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SIMPLE, COMPOUND & COMPLEX SENTENCES

SIMPLE, COMPOUND, AND COMPLEX SENTENCES

 1. Simple Sentence

Such a sentence which has only one subject and one predicate is called a Simple Sentence. In the Predicate of a Simple Sentence there is only ONE VERB; e.g.

His courage won him honour.

(In this sentence we have one Subject and one Predicate. The subject is HE, and the predicate is COURAGE WON HIM HONOUR.)

Some more examples of Simple Sentences

1. No man can serve two masters. (NO MAN is the subject and CAN SERVE TWO MASTERS is the predicate.)

2. A sick room should be well aired. (A SICK ROOM is the subject and SHOULD BE WELL AIRED is the predicate.)

3. A barking sound the shepherd hears. (THE SHEPHERED is the subject and HEARS A BARKING SOUND is the predicate.)

4. Up went the balloon. (THE BALLOON is the subject and UP WENT is the predicate.)

5. The naked every day he clad. (HE is the subject and CLAD THE NAKED EVERYDAY is the predicate.)

6. Into the street the piper slept. (THE PIPER is the subject and SLEPT INTO THE STREET is the predicate.)

7. Sweet are the uses of adversity. (THE USES OF ADVERSITY is the subject and ARE SWEET is the predicate.)

8. Dear, gentle, patient, noble Nell was dead. (DEAR, GENTLE, PATIENT, NOBEL NELL is the subject and WAS DEAD is the predicate.)

9. The little child, tired of play, is sleeping. (THE LITTLE CHILD, TIRED OF PLAY is the subject and IS SLEEPING is the predicate.)

10. Talking overmuch is a sign of vanity. (TALKING OVERMUCH is the subject and IS A SIGN OF VANITY is the predicate.)

11. To find fault is easy. (THE TO FIND FAULT is the subject and IS EASY is the predicate.)

12. A desire to excel / is commendable. (A DESIRE TO EXCELL is the subject and IS COMMENDABLE is the predicate.)

13. The boy, anxious to learn, worked hard. (THE BOY, ANXIOUS TO LEARN, is the subject and WORKED HARD is the predicate.)

14. The dog, seizing the man by the collar, dragged him out. (THE DOG, SEIZING THE MAN BY THE COLLAR, is the subject and DRAGGED HIM OUT is the predicate.)

15. A house divided against itself cannot stand. (A HOUSE DIVIDED AGAINST ITSELF is the subject and CANNOT STAND is the predicate.)

16. Deceived by his friends, he lost all hope. (DECEIVED BY HIS FRIENDS, HE is the subject and LOST ALL HOPES is the predicate.)

17. The man carrying a hoe is a gardener. (THE MAN CARRYING A HOE is the subject and IS A GARDENER is the predicate.)

18. With his white hair unbonneted, the stout old sheriff comes. (THE STOUT OLD SHERIFF is the subject and COMES WITH HIS WHITE HAIR UNBONNETED is the predicate.)

19. He has come to stay. (HE is the subject and HAS COME TO STAY is the predicate.)

20. Wait a minute. (YOU is the subject and WAIT A MINUTE is the predicate. Subject YOU is understood.)

21. Help a lame dog over a stile. (YOU is the subject and HELP A LAME DOG OVER A STILE is the predicate. Subject YOU is understood.)

22. Him will I follow to the ends of the earth. (‘I’ is the subject and WILL FOLLOW HIM TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH is the predicate. Subject YOU is understood.)

23. Giving to the poor is lending to the Lord. (GIVING TO THE POOR is the subject and IS LENDING TO THE LORD is the predicate.)

24. Her arms across her breast she laid. (SHE is the subject and LAID HER ARMS ACROSS HER BREAST is the predicate.)

25. It is a miserable thing to live in suspense. [IT (TO LIVE IN SUSPENSE) is the subject and IS A MISERABLE THING is the predicate. IT is the artificial subject and TO LIVE IN SUSPENSE is the real subject.]

26. Great is your reward in Heaven. (YOUR REWARD is the subject and IS GREAT IN HEAVEN is the predicate.)

27. In him India lost a true patriot. (INDIA is the subject and LOST A TRUE PATRIOT IN HIM is the predicate.)

28. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. (ALL WORK AND NO PLAY is the subject and MAKES JACK A DULL BOY is the predicate.)

29. Having conquered his enemies, Caesar, returned to Rome. (HAVING CONQUERED HIS ENEMIES, CAESAR is the subject and RETURNED TO ROME is the predicate.)

2. Compound Sentence

A sentence which has two or more clauses, and each clause is making a good sense by itself i.e. each clause of which could stand by itself as a separate sentence, is called a Compound Sentence. Such clauses are Independent Clauses. Each such clause is called a Main Clause; e.g.

a) The moon was bright and we could see our way.

(This sentence consists of two parts: a) The moon was bright, and b) We could see our way. These two parts are joined by the Co-ordinating Conjunction AND. Each part contains a Subject and a Predicate. Subject of the first part is THE MOON and the predicate is WAS BRIGHT; subject of the second part is WE and the predicate is COULD SEE OUR WAY. Each part is called a Clause.

