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Simple and compound sentences: what they are, types and examples.

one simple sentence it is a comprehensible grammatical structure, in which a single verb is involved. It consists of a subject and a predicate, although there are cases in which the subject is tacit or elliptical, that is, it is omitted.

one compound sentence it is one in which several verbs participate, giving rise to a set of sentences or propositions. These sentences relate to each other in three possible ways: coordination, subordination, and juxtaposition.

Next we will study in detail each category, its different types and examples.

simple sentence

The simple sentence consists of a noun phrasewhich performs the function of subjectand one verbal phrasewhich works like predicated.

The boy sings in a choir.

The kid (noun phrase, subject) /sing in a choir (verbal phrase, predicate).

The core of the subject can be a noun (boy) which can be accompanied by other complements as determinants (The) or adjectives. The subject is the one who performs the verbal action and, therefore, must agree with the verb in person and number.

The kid sing in a chorus (same grammatical person and same number: concordance)

The kid you sing in one chorus (different grammatical person and different number: no match). This sentence is NOT correct.

The core of the verbal phrase or predicate is the verb (sing), which can also be accompanied by other complements, such as direct, indirect or circumstantial complements (in a heart).

Sometimes a single word is a simple sentence. Llover, as it is an impersonal verb, does not have a subject, nor does it need other complements to acquire complete meaning.

It rains.

The following example is a simple sentence made up of a subject and a predicate.

The order arrives tomorrow.

Types of simple sentences

Copulative sentences: they are sentences built with copulative verbs (to be, to be or to seem), which need an attribute for the sentence to make sense. The predicate of this type of sentence is known as nominal predicate.

Grandpa looks tired.

The night is beautiful.

Predicative sentences: they are sentences whose verbs are predicative, that is to say, they do not need a copula or attribute to make sense. In their place they can have a direct, indirect, prepositional complement, etc.

Sandra and I eat fruit daily.

I saw a shooting star yesterday.

Impersonal sentences: they are sentences whose verb does not need a subject or is simply not expressed in the sentence. This happens, for example, with the verbs of atmospheric phenomena.

It will snow tomorrow.

Bright room for rent.

Declarative sentences: declarative sentences convey information and can be affirmative or negative.

Rebeca passed all subjects.

My cousin won’t come to the cinema.

Exclamatory sentences: are sentences used to express feelings or impressions, such as joy, fear, anger, etc.

I passed my driver’s license!

Don’t cross the street!

Interrogative sentences: are used to formulate questions.

Where is Lydia?

Do you have my account?

Wishful sentences: they serve to express a will or desire.

Hope you come back soon.

May they give you many things.

Doubtful sentences: are sentences that express doubt, indecision.

I might leave on Sunday.

You probably don’t remember it anymore.

Exhortatory prayers: are sentences used to request something from someone or give an order.

Put me more ice, please.

Gentlemen, be quiet.

Examples of simple sentences

  1. The food was very light.
  2. I will buy the tickets this afternoon.
  3. are you coming to the party
  4. I need a red pen.
  5. Marisa sewed this dress.
  6. Children don’t know the periodic table.
  7. The album comes out this Friday.
  8. His eyes look like sapphires.
  9. We are fed up with this situation.
  10. Roberto doesn’t want surprises.
  11. How scary is this movie!
  12. Maybe he can go on the trip.
  13. The doctor has the results.
  14. The math is exact.
  15. Next summer I will go to Menorca.

compound sentence

The compound sentence has several verbs in its structure, and it is possible for each verb to have its own subject, as in this example:

Your father and I don’t want you to be sad

In the first verb (we want), the subject is multiple (Tu dad and me), in the second verb (you are) the subject is omitted (would yousecond person singular).

Within the same sentence, therefore, two sentences or propositions are combined. These propositions can have the same syntactic value and maintain a relationship of coordination or juxtaposition.

In other cases, one proposition prevails over the other, this means that one proposition is main and the other subordinate, since it needs to rely on the first one to acquire meaning.

Types of compound sentences

Coordinated sentences

They are sentences whose propositions have the same syntactic rank and are joined by means of a conjunction. Coordinated sentences can be copulative, disjunctive, adversative or explanatory.

  • Copulative: the propositions are joined by a copulative conjunction, generally i.

The dog barks i the cat meows

  • disjunctive: a disjunctive conjunction joins the two propositions. The most common is or.

you arrive now or are you leaving

  • adversative: both statements are linked by an adversative conjunction, in this case But.

The experience was tough, But the effort was worth it.

  • Explanatory: propositions are joined together through explanatory links, like in other words that is, this is, that isetc.

At this temperature water solidifies, in other words that isit turns into ice.

Juxtaposed sentences

In juxtaposed sentences the propositions do not maintain a dependency relationship and are joined by some punctuation mark, such as a comma.

Tomorrow is a party, no work

I’m thirsty, I’m going for water.

Subordinate sentences

One of the propositions depends on the other, that is, there is a main proposition that supports another subordinate one. The union of both statements is done by means of a nexus, generally used what.

Depending on the function they perform, subordinate clauses can be adjectives, substantives or adverbials. This means that the whole sentence could be replaced by an adjective, a noun or an adverb.

The man what hello it’s my father

The subordinate clause (that greets) could be replaced by an adjective and the sentence would still make sense.

The man blonde he is my father

I love that you two are getting along so well

The subordinate clause (that you are doing so well) can be replaced by a noun.

I love your friendship

That morning the bus was going like it was putting out a fire.

The subordinate clause (like going to put out a fire) can be replaced by an adverb.

The bus was fast that morning.

Examples of compound sentences

  1. I don’t go because I don’t want to.
  2. The lady I introduced to you yesterday is my neighbor.
  3. Everyone thinks it’s a lie.
  4. The phone number you gave me does not exist.
  5. Angela has a car, but she never uses it.
  6. It’s amazing they never matched!
  7. Lidia dances classical dance and Irene plays the piano.
  8. We will ask to be seated by the window.
  9. Ricardo comes puffing out smoke.
  10. My goal is for Pedro to play in the final of the tournament.
  11. Shall we go to the beach or do you prefer the pool?
  12. The newspaper says that prices will drop tomorrow.
  13. There is a lot of fog, turn on the lights.
  14. At this stage we neither have lunch nor dinner.
  15. I called on Friday, got no answer.


  • Calvo, JMG (1993). The simple sentence (Volume 7). Arch books
  • Fields, H. (1993). From the simple sentence to the compound sentence: advanced Spanish grammar course. Georgetown University Press.
  • Gili Gaya, S. (1973). Advanced Spanish syntax course. bibliographer

See also:

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