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According to the way in which they are constructed, sentences are classified into four groups: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. The structure of a particular sentence is determined by the number and kinds of clauses which it contains.

English Grammar Rule #140


A clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate. There are two kinds of clauses–independent clauses and dependent or subordinate clauses.

English Grammar Rule #141


An independent clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate. It expresses a complete thought. An independent clause is the equivalent of a simple sentence.

English Grammar Rule #142


A dependent or subordinate clause is a group of words that has a subject and a predicate, but does not express a complete thought. It depends upon the main clause for its meaning.

English Grammar Rule #143


A simple sentence is a sentence that has one subject and one predicate, either or both of which may be compound.

English Grammar Rule #145


A compound sentence is a sentence that contains two or more independent clauses. The independent clauses of a compound sentence must be connected in some way. They are often connected by a comma used with a co-ordinate conjunction.

English Grammar Rule #146


A co-ordinate conjunction is a conjunction that connects words, phrases, and clauses of equal rank.

English Grammar Rule #147


The two independent clauses of a compound sentence are often connected by transitional words. Transitional words are words that are used to show the relation between two independent clauses. Many of these transitional words have some adverbial force; that is, they modify the verb in the independent clause of which they are a part. Transitional words are always preceded by a semicolon. They are usually followed by a comma.

English Grammar Rule #148


A run-on sentence is a sentence in which two independent clauses are written as a single sentence without a co-ordinate conjunction or any mark of punctuation between them.

English Grammar Rule #149


The "comma fault" is the use of a comma as the sole connection between two independent statements. If the comma is used for this purpose, a co-ordinate conjunction should also be used.

English Grammar Rule #150