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Type 1 – Simple sentences

Structuring Sentences

Sentences are not just strings of words that make meaning. Each sentence has a structure and this sentence structure is the key to punctuation and grammar. Learning about sentence structure, therefore, helps us to avoid punctuation and grammar mistakes and, more importantly, to write stronger, clearer, and more ‘reader-friendly’ sentences.

There are three basic sentence types

  • simple sentence (control unit)
  • complex sentence (control unit plus support unit)
  • compound sentence (control unit plus control unit)

There are only two structural units: the control unit and the support unit.

Sentence type one: Simple sentences

A simple sentence (also called a control unit) is the basis of every sentence. A simple sentence is made up from two structural components: the subject and the predicate.


The subject contains the word or group of words that does something or is something.

The predicate contains the word or group of words that is used to express action (hit, run) or state of being (is, will be, am). That is, the predicate always includes a verb (‘doing’ word).

A sentence must have a verb; if you leave out the verb you have a sentence fragment, which is ungrammatical and should be avoided.





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