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Purdue OWL: Sentence Variety

General Writing • Research and Citation • Teaching and Tutoring • Subject-Specific Writing • Job Search Writing • ESL
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Sentence Types
S ummary: This resource presents methods for adding sentence variety and complexity to writing that may sound repetitive or boring. Sections are divided into general tips for varying structure, a discussion of sentence types, and specific parts of speech which can aid in sentence variety. Contributors:Ryan Weber, Allen Brizee Last Edited: 2010-04-17 05:36:45 Structurally, English sentences can be classified four different ways, though there are endless constructions of each. The classifications are based on the number of independent and dependent clauses a sentence contains. An independent clause forms a complete sentence on its own, while a dependent clause needs another clause to make a complete sentence. By learning these types, writers can add complexity and variation to their sentences.

Simple sentence: A sentence with one independent clause and no dependent clauses.
M ya u n te n j o y e dt a k i n gt h eh a y r i d ew i t hy o u . C h i n a ' sH a nD y n a s t ym a r k e da no f f i c i a lr e c o g n i t i o no fC o n f u c i a n i s m .

Compound Sentence: A sentence with multiple independent clauses but no dependent clauses.
T h ec l o w nf r i g h t e n e dt h el i t t l eg i r l ,a n ds h er a no f fs c r e a m i n g . T h eF r e e d o mR i d e r sd e p a r t e do nM a y4 ,1 9 6 1 ,a n dt h e yw e r ed e t e r m i n e dt o t r a v e lt h r o u g hm a n ys o u t h e r ns t a t e s .

Complex Sentence: A sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause.
A f t e rM a r ya d d e du pa l lt h es a l e s ,s h ed i s c o v e r e dt h a tt h el e m o n a d es t a n d

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/573/02/

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Purdue OWL: Sentence Variety

w a s3 2c e n t ss h o r t W h i l ea l lo fh i sp a i n t i n g sa r ef a s c i n a t i n g ,H i e r o n y m u sB o s c h ' st r i p t y c h s , f u l lo fm a y h e ma n dm a d n e s s ,a r et h er e a lh i g h l i g h to fh i sa r t .

Complex-Compound Sentence: A sentence with multiple independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.
C a t c h 2 2i sw i d e l yr e g a r d e da sJ o s e p hH e l l e r ' sb e s tn o v e l ,a n db e c a u s e H e l l e rs e r v e di nW o r l dW a rI I ,w h i c ht h en o v e ls a t i r i z e s ,t h ez a n yb u t s a v a g ew i to ft h en o v e lp a c k sa ne x t r ap u n c h .

https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/573/02/

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