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.




Is this question a subject or object question: How many of Edison`s lightbulbs didn`t work?

The question above is based off of this sentence: Thomas Edison, told his colleagues: "Of the 200 light bulbs that didn`t work, every failure told me something I was able to incoporate into the next attempt"

The first question is finding object: How many ideas did Benjamin Franklin have that didn`t work? but is the second question an object or subject question: How many of Benjamin Franklin`s ideas didn`t work? (text book is saying both is correct)

The questions above is based on this sentence: Benjamin Franklin, the US statesman and scientist once said: "I have failed, I have had 10,000 ideas that didn`t work?

Can you give me the reasons regarding the above along with the answer.

Thank you.

Hello browniestuff21,

That's a lot of questions! There are no numbers next to the questions you wrote, but I'm going to give them numbers in the order they appear. There are three by my count (although there is a question mark in the last one, it's not really a question). 1 and 3 are subject questions -- 'lightbulbs' and 'ideas' are the subjects of the verb 'didn't work'. In 2, 'Benjamin Franklin' is the subject of ´have', which is the main verb. 'didn't work' is the verb of the relative pronoun 'that', which refers to 'ideas'.

Does that help? If you have any other questions, please separate them so that it's easier to know what you are referring to.

All the best,
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,
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,


The LearnEnglish Team

Thanks for your reply.

Although he was one of the super cool students, he could not get overall high marks compared to me however his English marks are far better than me.
is it complex Sentence?
Thank You.

Hello RanaUmar,

I'm afraid that the sentence you ask about is a run-on sentence. The good news is that you could still created a complex sentence by using parts of it. 'Although he was one of the cool students, he did not get marks as high as mine', for example, is a correct complex sentence (but not a run-on).

All the best,
The LearnEnglish Team