Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences – A Short Recap

Before you start working on the exercises, take a few minutes to look at how each type of sentence is formed and used. A simple sentence is a short sentence consisting of a subject and a predicate. In other words, it can be said that a simple sentence is one main clause. It can also be a combination of a phrase and a clause.

A compound sentence is a sentence that has more than one main clause. It should have at least two main clauses and they can be combined using a coordinating conjunction or a conjunctive adverb; whereas, a complex sentence should have a main clause and a subordinate clause. The two clauses can be combined using a subordinating conjunction or a correlative conjunction.

Now, try out the following exercises to check your understanding.

Exercise 1 – Identify the Type of Sentence

Identify whether the following sentences are simple, compound or complex sentences. Also, mention which of the clauses is the main clause and the subordinate clause.

1. I did not know that this food was meant only for the staff.

2. She is innocent, so she has appealed to the court.

3. If you are not ready with the song, it is better to let them know.

4. She will come home or I will stay back at her place.

5. In the evening, I am going to the park.

6. The sun looks amazing today.

7. I remember the day that we met very well.

8. Nithi is not keeping well, yet she decided to go to work.

9. After they reach the hotel, they will inform us.

10. We are going to the park.

Answers for Exercise 1

1. I did not know that this food was meant only for the staff.

Sentence Type – Complex sentence

Main Clause – I did not know

Subordinate Clause – That this food was meant only for the staff

2. She is innocent, so she has appealed to the court.

Sentence Type – Compound sentence

Main Clause – She is innocent

Main Clause – She has appealed to the court

3. If you are not ready with the song, it is better to let them know.

Sentence Type – Complex Sentence

Main Clause – It is better to let them know

Subordinate Clause – If you are not ready with the song

4. She will come home or I will stay back at her place.

Sentence Type – Compound Sentence

Main Clause – She will come home

Main Clause – I will stay back at her place

5. In the evening, I am going to the park.

Sentence Type – Simple Sentence

Main Clause – I am going to the park

6. The sun looks amazing today.

Sentence Type – Simple Sentence

Main Clause – The sun looks amazing today

7. I remember the day that we met very well.

Sentence Type – Complex Sentence

Main Clause – I remember the day very well

Subordinate Clause – That we met

8. Nithi is not keeping well, yet she decided to go to work.

Sentence Type – Compound Sentence

Main Clause – Nithi is not keeping well

Main Clause – She decided to go to work

9. After they reach the hotel, they will inform us.

Sentence Type – Complex Sentence

Main Clause – They will inform us

Subordinate Clause – After they reach the hotel

10. We are going to the park.

Sentence Type – Simple Sentence

Main Clause – We are going to the park

Exercise 2 – Combine the Sentences to Form Compound Sentences

Combine the following sentences using a coordinating conjunction or a conjunctive adverb to form compound sentences.

1. My mother is sick. My mother is going to the doctor.

2. Jibin has gone to Hyderabad. Jibin has not found any jobs yet.

3. Nalini was not satisfied with her birthday dress. Nalini wore it anyway.

4. Jaffar called me yesterday. I was not able to attend his call.

5. Tina had to present the paper today. Nancy volunteered to do it.

6. It was raining the whole day. We decided to go to the park.

7. Firoz will pick you up. We will book a cab for you.

8. Nobody knew where to go. We asked some random people for directions to the hills.

9. Let them know. You will have to suffer the consequences.

10. My mom was cleaning the house. I helped with the plates.

Answers for Exercise 2

1. My mother is sick. My mother is going to the doctor.

My mother is sick, so she is going to the doctor.

2. Jibin has gone to Hyderabad. Jibin has not found any jobs yet.

Jibin has gone to Hyderabad; but he has not found any jobs yet.

3. Nalini was not satisfied with her birthday dress. Nalini wore it anyway.

Nalini was not satisfied with her birthday dress; however, she wore it.

4. Jaffar called me yesterday. I was not able to attend his call.

Jaffar called me yesterday, but I was not able to attend his call.

5. Tina had to present the paper today. Nancy volunteered to do it.

Tina had to present the paper today; instead, Nancy volunteered to do it.

6. It was raining the whole day. We decided to go to the park.

It was raining the whole day; however, he decided to go to the park.

7. Firoz will pick you up. We will book a cab for you.

Firoz will pick you up, or we will book a cab for you.

8. Nobody knew where to go. We asked some random people for directions to the hills.

Nobody knew where to go, so we asked some random people for directions to the hills.

9. Let them know. You will have to suffer the consequences.

Let them know or you will have to suffer the consequences.

10. My mom was cleaning the house. I helped with the plates.

My mom was cleaning the house; meanwhile I helped with the plates.

Exercise 3 – Combine the Sentences to Form Complex Sentences

Combine the following sentences by making use of a subordinating conjunction or a correlative conjunction to form complex sentences.

1. You speak up. Nobody is going to know.

2. You are the only friend. You taught me right from wrong.

3. I was not happy. I went to the reception for the sake of my friend.

4. You do not finish it. You will have to face the consequences.

5. I do not know the person. He owns a brand ne
w Mercedes Benz.

6. My brother does not watch animation movies. My brother liked Kungfu Panda.

7. I don’t think I will be able to make it. I missed the bus.

8. You should do it. I will have to ask Praveen to do it.

9. There are no trains available. We took a flight.

10. Seetha finishes her work. Seetha will be on her way.

Answers for Exercise 3

1. You speak up. Nobody is going to know.

Unless you speak up, nobody is going to know.

2. You are the only friend. You taught me right from wrong.

You are the only friend who taught me right from wrong.

3. I was not happy. I went to the reception for the sake of my friend.

Though I was not happy, I went to the reception for the sake of my friend.

4. You do not finish it. You will have to face the consequences.

If you do not finish it, you will have to face the consequences.

5. I do not know the person. He owns a brand new Mercedes Benz.

I do not know the person who owns a brand new Mercedes Benz

6. My brother does not watch animation movies. My brother liked Kung Fu Panda.

Even though my brother does not watch animation movies, he liked Kung Fu Panda.

7. I don’t think I will be able to make it. I missed the bus.

I don’t think I will be able to make it because I missed the bus.

8. You should do it. I will have to ask Praveen to do it.

Either you should do it or I will have to ask Praveen to do it.

9. There are no trains available. We took a flight.

As there were no trains available, we took a flight.

10. Seetha finishes her work. Seetha will be on her way.

As soon as Seetha finishes her work, she will be on her way.

Frequently Asked Questions on Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences

What is a simple sentence?

A simple sentence is a short sentence consisting of a subject and a predicate. In other words, it can be said that a simple sentence is one main clause. It can also be a combination of a phrase and a clause.

What is a compound sentence?

A compound sentence is a sentence that has more than one main clause. It should have at least two main clauses and they can be combined using a coordinating conjunction or a conjunctive adverb.

What is a complex sentence?

A complex sentence should have a main clause and a subordinate clause. The two clauses can be combined using a subordinating conjunction or a correlative conjunction.

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