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

hi there,
what's the difference between co-ordinate and subordinate conjunction? No offense,but i couldn't get it ,are conjunction and clauses are same?

Hi N Muse,

A conjunction is a part of speech - a word or phrase which joins words, phrases, clauses and sentences together.

A clause is a grammatical unit - see here for a full definition. Clauses can be categorised in several ways but a major one is to distinguish between main clauses (which can stand alone as sentences) and subordinate clauses (which must be attached to a main clause). The conjunctions which join these are either co-ordinating (which join two main clauses) or subordinating (which join a subordinate clause to a main clause).

I hope that helps to clarify it for you.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

 

Hi! I can't find a page about the subject, verb, and object of a sentence. Could you give me the link?

Hi Donnie,

We don't have a page specifically on this, but the information is dealt with on various pages about noun phrases, verb use, clause structure and so on. Is there a specific question you have on the topic?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello :
I want to understand this sentence structure
[ All you do is nag me!] how is there the three verb in this sentence
this from break up movie. this is the context
All I ask, Brooke,
is that you show a little bit of appreciation.
That I just get 20 minutes to relax when I come home,
instead of being attacked with questions and nagged the whole damn time.
You think that I nag you? That's all you do!
All you do is nag me!
"The bathroom's a mess.' ' "Your belt doesn't match.' '

Hello nkmg,

In this sentence, 'All you do' is the subject, 'is' is the verb and 'nag me' is the object. 'all' has many different uses; in this structure, 'all you do' means something like 'the only thing you do'. The other beginnings of sentences (e.g. 'All I ask') use 'all' in the same way, i.e. 'All I ask' means 'The only thing I ask'.

I hope that clarifies it for you, but if not, please let us know.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello:
Thanks for helping but i did't get anything
what i learn from this site is the subject could be
noun phrase with modifier or relative clause
but the phrase here isn't any type of those

and the same about object( nag me) . can we use a verb phrase as an object

Hello teacher :
Thanks very much for your effort with me & sorry for annoying you
but i'm still confused
all (that) you do is the subject of the sentence we drop relative pronoun or ( wh marker ) whatever that is called because it acts as object in a sentence
what about the object sentence ( nag me ) we drop wh marker here i thinks it acts as the subject here why it was dropped

Hello nkmg,

Many different forms can be used as the subject in English sentences. Your examples are what we call free relative clauses - relative clauses which do not refer back to a particular noun phrase in the setence but rather stand alone as a part of the sentence. These can be both subjects and objects:

I hate where I live. (the free relative clause 'where I live' is the object)

Where I live is nice. (the free relative clause 'where I live' is the subject)

In your sentence the phrase 'All (that) you do' is a form of free relative clause and it is the subject of the sentence.

You can find more information on related issues on these pages:

on different kinds of subject

on fused relative constructions (relevant to your example)

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello teacher :
Thanks very much for your effort with me & sorry for annoying you
but i'm still confused
all (that) you do is the subject of the sentence we drop relative pronoun or ( wh marker ) whatever that is called because it acts as object in a sentence
what about the object sentence ( nag me ) we drop wh marker here i thinks it acts as the subject here why it was dropped

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