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.

 

Comments

Hello amrita_enakshi,

I'm not sure where that question is from. It's a grammatically correct question but I can't see any context for it and so I can't really comment specifically on who the pronouns refer to.

We can use both 'them' and 'you' for singular and plural meanings. 'You' can refer to one person or a group, and 'them' can be used to describe one person if we do not want to make their gender explicit or do not know their gender.

Without knowing the context, beyond that I can't say who the pronouns refer to.

In any case, in general we do not provide answers to questions from elsewhere. We're happy to explain our own materials and tasks, of course, but not those written by other authors. For those explanations, you'll need to ask the people who created the tasks.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Dear Sir,

Which of the following sentences is grammatically correct?
P,ease explain why the rest are incorrect. Thank you.

Yout personal data and samples already collected by us will be used according to what you will have agreed to for its use when you join the study.

or

Your personal data and samples already collected by us will be used according to what you have agreed to for its use when you will join the study.

ot

Your personal data and samples already collected by us will be used according to what you agree to for its use when you join the study.

Hi freelancer,

None of these are correct. For one thing, 'its' is not correct, as it refers to more than one thing (personal data and samples). It should therefore be 'their'.

We're happy to help you with a specific question about a specific part of a sentence, but I'm afraid we don't have the resources to give lengthy explanations of content, especially when it doesn't come from our site.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hello Kirk Sir,

Thanks for your invaluable reply.
I am again asking you the same question because my main concern is not answered. Okay, i replace the word "its" with "their" and type the same sentences. I want to know about "correct use of future tense".

Your personal data and samples already collected by us will be used according to what you will have agreed to for their use when you join the study.

or

Your personal data and samples already collected by us will be used according to what you have agreed to for their use when you will join the study.

ot

Your personal data and samples already collected by us will be used according to what you agree to for their use when you join the study.

Hello Freelancer,

The correct option here is the third one: 'will be used... when you join...'

There are rules governing the use of verb forms in time clauses like this (using the word 'when') and you can see these rules, along with explanations and practice tasks, on this page:

https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs-time-clauses-and-if-clauses

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir,
could you please tell me whether the following type of advice, negative commands / prohibitions or requests should fall under imperative sentences?
example sentences:
(Advice)
You must exercise every day to keep fit.
You should not talk.
You must not tell lies.
(Neg. command)
Don't make a noise.
(Request)
Can you shut the door gently?
Sir , can imperative sentences not be negative ? And if a request has a question mark should it be an interrogative sentence? Sir , please shed some light.... I'm really in the dark... feeling so perplexed . Really looking forward to your explanation .

Hi amrita_enakshi,

In general, this all looks correct to me, though please note that, without context, it's often not possible to say exactly what exactly the meaning of a clause is. For example, 'You must exercise every day' could be stating an obligation or it could just be advice -- it depends on who says it to whom, how they say it, when and where, etc.

As for your second question, yes, there are affirmative imperatives, e.g. 'Make some noise', 'Wash the dishes', 'Be quiet', 'Go to school'. And as for your last question, yes, requests in the form of questions usually are punctuated with a question mark, even though in a sense they are not really questions but rather requests.

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

In the sentence "The audience stood to clap loudly as the performance finished" what form of the verb is finished? I understand that "as the performance finished" can either be an adverbial clause of time or reason (as is ambiguous) but I don't know how to classify finished - is it a shortened form of eg "was finishing" or "had finished" or does it just standalone.
Thank you

Hello phvincent,

In this phrase, 'finished' is the verb 'finish' in the past simple. In this case, 'finish' is an intransitive verb.

Does that make sense?

All the best,
Kirk
The LearnEnglish Team

Hi Sir,
He uses the craziest methods of warning and sending Lou messages - like putting a note in his coffee.

May I ask, the adverbial for above sentence is "the craziest methods of warning and sending"?

The Direct object is "messages" and Indirect object is "Lou"?

Thank you!

Pat

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