We further notice that each clause makes good sense by itself, and hence could stand by itself as a separate sentence. Each Clause is therefore independent of the other. Each such clause is called a Main Clause. Such a sentence is called a Compound Sentence.)

b) Night came on and rain fell heavily and we all got very wet.

(This sentence consists of the following three: a) Night came on, b) Rain fell heavily, and c) We all got very wet. As said above all these clauses are also Main clauses. Such a sentence is also called a Compound sentence. So, a Compound sentence is one made up of two or more Main Clauses. 

Some more examples of Compound Sentences

1. The horse reared and the rider was thrown. (Two Independent Clauses joined by AND)

2. Walk quickly, else you will not overtake him. (Two Independent Clauses joined by ELSE)

3. I called him, but he gave me no answer. (Two Independent Clauses joined by BUT)

4. I agree to your proposals, for I think them reasonable. (Two Independent Clauses joined by FOR)

5. He blushes; therefore he is guilty. (Two Independent Clauses joined by THEREFORE)

6. She must weep or she will die. (Two Independent Clauses joined by OR)

7. Your arguments are weighty; still they do not convince me. (Two Independent Clauses joined by STILL)

8. He gave them no money nor did he help them in any way. (Two Independent Clauses joined by NOR)

9. Either he is drowned or some passing ship has saved him. (Two Independent Clauses joined by EITHER — OR)

10. He neither obtains success nor deserves it. (Two Independent Clauses HE OBTAINS SUCCESS and DESERVES IT joined by NEITHER — NOR. The subject of the second clause is HE which is understood)

11. I both thanked him and rewarded him. (Two Independent Clauses I THANKED HIM and REWARDED HIM joined by BOTH — AND. The subject of the second clause is I which is understood)

12. He rushed into the field, and foremost fighting fell. (Two Independent Clauses HE RUSHED INTO THE FIELD and FOREMOST FIGHTING FELL joined by AND. The subject of the second clause is HE which is understood)

13. Listen carefully and take notes. (Two Independent Clauses LISTEN CAREFULLY and TAKE NOTES joined by AND. The subject of both the clauses is YOU which is understood)

14. Man is guided by reason, and beast by instinct. (Two Independent Clauses MAN IS GUIDED BY REASON and BEAST BY INSTICT joined by AND. Verb of the second clause is IS GUIDED which is understood)

15. Govern your passions or they will govern you. (Two Independent Clauses GOVERN YOUR PASSIONS and THEY WILL GOVERN YOU joined by OR. The subject of the first clause is YOU which is understood)

3. Complex Sentence

A Complex sentence consists of one Main Clause and one or more Subordinate/Dependent Clauses; e.g.

a) They rested when evening came.

(This sentence consists of two parts: a) They rested, and b) When evening came. We see each part contains a Subject and a Predicate, and forms part of a larger sentence. Each part is therefore a Clause. We further notice that the Clause THEY RESTED makes good sense by itself, and hence could stand by itself as a complete sentence. It is therefore called the Main Clause. 

The Clause WHEN EVENING CAME cannot stand by itself and make good sense. It is dependent on the clause THEY RESTED. It is therefore called a Dependent or Subordinate Clause (not Main Clause). Such a sentence is called a Complex Sentence.)

b) As the boxers advanced into the ring, the people said they would not allow them to fight.

(This sentence consists of three Clauses: a) The people said. (Main Clause), b) As the boxers advanced into the ring. (Subordinate/Dependent Clause.), and c) They would not allow them to fight. (Subordinate/Dependent Clause. Such a sentence is also called a Complex sentence.)

Some more examples of Complex Sentences

1. The town in which I live is very large. (Clause THE TOWN IS VERY LARGE is the Main Clause, and clause IN WHICH I LIVE is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

2. I went because I was invited. (Clause I WENT is the Main Clause, and clause BECAUSE I WAS INVITED is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

3. They always talk who never think. (Clause THEY ALWAYS TALK is the Main Clause, and clause WHO NEVER THINK is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

4. He came oftener than we expected. (Clause HE CAME OFTNER is the Main Clause, and clause THAN WE EXPECTED is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

5. A guest is unwelcome when he stays too long. (Clause A GUEST IS UNWELCOME is the Main Clause, and clause WHEN HE STAYS TOO LONG is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

6. Whatever you do, do well. (Clause DO WELL is the Main Clause, and clause WHATEVER YOU DO is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

7. Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise. (Clause ‘ITS FOLLY TO BE WISE is the Main Clause, and clause WHERE IGNORANCE IS BLISS is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause. “ITS is the short form of IT IS, another short form of IT IS is IT’S.)

8. Quarrels would not last long if the fault were only on one side. (Clause QUARRLES WOULD NOT LAST LONG is the Main Clause, and clause IF THE FAULT WERE ONLY ON ONE SIDE is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

9. He trudged on, though he was very tired. (Clause HE TRUDGED ON is the Main Clause, and clause THOUGH HE WAS VERY TIRED is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

10. Tell me the news as you have heard. (Clause TELL ME THE NEWS is the Main Clause, and clause AS YOU HAVE HEARD is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause. Subject of the Main Clause is YOU which is understood.)

11. He that has most time has none to lose. (Clause HE HAS NONE TO LOSE is the Main Clause, and clause THAT HAS MOST TIME is the Dependent Clause of the Main Clause)

 

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

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