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

Hello Sdeo0202,

In general, y is the person working in z, but it could be, especially in speaking, that the speakers means it is x who is working in z and just hasn't made this clear.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi, sir.
When we use "or" to talk about two different possibilities, can I write it like the sentences below or I have to put them together after the conjunction "or"? Thank you

Is green your favourite colour or blue?
Is reading your hobby or drawing?
Thank you

Hi Omyhong,

Yes, those sentences are perfectly fine.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Team, for this sentence

"The law has criminalized prostitution but not got rid of it." which i came across in cambridge dictionary, did they omit "the law has" after the conjunction "but"?

Or just that the clause is in past tense after "but"?

I've read up about ellipses (omitting of words: pronouns or forms of be) after conjunctions but not much from this site.

Hello CareBears07,

Yes, that's right -- it's a classic example of ellipsis. There's a good general explanation of ellipsis in Cambridge's English Grammar Today.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi,

I was just wondering if the following sentence structure is correct.
It came up in an English exam. The students had to rearrange the sentence in the right order.

Correct Answer: It is important that we find better ways to reduce water pollution.

Student Answer: It is important to find better ways that we can reduce water pollution.

It seems that the student's answer is perfectly fine, though awkward.
I tried searching the exact phrase "important to find better ways that" on google search and there is no result found. Not sure why nobody phrases it in such a way, even though it isn't wrong.

More commonly used phrases are:
1) important to find ways that......
2) important to find better ways to....

I believe the term "better" in the sentence plays a role for the student's answer to be incorrect.

It seems that the student's answer is perfectly fine, though awkward.

I tried searching the exact phrase "important to find better ways that" on google search and there is no result found. Not sure why nobody phrases it in such a way, even though it isn't wrong.

Hey there, I'm a native English speaker and as a comment I'd like to point out that the only thing awkward about the student's response is the words "that we can" after "ways". The reason, as far as I can tell, comes from the adjective "better". Changing "that we can" to "to" would eliminate the awkwardness completely. Here are some examples with other adjectives that create this awkwardness:

What are some ways that we can reduce pollution? OK -- no adjective
What are some good ways that we can reduce pollution? AWKWARD
What are some good ways to reduce pollution? OK

These are some ways that we can reduce pollution. OK -- no adjective
These are some bad ways that we can reduce pollution. AWKWARD
These are some bad ways to reduce pollution. OK

I think it's important to find better ways that we can reduce pollution. AWKWARD
I think it's important to find better ways to reduce pollution. OK

Hi Kim28,

This is quite a tricky one. It is possible to follow 'way' with a that-clause. For example:

I have a better way (that) we can do this.

There is a way (that) he can win this match.

 

The sentence is not grammatically inaccurate, therefore. However, it does strike me as rather awkward and I think the first answer you give would be much more common in standard use.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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