Some verbs need an object too:
Simple sentences have just one main verb:
- Suddenly, I saw the light.
- I dreamt about cheese.
- The ball fell to my feet, without a sound.
Compound sentences join two simple sentences with the connectives ‘and’, ‘because’ or ‘so’:
- I couldn’t find my shoes so I was late.
- He wanted to know and he wouldn’t take no for an answer.
- I was lost because I had never been here before.
Complex sentences are made up of a main clause (with a main verb) and a subordinate clause (also with a verb but the clause does not make sense on its own):
Comma splicing occurs when two sentences are joined with a comma:
I went to the park, it was eerily quiet.
I went to the park and it was eerily quiet.
I went to the park; it was eerily quiet
I went to the park. It was eerily quiet.
Run on sentences are like comma splicing but no punctuation is used at all:
He wondered if he would win it seemed unlikely.
He wondered if he would win though it seemed unlikely.
He wondered if he would win; it seemed unlikely.
He wondered if he would win. It seemed unlikely.
As well as being accurate, you need to use a variety of punctuation.
? use a rhetorical question(s)
! exclamation – do not overuse and only use one at a time!
: used to introduce an idea or a list
; used to link two independent clauses together
Colons introduce an idea or a list. When introducing an idea, the colon can be replace with ‘and that is/was’ or similar:
- At that very moment, it all became clear: he must kill him.
- I knew what was different about her: the bright green hair.
- I didn’t have much to buy: bread, milk and a gun.
The part of the sentence that comes before the colon must make sense on its own (i.e. be a complete sentence in its own right).
Semi-colons link two independent clauses together: