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.



Hello Sir
Is the comma correct in these sentences? Also the comma is an option or
it is a must. e.g. We waved at him, but he didn't see us. Although she studied
hard, she couldn't pass the exam. Yesterday, we went to the supermarket
and we bought fruits and vegetables. ( no comma before 'and' because the
subject is the same.)
Please let me know.
Thank you.

Hi Lal,
Different people use commas in different ways, i.e. there are some cases where there is disagreement over whether a comma is needed or not. As far as I know, some people would use a comma in the first sentence, but others would not. As for the second one, I think everyone would use a comma. And in the case of the third, I think most people would not put a comma.
All the best
The LearnEnglish Team

Can you please double-check "the way" as the answer on no. 2? Not sure if you have already addressed that before. I'm not sure "the way" is a conjunction. "How" certainly is a conjunction and it fits here well: "I like how she sings".

Hello sunsetlover,

In this particular context, 'the way' is functioning as a conjunction. There are quite a few phrases like this like this in English, such as the wayin spite of and in case.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir, sorry i have another question about this structure :
-She is going to miss her plane 'if her husband didn't come soon'
Can we consider 'if her husband didn't come soon' as noun clause functioning as an adverb ?

Hello Armine-z1,

That is not a correct sentence, I'm afraid. You are mixing a real result (she is going to miss) with an unreal condition (he husband didn't come).

As far as the clause goes, it is introduced by a subordinating conjunction (if) and is an adverbial clause, not a noun clause.


Please note that this site is aimed at helping learners to understand and use the language (English as a foreign language), rather than deal with terminology that is related to the study of the language as a system (linguistics and philology)



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir ,
I have a question about how can we state the type and grammatic function of structures begin with conjunctions''but" such as in this context:
" It was a gloomy place, and few peolpe came to visit them. 《BUT on this particular morining in january》, the house had come alive...
And have a good day sir)

Hello Amine-z1,

'But' is a co-ordinating conjunction, which means it joins items which:

(1) are of the same grammatical type (two clauses, two phrases, two sentences etc)

(2) are of equal important in the sentence (two main clauses, for example)

(3) have contrasting meanings


It is quite possible to start a sentence with a conjunction, as in your example. In this case, the contrast is with the preceding sentence.



The LearnEnglish Team

Hello sir , i hope u answer to my Question .in this structure :
-MR.Eugene Foster, "who was nearly seventy years old". Lived with his wife in a larg house.
Can we consider the type of "who was nearly seventy years old" is a NOUN clause function as an advervial clause ?

Hello Amine-z1,

The sentence needs different punctuation:

Mr. Eugene Foster, who was nearly seventy years old, lived with his wife in a large house.


The underlined section here is a non-defining relative clause which has an adjectival function. It describes the noun phrase 'Mr. Eugene Foster'.

You can read more about relative clause on these pages:

relative clauses

non-defining relative clauses

defining relative clauses



The LearnEnglish Team