TYPES OF SENTENCES
As explain in the last lesson, a sentence is a group of words with a subject and a verb that expresses a complete idea or asks a question. E.g.
[a] Adeola is a teacher——-[it expresses an idea]
[b] Who stole my money?——[it asks a question]
Now, let us discuss the various ways of classifying sentences. Sentences can be grouped according to their structural patterns. The five main classifications are: simple, compound, multiple, complex and compound-complex sentences.
TYPES OF SENTENCES ACCORDING TO STRUCTURES
A] The Simple Sentence: This is a sentence that contains one independent/main clause which consists of one subject and one predicate. It has only one verb.
Mrs. Funmilayo is a generous woman.
Lekan fears snake.
The two sentences above have one verb each which are: ‘’is, ‘’fears’’. The subjects are ‘’Mrs. Funmilayo and Lekan’’ while the predicates are: ‘’is a generous woman and fears snake’’. In every sentence, the subject is the performer of an action while the predicate is the part which contains the action performed by the subject. At his level, we need to explain what an independent clause is. An independent clause is a clause that can stand alone. The meaning can be fully understood. The two sentences above can stand alone and be fully understood.
B] The Compound Sentence: A compound sentence is made up of two main clauses which are joined together by coordinating conjunctions ‘’and,’’ ‘’but’’, ‘’or’’, etc.
I love you—–main clause. [a]
I want to marry you—–main clause.[b]
John attended all the lectures—–main clause
He did not sit for the examination——main clause
The clauses above can be written in these forms.
I love you and I want to marry you.
John attended all the lectures but he did not sit for the examination.
The different between a clause and a sentence is that a clause has only one finite verb and functions as part of a sentence. A sentence contains two or more clauses and has more than one finite verb. ‘’A and B’’ above have two finite verbs which are :’’love’’ and ‘’marry’’. Finite verb on the other hand is a form of verb that can be used with a subject to make a verb tense .e.g. Alade won the race. ‘’won’’ as verb is used directly with the subject ‘’Ade’’ which makes it to be a finite verb.
Note: The word ‘’conjunction’’ is used to join words, phrases and clauses together.
C] The Multiple Sentence: This type of sentence is made up of more than two main clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions .e.g.
I will go to the office……….main clause.
I will ask the manager to sign the form for me…………main clause.
I will not submit it today………….main clause.
For the above clauses to be written as a multiple sentence, they must be joined by coordinating conjunctions. Therefore it can be in this form:
I will go to the office and ask the manager to sign the form for me but will not submit it today. So the three clauses now become one sentence which is referred to as multiple sentence.
D] The Complex Sentence: This is the type of sentence that contains one main [or independent] clause and one or more subordinate [or dependent] clauses. The main and subordinate clauses are joined by words like: because, so…..that, too, since, while, which, unless, until, etc. A subordinate clause is a clause that requires the support of another clause[that is main clause] before it can be understood. It cannot stand on its own. e.g.
She went home….main clause [a]
because she was annoyed…..subordinate clause [b]
In clauses above, ‘’a’’ can be fully understood while ‘’b’’ depends on ‘’a’’ before it can generate meaning. If the two clauses are written as one it will be referred to as complex sentence:
‘’She went home because she was annoyed.’’
E] The Compound-Complex Sentence: This type of sentence is made up of at least two main clauses and one or more subordinate clauses .e.g.
I had left the house……main clause
I boarded a taxi…………..main clause
when I see my younger sister waving me down to tell me my mother had arrived…..subordinate clause.
All the clauses above can be written as a compound sentence in this way:
I had left the house and I boarded a taxi when I see my younger sister waving me down to tell me my mother had arrived. The two main clauses here were joined together by ‘’and’’[a coordinate conjunction]. Therefore the formation of any type of sentence depends on the structural patterns analysed so far. Students are expected to master the rules to write meaningful sentences.