There are four types of sentence structures you should use within your writing: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex.
A simple sentence structure is the easiest to understand, but reading the same sentence structure over and over again can get boring. Knowing the types of sentence structures can help you make your content more engaging.
Let’s take a look at each of the different sentence structures and how they work.
Simple sentences consist of one independent clause, including a subject, verb, and sometimes objects. Here’s an example to help you understand.
“My dog likes eating cranberries.”
The sentence itself is an independent clause, making it simple and easy to read and understand. Of course, readability is crucial. However, using a simple sentence structure too often can result in monotonous passages in your content, which can make it boring to most readers.
Compound sentences join two or more independent clauses together to create a single sentence. How they’re connected ultimately depends on the sentence, but you can use commas with conjunctions or a semicolon. Here’s an example:
My dog likes eating cranberries, but he loves all food.
In this sentence, you have two independent clauses. The first is, “My dog likes eating cranberries.” The second is “He loves all food.” These two independent clauses become one sentence when used with a comma and the conjunction “but.”
Complex sentences have main independent clauses and subordinate (dependent) clauses using conjunctions to join them together to create a complete sentence. These are slightly more complex to understand, hence the name. If you want to use the subordinating clause first, you’ll use a comma before the independent clause. However, if you use the independent clause first, you won’t need a comma.
Even though he was tired, he made dinner.
In this example, the subordinate clause comes first, so it’s separated from the independent clause with a comma.
He made dinner even though he was tired.
In this sentence, the independent clause comes first, so there’s no need for a comma.
Compound-complex sentences are exactly what they sound like — they’re a combination of compound and complex sentences consisting of at least two independent clauses at one dependent clause. There are many different types of constructions, all of which have different grammar rules. An example is:
After my dog finished eating cranberries, she jumped on my lap and took a nap.
Here, there are two independent clauses and one dependent clause.