The Simple Sentence
What is it?
Technically, it is a complete sentence that has only one independent clause.
In other words, it has only one subject-verb combination.
It makes only one statement.
Note: The term “simple” doesn’t mean “easy.” It is the technical term for having a sentence with one independent clause.
Note: An independent clause contains at least one subject and one verb (predicate) and can stand (be understood) on its own.
Not always as simple as it seems!
The simple sentence should not be disrespected. It is the clearest and most direct way to convey your thought.
There is a lot to be said for clarity. In fact, many writers and students would benefit from making their writing more concise and more to the point.
A simple sentence can contain more than one subject and/or more than one verb. In other words, it can have compound subjects and verbs.
A simple sentence can also have many modifiers.
So you see, “simple sentence” doesn’t have to mean boring or without variety.
(Having said this, you should still use a mixture of simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex sentences in your writing.)
Basic simple sentences
Butterflies fly. (subject – butterflies & verb – fly)
Damien cried. (subject – Damien & verb – cried)
Simple sentences with a compound subject
Kyla and Carmen drove to the city.
The boys and girls sang a song.
Simple sentences with a compound predicate
Elias washed and polished the floor.
The ponies ran and jumped the fence.
Simple sentences with a compound subject and compound predicate
Ron and Gay live and work in Guelph.
The car and the truck raced and crashed.
Simple sentences with modifiers
Beyond the darkness, we could see a spotlight, shining like a beacon.
After the torrential rainstorm, the streets and pathways were flooded with water and detritus.
The changes in policy caused many clients to avoid or reduce purchasing from the shop.
Simple but awesome!
You can see that simple sentences don’t need to be too tedious. There are many modifiers, subjects, and verbs that you can add to create more interesting sentences even while still using the one basic structure.
When writing, try to use many sentence structures because this adds interest and makes the text easier to read. It is never pleasant to read a longer piece of writing in which all sentences are simple or all sentences are compound-complex. Using the same structure over and over and over and over and over and over – Okay, you get my point!
Experiment with writing simple sentences of your own or including them within your other writing tasks.
Some good, crisp simple sentences can add a lot of impact to your writing. Don’t ignore simple sentences. They are just as useful as all the other structures. They should be an important part of your writing toolbox.
Do you want to improve?
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Having your own personal coach can make a world of difference in your progress.
For more tips, check out this week’s video. Simple Sentences