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The Simple Sentence

A simple sentence contains only one independent clause.

An independent clause is a group of words that has a subject and a verb and can stand alone as a complete thought. These kinds of sentences have only one independent clause, and they doesn't contain any subordinate clauses. They express only one main idea. Shall we look at some examples? Great!

Simple Not Simple
I love kumquats.I love kumquats, and you love bananas. (This sentence is compound.)
Maria loves limes.Although she hates lemons, Maria loves limes. (This sentence is complex.)
Maria served punch and cake. Maria served punch and cake because they are delicious, and her guests loved them! (This sentence is compound-complex.)

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! Sentences that are simple 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.

You can learn more about simple sentences with compound elements here.

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

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Other Helpful Resources

  • This PDF has you identifying the type of sentences.

Understand the simple sentence? Learn about other sentence structures.

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