Know Your Sentences


Hey, hey friendly (and busy) Mills students. I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving holiday, because now it’s back to the grind. Since I know all of you are busy cramming for finals and writing those last minute papers, I thought I would give you guys some brief notes on sentences to help you out. Note that this is an adaptation of worksheet created by Diana Turken and me!

Good Luck and I hope this helps!


Terms To Know:

Clause: contains a subject and a verb

Subordinate Conjunction: a word or phrase that connects two clauses

Examples: after, that, though, even if, unless, until, for, when

Relative Pronoun: relates a dependent clause to the main clause

Examples: that, which, who, whom, whose

Coordinator: connects related clauses that are equally important to the sentence

Examples: and, but, or, nor, for, yet

Independent Clause: contains subject, verb, and is able to stand alone as a sentence.

Subordinate/Dependent Clause: contains a relative pronoun or a subordinate conjunction, subject, and verb; cannot stand alone


Types of Sentences
There are three main types of sentences that we typically when writing an essay. These include simple, compound, and complex sentences. Understanding the difference in each of these sentences allows us to use them more effectively.

Simple Sentence: contains a subject, and a verb or relative pronoun. It expresses a complete thought.

Example: Julie finished her homework in five minutes.

Compound Sentence: contains two independent clauses, which are joined by a coordinator. The coordinators typically come after a comma.


Example: Julie finished her essay, and I finished my lab report.
Complex Sentence: contains an independent clause, joined by one or more dependent clauses that are linked by subordinators or relative pronouns.


Example: When Julie wrote her essay, she failed to cite her sources.


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