What is Sentence? Structure and Types

What is Sentence? Structure and Types.

In this class note, we are going thoroughly examine what is meant by sentence, it structure and types.

According to Oxford Dictionary, Sentence is “a set of words that is complete in itself, typically containing a subject and predicate, conveying a statement, question, exclamation, or command, and consisting of a main clause and sometimes one or more subordinate clauses.” Also, A sentence is a grammatically complete idea. All sentences have a noun or pronoun component called the subject, and a verb part called the predicate.

Sentence can be SIMPLE, COMPOUND or COMPLEX sentences, each of these will discuss in details one after the other.


A simple sentence presents a complete notion as an independent clause and has a subject (a person or thing performing an activity) and a predicate (a verb or verbal phrase that defines the action).

Furthermore, a simple sentence has the most fundamental elements of a sentence: a subject, a verb, and a full thought.

Example of Simple Sentences are as follow:

Dele waited for the school bus.
“Dele” = subject, “waited” => verb

The staff bus was late.
“The staff bus” is a noun phrase and the subject of the sentence, “was” = verb

Chioma and Musa travelled by air.
“Chioma and Musa” = compound subject, “travelled” = verb

I searched for Shina and Sade at the cinema hall.
“I” is a pronoun and the subject of the sentence, “searched” = verb

The ladies arrived at the stadium early but waited until noon for the football march to start.
“The ladies” noun phrase the subject of the sentence, “arrived” and “waited” = compound verb

The train leaves every morning at 18 AM.
“The train” is a noun phrase the subject of the sentence, “leaves” => verb or predicate

Water freezes at 0°C
“Water”=> subject, “freezes”=> verb or predicate

They don’t go to school tomorrow
“They” is a pronoun and the subject of the sentence, and “go” is the verb or predicate

The use of compound subjects such Chioma and Musa, compound verb such as “arrived” and “waited”, prepositional phrases (such as “at the stadium”), aid lengthen simple sentences. Also, A simple sentence can be called independent clause. It’s called “independent” because, while it can be used as part of a compound or complex sentence, it can also stand alone as a whole sentence.


A compound sentence refers to a sentence made up of two independent clauses that are linked together by a coordinating conjunction.

Coordinating conjunction such as:

  • For
  • And
  • Nor
  • But
  • Or
  • Yet
  • So

Example of Compound Sentences are as follow:

I want to lose weight, yet I eat chocolate daily.

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.

I used to be snow white, but I drifted.

We went to the mall; however, we only went window-shopping.

She is famous, yet she is very humble.
Mary doesn’t like cartoons because they are loud, so she doesn’t watch them.

They wanted to go to Paris, but I wanted to see London.

She is very smart, and she know
Mary was out of milk, so she went to the store.


A complex sentence is a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.

Complex sentences are simple to recognize because they frequently contain subordinating conjunctions to connect clauses, such as because, since, or until.

Complex sentences are one of the types of sentences based on structure: simple, compound,complex, and compound-complex respectively.

Example of Complex  Sentences are as follow:

Although my friends begged me, I chose not to go to the reunion.

I learned English perfectly because I studied very hard.

Many people enjoyed the movie; however, Alex did not.

Although the farmer is ready, the ground is still too wet to plow.

If the ozone layer collapses, the global community will suffer.

Although I’m not very good, I really enjoy playing football.

Because he did not know the route well, he drove slowly.

Walking through the wood, he saw a fox that was following him.

Dependent clauses, also known as subordinate clauses, are parts of a sentence that cannot stand alone. A dependent clause is nothing more than a sentence fragment without an independent clause.

Example: whose father bought a Bugatti

Independent Clause also called the main clauses is a group of words made up of a subject and a predicate that together express a complete concept.

Example: That is the boy whose father bought a Bugatti

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