The Beginner's Guide to Grammar

Our Free Guide Gives You A Fun Way To Teach & Learn The Basics

Download the guide
The Beginner's Guide to Grammar

Our Free Guide Gives You A Fun Way To Teach And Learn The Basics

Download the guide

The Simple Sentence

A simple sentence contains only one independent clause.

This means that it doesn't contain more than one independent clause, and it doesn't contain any subordinate clauses. It expresses only one main idea. Shall we look at some examples? Great!

Simple Not Simple
I love kumquats.I love kumquats, and you love bananas.
Maria loves limes.Although she hates lemons, Maria loves limes.
Maria served punch. Maria served punch because it is delicious, and it contains lime juice.

Compound Elements

Do you know what compound means? It means more than one. We say that a sentence is compound when it contains two or more independent clauses. Well, listen to this! Simple sentences may contain compound words or phrases!

Compound Element
Still Simple? Yes!
Subject Marshall and Allie play basketball.
VerbThe players dribbled and shot the basketball.
Direct Object The team won the game and the tournament.
Predicate AdjectiveThey felt happy and elated.
Object of the PrepositionThe team ate at Dairy Queen and McDonalds.

Sometimes seeing what something isn't can help us figure out what something is. Check out this page on compound sentences, and you might just learn a little more about the simple ones!

Diagramming the Simple Sentence

Sentence diagramming gives us a way to show the structure of sentences. Diagramming is super cool! Check it out! This is how to diagram any sentence classified as simple. The subject and verb go on the same horizontal line. Draw a vertical line between the subject and verb.

simple sentence diagram

Compound Subjects & Compound Verbs

Here are examples of how you would diagram a compound subject and verb.

compound subject sentence diagram

compound subject sentence diagram
Elizabeth O'Brien from Grammar Revolution

Hello! I'm Elizabeth O'Brien, and my goal is to get you jazzed about grammar.

Thank you for your diagrams. You sure have been helpful and a great influence on my class. I got an 87% on my last English test. I was so happy because it's one of my highest scores. Thanks again!

- Emily, Student

If you want to teach or learn grammar the easy way, follow our step-by-step program that clearly lays everything out and allows you to move at your own pace. The Get Smart Grammar Program is presented in a logical sequence, so it's not an overwhelming mishmash of information. Before you know it, you'll be a grammar and sentence diagramming pro. It's easy and fun. Learn more at

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Understand the simple sentence? Learn about other sentence structures.

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