Sentence Structure – How To Structure Great Sentences

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Structure and sentence construction in essay writing

There are different types of sentences used in everyday speech and writing. We don’t consciously even think about sentence structure but just do it. Let’s make a conscious effort to look at sentences, the types of sentences and how this will improve our writing and speech.

Types of sentences:

1. Simple sentenceI live in Singapore. This is a simple sentence. It deals with one subject matter without anything added on. But if a piece of work is made up of just simple sentences, it will be boring, abrupt and immature.

Example: I live in Singapore. I am a tutor. My family are in Singapore. I have a wife. I have a daughter. I have a son.

2. Compound sentenceI live in Singapore, but spend several months abroad. There are 2 ideas or clauses in 1 sentence joined by ‘for’, ‘and’, ‘nor’, ‘but’, ‘or’, ‘yet’ and ‘so’, usually following a comma. Simply put, compound sentences are 2 separate sentences joined together by a connector to form 1 sentence.

Quote by JFK “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.” – compound sentence

Take note that some compound sentences have semicolons in them. In such cases, words like ‘also’, ‘finally’, ‘however’ are used to connect the two parts of the compound sentence.

Example: I studied hard for the test; as a result, I expect to get an A for the paper.

List of conjunctive adverbs used with semicolon in compound sentences:

  • also
  • thus
  • accordingly
  • therefore
  • hence
  • otherwise
  • instead
  • finally
  • consequently
  • conversely
  • however
  • besides
  • furthermore
  • still
  • then
  • likewise
  • moreover

3. Complex sentence – Complex sentences contain dependent and independent clauses. It will have one or more of the following words such as:

  • who
  • that
  • since
  • because
  • which
  • after
  • although
  • when

This is easier explained with an example: When I sent out invitations to the party, I forgot to include the date. This is a complex sentence.

When I sent out invitations to the party – dependent clause

I forgot to include the date – independent clause

Complex sentence started with ‘when’, so there is a ‘,’ after the dependent clause.

4. Compound Complex sentence – This form of sentence construction is commonly used in writing but mistakes are usually made if the simple, compound and complex sentence constructions are not thoroughly understood and mastered.

Example: Although I like writing short stories, I haven’t been able to do so lately, and I haven’t had any good plot ideas to write about.

Although I like writing short stories – dependent clause

I haven’t been able to do so lately – independent clause

I haven’t had any good plot ideas to write about – independent clause

By using a combination of all 4 types of sentence structure, we will be able to write an interesting and captivating piece of smoothly flowing work.

Essay by Vaishnervi Manoj

Click here for my daughter’s essay showing sentence construction in a written piece of work.




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Manoj Nair


Hi! I am Manoj and I am an English language blogger from Singapore.

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