3. KINDS OF SENTENCES AND PUNCTUATION: MODELS AND EXERCISE

Once you have analyzed the syntactic structure of a sentence, especially its clause structures, you can also identify which of four possible sentence patterns the sentence exhibits.* Below are models of the four kinds. Knowing what sentence pattern you’re using can be very helpful when you’re trying to revise; it’s crucial in deciding on punctuation.

  • Simple Sentence (one independent clause)
    Jack and Jill went up the very steep hill to fetch a large pail of cold water, a dozen eggs, and a cake for their mother’s birthday.
    or
    Jack and Jill went up the hill.
  • Compound Sentence (two or more independent clauses)
    Jack went up the hill, and he fell down almost immediately.
    or
    Jack went up the hill; however, he fell down almost immediately.
    or
    Jack went up the hill; he fell down almost immediately.
  • Complex Sentence (an independent clause and a dependent clause)
    After Jack fell down the hill, he felt his head for injuries.
  • Compound-complex Sentence (a combination of the compound and the complex structures)
    After Jack fell down the hill, he felt his head for injuries, but he discovered that he had none.

*We should also note another group of four sentence patterns: declarative, interrogatory, imperative, and exclamatory. The last three are variations of the first.

 

Exercise: Identify the sentence pattern in each of the following examples and supply proper punctuation. Be prepared to explain the reasons for what you’ve supplied. Diagram 2, 4, 5, and 6.

  1. On top of Old Smokey I lost my true lover because he courted too slow.
  2. Thieves will rob you and take what you have but a false-hearted lover will send you to your grave.
  3. Never place your affection in a young willow tree.
  4. When we marched down to Fennario our captain fell in love with a lady like a dove.
  5. He turned his face to the wall and death was welling in him.
  6. The teacher says the school board is a fool.