Experienced writers use a variety of sentence structures and styles to engage the readers and incorporate diversity in writing. Combining different types of sentences eliminates repetition and emphasizes key themes in the text. Moreover, changing sentences allows you to present an idea in multiple ways without changing the meaning.
This article discusses the components of a sentence and the types of transformations in the English language with appropriate examples.
What Is a Clause?
A clause is a group of words that are related by a subject-predicate relationship, but it is not always considered a complete sentence. Clauses in the English language can be of 2 types which are as follows.
An independent clause contains both a subject and a predicate and can stand alone, forming a complete sentence. It can also be a part of a multi-clause sentence.
Example: I will not go to work today.
A dependent clause, also known as a subordinate clause, contains a subject and a predicate but cannot stand alone expressing a complete thought. In English grammar, a dependent clause must always be a part of another sentence for complete meaning. The three types of dependent clauses are as follows:
An adjective clause or relative clause functions as an adjective to describe or modify a noun or pronoun in a sentence.
- The books that we bought yesterday were the wrong ones.
An adverbial clause is a group of words that functions together as an adverb to modify a verb, adjective, or adverb in a sentence.
- She takes her child to school before leaving for work every morning.
A noun clause is a group of words that functions as a noun in a sentence, whether they are subjects, objects, or subject complements.
- I don’t know what she is talking about.
The Three Types of Sentences in English
A sentence is a group of words or phrases that expresses a complete idea in the form of a statement, question, or exclamation. Based on the structure, there are three main types of sentences in English.
1. Simple Sentence: It must have a subject and a verb, but it may or may not have an object modifier. A simple sentence consists of one independent clause only.
Example: I always wanted to be a doctor.
2. Compound Sentence: It consists of two or more independent clauses and has no dependent clauses.
Example: I wanted to meet you before you left, but my mother was sick.
3. Complex Sentence: It consists of one independent clause with one or more dependent clauses.
Example: Although I was tired, I went to the shop with my mother.
Changing Sentences from Simple to Complex
A simple sentence can be transformed into a compound or complex sentence. This is usually achieved by turning a phrase or word into a clause. A complex or compound sentence can also be converted to a simple sentence by condensing a clause into a word or phrase.
Below are some standard rules of transformation from simple to complex sentences.
Add “since/when/as” to the first half of a simple sentence containing “Being/ Verb + ing” to transform it into a complex sentence.
- Simple: After receiving the medal she hugged her mother.
- Complex: As she received the medal, she hugged her mother.
Add “so…that” to a simple sentence containing “Too…to” to transform it into a complex sentence.
- Simple: He was too busy to talk to me.
- Complex: He was so busy that he couldn’t talk to me.
Add “since” at the beginning of a simple sentence containing “because of” to transform it into a complex sentence.
- Simple: He couldn’t join the army because of his leg injury.
- Complex: Since he had a leg injury, he couldn’t join the army.
A simple sentence in the form “subject + verb + object + present participle” can be transformed into a complex sentence by “subject + verb + object + relative pronoun of object + be verb based on the pronoun and tense + rest of the sentence.”
- Simple: I saw a little run running in the park.
- Complex: I saw a little girl who was running in the park.
Add “if/in case” to a simple sentence containing “without” to transform it into a complex sentence.
- Simple: The cake will look incomplete without the topping.
- Complex: The cake will look incomplete if you don’t do the topping.
Replace “at the time” in a simple sentence with “when” to transform it into a complex sentence.
Simple: She drafted the outline of the project at the time of the meeting.
Complex: She drafted the outline of the project when she was in the meeting.
To Wrap Up
Changing sentences is key to holding onto the attention of your audience. Adding a variety of sentence styles and structures will make your writing more engaging and appealing to the readers.
This article discusses the different types of sentences and some transformational rules of simple to complex sentences. Hope you find this article helpful!
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