Writing Center

UNLV

  • UNLV Site Search :
Writing Tips: Sentence Formulas


Note: This list is not exhaustive. There are other sentences that may not fit into these formulas, but these are examples to help build writing foundations.

Key:
- S: Subject
- V: Verb
- I: Independent clause (a complete sentence able to stand on its own)
- D: Dependent clause (a fragment of a sentence -- relies on a complete sentence to make sense)
- f: Coordinating Conjunction; f is used since it is short for FANBOYS (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so), which are all the coordinating conjunctions.

Simple Sentences

Formula:

Example:

S V.

Bill runs.

S and S V.

Bill and Jeff run.

S V and V.

Bill runs and jumps.

S and S V and V.

Bill and Jeff run and jump



Compound Sentences

Formula:

Example:

I, f I.

Bill runs, and he jumps.

I; I.

Bill runs; he jumps.


Complex Sentences

Formula:

Example:

I D.

Bill runs when he goes to school.

D, I.

When he goes to school, Bill runs.



Compound-Complex Sentences

Formula:

Example:

I, f I D.

Bill runs, and he jumps when he sees a dog.

I; I D.

Bill runs; he jumps when he sees a dog.

I D, f I.

Bill jumps when he sees a dog, and he runs.

D, I, f I.

When he sees a dog, Bill jumps, and he runs.

D, I; I.

When he sees a dog, Bill jumps; he runs.

I D; I.

Bill jumps when he sees a dog; he runs.



Handout Written by Suann Robinson, 2006.



4505 S. Maryland Parkway | Box 455043
Las Vegas, NV 89154-5043
Main (702) 895-3908 | Fax (702) 895-4480
writingcenter@unlv.edu

Thursday, 07-Jun-2012 11:16:43 PDT
Thursday, 07-Jun-2012 11:16:43 PDT