Simple sentences:

A simple sentence has only one clause:

The children were laughing.
John wanted a new bicycle.
All the girls are learning English.

Compound sentences:

A compound sentence has two or more clauses:

(We stayed behind) and (finished the job)
(We stayed behind) and (finished the job), then (we went home)

The clauses in a compound sentence are joined by co-ordinating conjunctions:

John shouted and everybody waved.
We looked everywhere but we couldn’t find him.
They are coming by car so they should be here soon.

The common coordinating conjunctions are:

and – but – or – nor – so – then – yet

Complex sentences:

A complex sentence has a main clause and one or more adverbial clauses. Adverbial clauses usually come after the main clause:

Her father died when she was very young
>>>
Her father died (main clause)
when (subordinating conjunction)
she was very young (adverbial clause)

She had a difficult childhood because her father died when she was very young.
>>>
She had a difficult childhood (main clause)
because (subordinating conjunction)
her father died (adverbial clause)
when (subordinating conjunction)
she was very young (adverbial clause).

Some subordinate clauses can come in front of the main clause:

Although a few snakes are dangerous most of them are quite harmless
>>>
Although (subordinating conjunction)
some snakes are dangerous (adverbial clause)
most of them are harmless (main clause).

A sentence can contain both subordinate and coordinate clauses:

Although she has always lived in France, she speaks fluent English because her mother was American and her father was Nigerian
>>>
Although (subordinating conjunction)
she has always lived in France (adverbial clause),
she speaks fluent English (main clause)
because (subordinating conjunction)
her mother was American (adverbial clause)
and (coordinating conjunction)
her father was Nigerian (adverbial clause).

There are seven types of adverbial clauses:

 

  Common conjunctions
Contrast clauses  although; though; even though; while;
Reason clauses because; since; as
Place clauses where; wherever; everywhere
Purpose clauses so that; so; because + want
Result clauses so that; so … that; such … that
Time clauses when; before; after; since; while; as; as soon as; by the time; until
Conditional clauses  if; unless; provided (that); as long as
   

Complete the sentences with conjunctions.

Match conjunctions to functions.

 

Comments

hi Sir
Please tell me when writing a passive sentence whether the time comes before
the agent or after it. For e.g. Had the laptop been bought by you last month?
Had the laptop been bought last month by you?
Please let me know which one is correct? First or the second
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hi Lal

It depends on what you consider to be the important information in the sentence, but in general the first is probably better.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Sir
Please let me know which topic is correct ? Letters of complaints or letter of
complaint or letters of complaint
The above is to be used as a heading.
Thank you.
Regards
Lal

Hi Lal

'Letters of complaint' would be the best form for a heading.

All the best

Kirk

The LearnEnglish Team

Okay Sir,

I think if i write both sentences as shown below, it is the correct meaning. Please let me know if i am right or wrong this time.

"You have not been able to read the instructions properly. They’re perfectly clear."

Thanks & regards,
Dipak.

Hello Dipak,

A past simple is all you need:

You did not read the instructions properly. They’re perfectly clear.

 

Using 'able to' gives the sentence an unnecessarily broad meaning. You are talking about an error in a particular case, not about the person's ability to do something.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Kirk Sir,

Thank you for this reply and response.
Now, i want to draw your attention to one sentence from this website.
As per my opinion, there is one mistake in this sentence.
And, here is a link to that page:
https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/intermediate-grammar/modals-d...

"You can’t have read the instructions properly. They’re perfectly clear."

There should be "improperly" or "awkwardly" in place of "properly" .

Best regards,
Freelancer.

Hello Freelancer,

The word 'properly' is quite correct there because the verb is negative ("You can't have..."). A positive modal verb would change the adverb:

You must have read the instructions incorrectly.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Peter Sir,

Yes, if the first sentence is correct with the word "properly", then the second sentence should have "unclear" in place of "clear".

"You can’t have read the instructions properly. They’re completely unclear."

Am i right or wrong? i am confused.

Thanks & regards,
Dipak.

Hello Dipak,

The second sentence explains the first and 'clear' is also correct.

You can't have read the instructions properly. They're completely clear.

 

You can think of it this way:

The instructions are completely clear, so the problem is how you read them.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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