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

Dear Sir
Would you please explain this to me?
When joining two caluses using ' and', 'but' etc Sometimes one uses a comma but sometimes not I would like to know the reason or reasons
fo this. Please give some examples,too.
Thank you.
Best regards
Andrew international

Hello Andrew international,

'and' and 'but' are extremely common, so this is rather big question! I'd suggest you first take a look at this BBC page and also the explanation of how to use commas at the Purdue University Online Writing Lab's Punctuation page, where you'll also find plenty of example sentences. Then if you have any specific questions, please don't hesitate to ask us.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

can you explain the difference between these , "be useful to" and "be of use to".?

Hello sivagettoknow,

The meaning of these is very similar and I can't think of a context in which you could not use both interchangeably. Do you have a particular example in mind?

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

hi peter,
thanks for writing and i don't have any context of its usage. i found this as answer for the question that asked to find the meaning of the word 'AVAIL'. i know the meaning of the word like "make of the opportunity" or "help" depends on the context. curiously , i want to interpret this two phrases.
so , i posted it.

what i thought was , both means "be useful to something". wasnt it?

thank you
siva

Hi sivagettoknow,

As I said, I can't think of any difference in meaning. Both of these mean that something is useful. For example:

My knowledge of German was of use to me during my trip to Munich.

My knowledge of German was useful to me during my trip to Munich.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everybody :
I don't understand this sentences
She doesn't reveal much about herself, and is all the more fascinating for it.
why the verb come after ( and ) directly and where is the subject here in the second clause

Hello nkmg,

When the subject in a sentence is repeated, it is often omitted in the second clause. This is really for stylistic reasons, to avoid repeating the same word. For example:

Paul had breakfast and Paul went to work.

to avoid repeating 'Paul' we can say:

Paul had breakfast and went to work.

 

Your example is similar:

She doesn't reveal much about herself, and is all the more fascinating for it.

She doesn't reveal much about herself, and (she) is all the more fascinating for it.

She doesn't reveal much about herself, and is all the more fascinating for it.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello everyone :

if subordinate Conjunctions followed by depend clause
why we haven't a complete clause after conjunction or this clause is wrong( She moved her lips as if to smile. ). where is the the subject, verb in the clause after conjunction

Hello nkmg,

Clauses can be divided into finite and non-finite clauses. FInite clauses contain a subject and verb; non-finite clauses contain non-finite verb forms such as infinitives and participles. This is an example of a non-finite clause. To read more about non-finite clauses see here.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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