonely.

 

Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Combine each of the following sets of sentences into a Complex Sentence:

 

  • She had a costly car.  It was blue.
  • He is rich.  He can buy this mansion.
  • You deceived him.  That was his complaint.
  • That is the school.  I was taught there.
  • He is old.  He cannot walk.

 

Answers:

  • She had a costly car which was blue.
  • As he is rich, he can buy this mansion.
  • His complaint was that you deceived him.
  • That is the school where I was taught.
  • He is so old that he cannot walk.

 

Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Conversion of Simple Sentences into Compound Sentences:

 

Simple: Besides being clever, he is industrious.

Compound:  He is not only clever but also industrious.

 

Simple:  You must work hard to get a first-class.

Compound:  You must work hard, or you will not get a first-class.

 

Simple:  owing to bad health, he was unable to work.

Compound:  He was in bad health, and so he was unable to work.

 

Simple:  In spite of his riches, he was unhappy.

Compound:  He was rich, yet/but he was unhappy.

 

Simple:  To avoid punishment, you must confess.

Compound:  Either you must confess or you must be punished.

 

Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Conversion of Compound Sentences into Simple Sentences:

 

 Compound:  The Sun rose, and the fog disappeared.

 Simple: The sun having risen, the fog disappeared.

 

 Compound: He was very tired, but he went on working.

 Simple:  In spite of being very tired, he kept on working.

 

 Compound:  You must work, or you will not pass the test.

 Simple: In case of not working hard, you will not pass the test.

 

 Compound: He not only robbed the old man but also murdered him.

 Simple:  Besides robbing the old man, he murdered him.

 

 Compound: He finished his exercise, and put away his books.

 Simple:  Having finished his exercise, he put away his books.

 

 Compound:  We must eat, or we cannot live.

 Simple:  We must eat to live.

 

 Compound:  Not only did his father give him money, but his mother too.

 Simple:   Besides his father giving him money, his mother also did the same.

 

Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Conversion of Simple Sentences into Complex Sentences:

 

His silence proves his guilt.

The fact that he is silent, proves his guilt.

 

He was the first to pass the test.

He was the first that passed the test.

 

A blind man needs help.

A man who is blind needs help.

 

You may go anywhere.

You may go wherever you like.

 

He was absent on account of his illness.

He was absent because he was ill.

 

He is too tired to work.

He is so tired that he cannot work.

 

Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Conversion of Complex Sentences into Simple Sentences:

 

Please, tell me where you live.

Please, tell me your address.

 

I have no money that I can spare.

I have no money to spare.

 

We had better go home when the sun sets.

We had better go home at sunset.

 

He said that he was innocent.

He declared his innocence.

 

How long I stay, is doubtful.

The duration of my stay is doubtful.

 

Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentences Exercises:

Conversion of Compound Sentences into Complex Sentences:

 

Hold your tongue, or you will repent it.

Unless you hold your tongue, you will repent it.

 

Fire is a good servant, but a bad master.

Though fire is a good servant, it is a bad master.

 

He saw the tiger and ran away.

When he saw the tiger, he ran away.

 

Do as I tell you, or you will regret it.

Unless you do as I tell you, you will regret it.

 

He saw the danger but passed on.

Although he saw the danger, he pressed on.

 

She saw the danger and paused.

When she saw the danger, she paused.

 

He wants to earn more money, therefore he is working hard.

He is working hard so that he may earn more money.

 

Also, refer to the following:

Active Voice and Passive Voice 

Conditional Sentences

Direct and Indirect Speech