Sentences consist of phrases and Clauses. A phrase is a sequence of words that conveys a thought and makes a distinct part of a clause, whereas a clause is a sequence of words that includes a subject and a finite predicate verb.
is a way of combining sentences that makes one sentence more important than the other.
combines phrases or independent clauses, that have roughly equal importance using one of the coordinating conjunctions – for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (fanboys).
Ex: The phoenix is a legendary creature. The Minotaur is also a legendary creature.
The phoenix and the Minotaur are legendary creatures.
(Compound subject noun)
Ex. When the phoenix bursts into flames, it dies. It is then reborn from the ashes.
When the phoenix bursts into flames, it dies but is reborn from the ashes.
(Compound verb, NO COMMA before the coordinating conjunction “but” )
- Independent Clauses:
Ex: King Minos held the Minotaur in abomination. The king built a labyrinth in which to imprison the monster.
King Minos held the Minotaur in abomination, so he built a labyrinth in which to imprison the monster.
(Independent clause (COMMA) + coordinating conjunction + independent clause)
Parallelism combines 3 or more words, phrases, or clauses that have roughly equal importance in a sentence using similar structures and coordinating conjunctions.
Ex. He eats, studies, and dreams new food combinations.
(1 actor, 3 actions, 1 object)
Ex. The cookbook author combines food in new ways, evaluates the success of his combinations, and writes a weekly food column for the local paper.
(3 verb phrases)
Ex. In dividing up our responsibilities, my husband concentrates on the main entrée items, ensuring that they are made using as much locally-grown food as possible; I focus on desserts, making sure that we have at least one VEGAN or “special diet sensitive” option available every day; finally, we both avoid the paperwork, ensuring that we end up with several sleepless nights at tax time.
(3 independent clauses followed by 3 participles and 3 relative clauses)
A sentence in its simplest form is an independent clause, which consists of a subject noun and a predicate verb – that is, an actor and an action. You could write a grammatical essay using only simple sentences, but the result would inevitably be choppy, repetitious, and boring.
You can add interest to your prose by varying types of sentences you use in an essay. Including the simple sentence, there are four basic classifications of sentences depending on the number of independent and dependent clauses you include.
- Simple sentence (one independent clause, no dependent clauses)
Ex. Flamingos eat algae.
- Compound sentence (two or more independent clauses, no dependent clauses)
Ex. Flamingos eat algae, and they stand on one leg.
independent clause independent clause
- Complex sentence (one independent clause, one or more dependent clauses)
Ex. While they eat algae, flamingos stand on two legs.
dependent clause independent clause
- Compound, complex sentence (two or more independent clauses, one or more dependent clauses)
Ex. While they eat algae, flamingos stand on two legs, but they stand on one leg at other times.
Dependent clause independent clause independent clause