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.

 

Section: 

Comments

Thank you for your help. I have another questiion regarding the below sentence:

Are the sentences below correct?

1. I am going running today.

2. I am going dancing tonight.

or should I say

3. I am going to run today?

4. I am going to dance tonight?

5. Can you put going with another ing verb: going dancing

Best wishes
Alyson

Hello again Alyson,

All of those sentences are correct, and yes, you can use 'going' before another verb like 'running', 'dancing', 'swimming' (sports or activities). 1 and 2 use the verb 'go' before an activity word that ends in -ing, which is correct, and the present continuous to talk about a future plan. 3 and 4 use the ´be going to + infinitive' to talk about a future plan, so they essentially mean the same thing, i.e. that you have an intention or plan to do these things today or tonight.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Kirk
Regarding the above question I also wanted to know:

Are the sentences below correct?
1. I am going running today.
2. I am going dancing tonight.
or should I say
3. I am going to run today?
4. I am going to dance tonight?
5. Can you put going with another ing verb: going dancing

If I can use both going + another verb+ ing and going to infinitive what is the diiference?

I know going +to+ infinitive is to discuss future intention plans that are not fully planned and future intentions that are planned around time of speaking and future intentions spontaneous.

Correct?

Best wishes
Alyson

Hello Alyson,

I already answered questions 1-5 in my comment above. All of those sentences are correct -- well, if 3 and 4 are supposed to be questions, then they should begin with 'Am I going' instead of 'I am going', but otherwise they are correct.

There's no real difference in meaning between 1 and 3 or 2 and 4. I'd say 1 and 2 are more common, as we typically use an -ing form after 'go' when talking about sports or activities. Many reference grammars say that the present continuous (1 and 2) implies more certainty than 'be going to', but this difference is quite subtle and very subjective, so you can hear both forms used to communicate the same thing.

If you decide to do something right now (which sometimes is spontaneous), then 'will' is the best. For example, if just now I decide that I'm going to call you tomorrow and want to tell you that, I'd say 'I'll call you tomorrow' (not 'I'm going to call you tomorrow').

All of this is explained more on our talking about the future page.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Thank you so much

I have problems in how to put a noun or adjective in complex sentence , I face this difficulty during my preparation for IELTS exam . I'm in Bad NEED for your help.

Hello safawad,

Have you seen our IELTS section and TakeIELTS? I'd highly recommend you take a look at those resources in your preparations for the test.

If you have any specific questions about a specific sentence, you are welcome to ask us on an appropriate page, but I'm afraid we don't provide general explanations beyond what it is already available on our site. For that kind of thing, I would recommend you look for a class.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

I appreciate your help ...

We were proud that you conceded defeat so graciously.

Does the part you conceded defeat so graciously fall under
independent, infinitive, surbodinating or co-ordinating clause?

Hello Masseuse_Niagrass,

A 'that-clause' is a subordinate clause. The 'that' can be omitted.

Please note that we don't provide answers to tasks from elsewhere. We're happy to answer questions about the materials on our own pages, but not to provide help on homework or tasks from tests.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your reply.

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