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.



no any one

i want some information about conditional sentences.. plz help me out....

Hi Faz,
The best way to find information on the site is to use the search function. Type 'conditionals' or 'conditional sentences' into the search box at the top-right of the page and you should find what you are looking for.
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team

A nice way to learn and improve.

I want to learn english more than .how can i do it?

Hi, I'm new the member :).   

What should I do to improve my listening skill ? Sometimes, I don't have many times to learn English online.

What is the difference between TOEFL and IELTS ? Thank you :))

Hi Evi,

I can't tell you the best way to improve your listening, because I don't know exactly what your strengths and weaknesses are. However, many students find it helpful to listen to English at many different levels of difficulty and to listen to audio more than once.

Since you don't have much time, perhaps you can download our audio series (such as Big City Small World or Elementary Podcasts) onto your phone or mp3 player and listen to them when you are on the move?

As for TOEFL and IELTS, I know a lot about IELTS, but not so much about TOEFL. Probably the biggest difference is that IELTS includes a face-to-face interview to judge speaking, whereas TOEFL records the candidate speaking. Another difference is that TOEFL uses only American accents in the listening section and IELTS uses a variety of accents from different countries.

By the way. the British Council (which runs LearnEnglish) is one of the three owners of IELTS.

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

thank u ADAM

Hi, Adam,
Where is the best place to download a lot of listening materials within this site? Many thanks!

Hi Roy,
We don't have a place for downloading lots of materials at the same time, if that's what you're looking for. Most of our users download one episode, listen to it, then go onto the next one.
Can you tell me why you want to download lots of materials at the same time?
Best wishes,
The LearnEnglish Team