Today we\u2019re looking at how to construct different sentence types! Wait! Where are you going? Come back! Just give us a moment to explain.\r\nWe know that sentence construction doesn\u2019t sound exciting, but varying the length and type of sentences in your written work can boost its readability.\r\nTo do that, however, you'll need to understand the three main sentence types: simple, compound and complex sentences. We might even take a cheeky look at compound-complex sentences, if you\u2019re lucky.\r\nSimple Sentences\r\nAll sentences should express a complete thought. The simplest sentences do this with just a subject (i.e. the active thing or person in a sentence) and a verb (i.e. an action). For instance, we could say:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSubject\r\n\r\n\r\nVerb\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nShe\u2026\r\n\r\n\r\n\u2026jumped.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\nIn the above, the subject is \u2018she\u2019 and the verb is \u2018jumped\u2019, so the sentence expresses the idea of a person having jumped. Many sentences also have an object, which is the thing acted upon:\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nSubject\r\n\r\n\r\nVerb\r\n\r\n\r\nObject\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nShe\u2026\r\n\r\n\r\n\u2026jumped\u2026\r\n\r\n\r\n\u2026the hurdle.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\nNot all simple sentences are so basic, since we can add detail without changing the overall structure:\r\nShe and I jumped up and over the hurdle at the same time.\r\nHere, we\u2019ve used a compound subject, a verb phrase, and a bonus adverbial phrase! But the basic sentence type remains the same. This is known as an independent clause due to being a meaningful sentence on its own.\r\nCompound Sentences\r\nCompound sentences combine two or more independent clauses, typically using a coordinating conjunction (e.g. \u2018but\u2019 or \u2018and\u2019):\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nClause 1\r\n\r\n\r\nCoordinating Conjunction\r\n\r\n\r\nClause 2\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nShe jumped,\u2026\r\n\r\n\r\n\u2026and\u2026\r\n\r\n\r\n\u2026he ducked.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u00a0\r\nThe crucial thing is that the clause on either side of the conjunction could work as a standalone sentence by itself (i.e. 'She jumped' and 'And he ducked' could both work as standalone sentences).\r\nComplex Sentences\r\nComplex sentences combine an independent clause with a dependent clause (i.e. a clause that contains a verb but doesn\u2019t express a complete thought). Dependent clauses begin with a subordinating conjunction, like \u2018although\u2019 or \u2018whereas\u2019. For instance, we could say:\r\nShe loves jumping, whereas he loves ducking.\r\nOr they begin with a relative pronoun, like \u2018which\u2019 or \u2018whose\u2019:\r\nShe\u2019s always jumping, which is good exercise!\r\nIn either case, the dependent clause wouldn\u2019t work as a sentence by itself.\r\nCompound-Complex Sentences\r\nA compound-complex sentence is one that contains at least two independent clauses and one dependent clause, such as:\r\nWhile I have no preference, she loves jumping, and he loves ducking.\r\nHere, \u2018While I have no preference\u2019 is a dependent clause (i.e. \u2018while\u2019 implies a comparison, so the clause is not a complete sentence by itself). But \u2018she loves jumping\u2019 and \u2018he loves ducking\u2019 are independent clauses connected by a coordinating conjunction, and both could word as standalone sentences.\r\nUsing Different Sentence Types Effectively\r\nUnderstanding grammar can help you use to vary sentence type and length effectively. If you find yourself using a lot of short, simple sentences in your work, for instance, try using conjunctions to create compound sentences or adding detail to make some into complex sentences.\r\nAlternatively, if you mostly use long compound and complex sentences, it might be worth breaking a few of them down into shorter simple sentences.\r\nIf you do this, you should find your writing flows more smoothly. But if you'd like to be extra sure your writings reads well, we have proofreaders ready to help. Upload a 500-word trial document for free to find out more.