How we arrange the different elements in a sentence is referred to as the sentence structure. Two sentences can say the same exact thing but be arranged in a way that it is not recognizable, unless you were looking for it. There is a number of reasons that authors mix up their sentence structure, in most cases, it centers around the fact that you are repeating a subject or making repeated statements. If we present that the same way over and over, it could lull your readers to sleep.
There are three common situations where an author will decide they need a change in sentence structure. The easiest one to spot is a need to vary the use of a subject or the need to mix up your word choice. I find that teachers use the word “education” way too much in their writing. This is something I note in my own writing. Another telltale sign that your sentence needs some smoothing is sentence length. Try not overuse lengthy or short sentences, they will either seem bloated or too simple. It is a good practice to vary your sentence length when writing. The toughest pattern to spot in your writing, because it takes time to analyze, is the repeated use of the same sentence type. Are you repeatedly using simple, compound, or complex sentences? These worksheets will help you learn to diagnose your sentence writing and the work of others. These worksheets will have you breaking apart sentences and diagnosing the composition that is exhibited in each. We will also examine the differences between sentences and fragments. The worksheets will also explore how to form the building blocks of well written thoughts. Break these down to make the most of your experience with this form of language expression.
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Printable Sentence Structure Worksheets
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There are four kinds of sentence structures: simple, compound, complex, and compound complex. They are all created by using only two kinds of clauses: independent clauses and subordinate (dependent) clauses.
A compound sentence contains two or more related simple sentences joined by a conjunction. A conjunction is a word like and, as, for, yet or but that connects words or groups of words. A comma is used before a conjunction.
Read each sentence below. Identify whether it is simple, compound, complex, or compound complex.
How to Properly Structure a Sentence
Sentence structure refers to the physical nature of a written or verbal statement and how different elements of a sentence fit together. To understand that, you will first need to know how this all fits together and works.
Essential Parts of a Sentence
Every sentence contains a subject and a verb and sometimes can contain an object and a prepositional phrase. It can be made up of a dependent clause and an independent clause.
A subject is a person, animal, place, or thing that does an action. A verb is an action that is performed by the subject. An object is a person, animal, place, or thing that receives the action. The object can either be direct or indirect. Direct object is the object that receives the action, while an indirect object is an object that receives the direct object.
A prepositional phrase is a phrase that begins with a preposition (in, at, for, behind, after, during, until, etc.) and answers one of the questions of where, when, and in what way.
Example: David threw the ball to Adam in the park.
- The subject is 'David' because he performed the action. - The verb is 'threw' because that is the action performed. - The direct object is the 'ball' because it receives the action. - The indirect object is 'Adam' because he receives the direct object. - The prepositional phrase is 'in the park' because it explains where it happened.
Rules for Sentence Structure
After knowing the basic parts anatomy, you need to know the basic rules to follow to make a proper sentence structure. Here are the rules you need to follow:
- Capitalize the first letter of the first word in the sentence.
- It must end with a punctuation (period, question mark, exclamation mark).
- Usually, the subject comes first, followed by the verb, and lastly, the object.
- The subject is only given once.
- It must have an independent clause.
- If the subject is singular, the verb is also singular, and vice versa. This is called subject-verb agreement.
Types of Sentences
Depending on how the clauses are combined, a sentence can be categorized into four different types. Clauses can be of two types:
- Independent Clause: Consists of a subject and a verb, with object optional. It stands and makes sense on its own.
- Dependent Clause or Subordinate Clause: Does not form a complete sentence and only adds information to an independent clause. Does not stand and make sense on its own.
Simple sentences contain only an independent clause. They include a subject, a verb, and sometimes an object.
Compound sentences join together two or more independent clauses in a single sentence. This is done in one of two ways:
- Using a comma and a coordinating conjunction (for, and, or, but, so, etc.)
- Using a semicolon between the clauses.
Complex sentences consist of a single independent clause followed by more dependent ones. If the dependent clause is written first, a comma is used before adding the independent clause. If the independent clause is written first, no comma is required before adding a dependent clause.
A compound-complex sentence consists of two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses.
To Sum up
Although tricky at first, sentence structures are easy to get the hang of after a while. Without proper structure, your writing is incomplete and does not hold any credibility. To improve your sentence structure, keep on practicing!