This article provides the definition, types of simple sentences and useful examples with ESL infographics for English learners. You will also find different elements of a simple sentence in English grammar.
Simple Sentence Definition
What is a simple sentence?
A simple sentence is a sentence composed of one independent clause and doesn’t contain any depend or subordinate clauses. Like any other sentence, it has a subject and a predicate, and it is intended to express a complete thought.
A simple sentence is also referred to as a clausal sentence. In addition to the subject, verb, and object, a simple sentence may also have a modifier. A simple sentence, even though it is simple, may contain compound verbs and subjects at times. There may be the use of commas, but the construction of the sentence remains simple. An example of this might be:
- An exam is meant to test, evaluate, and determine the understanding level of students.
Elements of Simple Sentences
The primary component of a simple sentence is an independent clause, even though there are times when it can contain other words such as objects and modifiers.
An independent clause is composed of a subject and a predicate and can express a complete on its own in a sentence. In other words, an independent clause is a simple sentence on its own. The following are the examples:
- She ate the cake.
- He went to the bush.
- The dog barked.
Every sentence has an independent clause, but simple sentences have only one independent clause.
Objects are words which verbs or preposition exert their action on in a sentence to express a complete thought. An object can either be a noun or a pronoun that answers questions “what,” “where,” “who,” and “when?”.
- The child ate bananas. Here the object is “bananas.” The object answers the question, “what did the child eat?” in this case, “bananas.”
- We went to the hill yesterday. Here “hill” is the object and answers the question, “where did we go yesterday?”
Objects are meant to make sentences more meaningful than they would have been in their absence.
A modifier can be an adjective or an adverb that is used to transform other words in a sentence to make them more descriptive. They bring clarity to an idea being expressed in a sentence. An example of this might be:
- James ate avocado.
- James, the tall boy, ate the avocado very fast.
Modifiers, in this case, makes the sentence more meaningful.
Following are some examples of the simple sentence:
- Ann every day goes to the shop to buy goods.
- Perhaps the deterioration of the country’s economy has already begun.
- The management of your school has performed its roles perfectly.
- People who reside in leaky houses should repair their roofs.
- They have lost the top skilled workforce to England, Spain, and France.
Types of Simple Sentences
There are two forms of simple sentences. Based on the structure, they include:
Compound Verbs and Compound Subjects
Some sentences are composed of one subject and at least two verbs. There are also sentences composed of one verb and multiple subjects. An example of this is:
- The teacher taught and left (compound verb)
- James and John climbed to the top of the hill. (Compound noun)
- Harriet and Nancy play basketball every afternoon. (Compound noun)
- Joan and Cook boarded a bus to the museum. (Compound noun)
Single Subject and Single Verb
This kind of simple sentence comprises of a single verb and a single subject. Examples of this include:
- The candidates did well.
- He bought it at a discounted price on Amazon.
- A pair of blue trousers look great.
- You have to work hard to become successful.
A simple sentence being one of the four basic sentence structures acts as a simple statement. It’s no different from a means of communication as it adds relevant information to the prevailing thoughts of the speaker as well as the listener. In most cases, writers and speakers use it as a proverb. A simple sentence improves understanding, accuracy, and the flow of information by using a reduced number of words in a short and precise way.