Sentence Types and Problems
Professor Billy Tashman

Coordination and Subordination
(also known as main and subordinate clauses)


Independent clause: A clause — a grammatical construction containing a subject and predicate (the verb part of the sentenc) — that can stand by itself as a sentence.

Dependent clause: A dependent clause cannot stand by itself as a sentence, and functions as a noun, adjective or adverb.

Begonia should stifle her lunatic impulses and stop drinking. begonia004.jpg

Independent clause: Begonia should stifle her lunatic impulses.
Dependent clause: and stop drinking.

Compound sentence

A compound sentence contains two or more coordinate independent clauses but no subordinate clauses. “Coordinate clause” means the main clause.

I love crack, but I hate Camel filters.
I love sweet dreams, so I treasure my Swedish massage bed.

Complex sentence
A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses. A subordinate clause is an independent clause that modifies the main clause.

Although my eyes had serious dark circles, I celebrated Mark’s birthday by going with him to the secret place under the stairs.

Whenever I clip my toenails and floss my molars, I think of Zelda.

Compound-complex sentence (contains two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses)

Although her lips put me in a state of white heat, I vowed to escape her clutches, and I shredded her phone number.

Next to each of the following sentences, write compound, complex, or compound-complex.

a. Although RBD started out as a Mexican soap opera, it is now a group of four, sickeningly cute Latin pop singers. rbd.jpg

b. She was modeling a Dior dress made of ruffled tulle and sheer gossamer and ostrich feathers, and she looked like a total dork.

c. Because I am trying to drop seventy pounds, I am giving up candy forever, but I must eat one of these limited-edition Hershey Kisses.

d. Alladin had a lamp, but even he couldn’t make me fall for Calixta.

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