Qualify the following sentences as simple, compex and compound 1. You can go by train or you can take a bus 2. My brother is an athlete

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the English language, sentences are classified in two ways:

  1. by function--whether they state ideas, ask questions, give orders, or express surprise.
  2. by structure--by the number and types of clauses they contain.

Within this second classification, there are different types of structures:

  1. simple sentence--this type of sentence contains a single independent clause.
  2. compound sentence--this type of sentence contains two or more independent clauses joined by co-ordinating conjunctions such as and, but, or, not
  3. complex sentence--this type of sentence contains one independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses.
  4. compound-complex sentence--this type of sentence contains two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses. 

For clarification

A clause is a group of words with its own subject and verb acting as a predicate.

An independent clause can stand by itself as a complete sentence because it has a subject and a predicate that express a thought that needs no other phrase or clause for explanation. 

e.g. Joe missed the sunrise. Joe=subject missed=verb [predicate]

 

A dependent clause contains a subject and verb, but it cannot stand by itself as a complete sentence; it can only be a part of a sentence.

e.g. Joe missed the sunrise because he awoke late.

The dependent clause because he awoke late needs clarification, so it is dependent.  (the "why" part is missing)

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Regarding the sentences to be qualified,

1. You can go by train or you can go by bus = a compound sentence because there are 2 independent clauses joined by the coordinating conjunction or.

2.  My brother is an athlete = a simple sentence because there is only 1 subject and 1 verb [predicate] in a single independent clause.

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