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Sentence types

You can make your writing more interesting by using a mixture of simple, compound, and complex sentences. Before we look at sentences, we need to get to grips with a few terms first:


A clause is a part of a sentence that contains a subject and a verb.

Main Clause:

A clause that makes sense on its own. It does not need anything adding to it for it to make sense.

Subordinate clause:

A subordinate clause gives additional information about the main clause. It begins with a conjunction like when, because, if or although.


Simple Sentence: a single main clause

For example:

  • The student studied all night.
  • Tom watched the cricket.


Compound Sentence: two main clauses joined together by a word like and, but, so, or, for.

For example:

  • Helen loves books and she likes films.
  • The boy loves football but he does get muddy.


Complex Sentence: a main clause and a subordinate clause.

For example:

  • Tom ran to the bus stop because he was late.


The subordinate clause can be moved to the beginning or middle of the sentence:

  • Because he was late, Tom ran to the bus stop.
  • Tom, because he was late, ran to the bus stop.

Oh, and you can start a sentence with ‘because’, so long as you complete the explanation that is linked with the ‘because’.

Subject Vocab Lists


Prefixes and Suffixes

Sentence types

A punctuation Guide

Reluctant Reader Tips

Spelling Strategies to try at home