Punctuation for the four sentence types

Punctuation, Sentences

A reminder:  A phrase is a group of words that does not include a subject and verb. A clause is one that does. 

The four possible structures of a sentence:

  • A simple sentence, which contains an independent clause
  • A compound sentence, which contains two or more independent clauses connected with a coordinating conjunction or a semicolon
  • A complex sentence, which contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses
  • A compound-complex sentence, which is a hybrid. It is a variation on a compound sentence where a complex sentence has replaced one or both of the independent clauses.

Here are some examples:

Dependent clauses: when to use commas

Punctuation, Sentences

Let’s imagine a sentence is a grownup with a job. It doesn’t live at work, though. Nope. It functions equally well away from its paragraph workplace and out on its own because a sentence is fully independent, thankyouverymuch. And independence is not the focus of this post. (Need to review sentence types and the proper punctuation for them? Go here.)