View Full Version : Rules and examples to help you make simple sentences

02-10-2012, 11:18 AM
To make a sentence you need three things:

1. A sentence is a group of words that makes sense on its own.

Cheese, car, house, table on Tuesday.
This isn't a sentence - it doesn't make sense.

I parked my car next to my house.
This is a sentence. You can understand what it means. It makes sense on its

2. When you are writing you need to use the right sentence punctuation.

Using punctuation will show the person who is reading your writing where the
sentences begin and end.

A sentence must begin with a capital letter.
A sentence must end with a full-stop (.), a question mark (?), or an

exclamation mark (!).
BEWARE! Sometimes people confuse the punctuation to use at the end of a
sentence. You can use commas (,), colons ( : ) or semicolons ( ; ) in your writing, but they should never be used instead of a full-stop.

3. A sentence also needs two kinds of words in it:

A sentence must have a VERB (a doing word).
e.g. like, is, cooking, walked, need.
A sentence must also have a SUBJECT. This is the person, or the thing, that

is doing the verb.
e.g. I, Beppe, Tuesday, dog, you, table, the weather,.
Here are some examples of sentences that show you the verbs and the subjects:
Last week Peggy redecorated the pub.
Are you hungry yet?
Martin, be quiet.
Tuesday was very rainy and cold.

Other things to know about sentences:
Sentences can be very short, or very long. There is no correct number of
words that should be in a sentence. The length of the sentence depends on
what you want to say and the effect you want to get.
BEWARE! If your sentences go on for many lines, make sure that you haven't
really put several sentences together as one sentence.
It's important to remember that you don't always need to write in sentences.
For example, a shopping list doesn't need sentences, but a job application

How to put simple sentences together

Constant use of short sentences can be a bit strange to read.
To make your writing more interesting, you can use two other sorts of longer sentences. The simplest of these is the compound sentence

How do I make a compound sentence?

When you have two or more short, independent, simple sentences which are of equal weight you can join them together using special words called conjunctions.

e.g. 'I hate curry.' is a simple sentence.
'I like Thai food.' is also a simple sentence.
You can put these together to make one, longer and more interesting compound sentence using a conjunction -
'I hate curry' + but + 'I like Thai food' = 'I hate curry, but I like Thai food.'

Junctions join two or more roads together, so we use conjunctions to join two or more short sentences together
Commas are not conjunctions and they should never be used to join short sentences together (commas aren't sticky, so you can't use them to stick information together!).

These are the most common conjunctions:
and, as, but, or, so

Try to avoid using the same conjunction over and over again. It is much better to 'mix and match'

The conjunction that you use may change the meaning of your sentence!
Conjunctions don't just stick sentences together, they show the relationship between the pieces of information.

e.g. Note the slightly different meaning in these sentences:
I walked home. I was tired.
I walked home and I was tired.
I walked home as I was tired.
I walked home but I was tired.
I walked home so I was tired.
I walked home or I was tired.

The final sentence, using or doesn't really make sense. You can't use every conjunction everywhere - so choose wisely!

The important joining words

The 'magnificent seven' conjunctions (the most commonly used) are:

and, although, as, because, but, if, or

There are a number of other important conjunctions that you can use.
These can be put into categories of time, place, or agreement.

TIME =before, after, until, since, when, whenever, while

We all went home before a fight broke out.
She went to bed after she put the cat out.
There will be no peace until somebody says that they are sorry.
It has not been the same around here since our friends moved away.
They put the television off when the programme had finished.
He washes his new car whenever it gets mucky.
The children go to the crèche while Mum goes to work.

PLACE =where

Remember that restaurant where you ate a huge steak

AGREEMENT =though, although, whether

He could play the violin though he was only five years old.
I would invite you to come in although the place is a mess.
It was a great show whether you wanted to join in or just watch.


Try to avoid using the same conjunction over and over again. It is much better to 'mix and match'.
The conjunction you use can change the meaning of the sentence. You can't use every conjunction everywhere - so choose wisely!