Login

How to Structure Sentences in an Essay

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: How to Structure Paragraphs in an Essay

You're on a roll. Keep up the good work!

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
 Replay
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:05 Sentence Structure
  • 0:38 The Four Types of Sentences
  • 3:06 Choosing a Sentence Structure
  • 3:39 Lesson Summary
Add to Add to Add to

Want to watch this again later?

Log in or sign up to add this lesson to a Custom Course.

Login or Sign up

Timeline
Autoplay
Autoplay
Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Doresa Jennings

Doresa holds a Ph.D. in Communication Studies.

Sometimes we know what we want to write, but we are just unsure of the best way to write it. In this video, we will cover ways to structure sentences in an essay.

Sentence Structure

Often times when writing an essay, we know what we want to say; we just struggle with how to say it. One of the best ways of getting better at expressing yourself is through a good understanding of sentence structure. Just like you need to learn to read music to express yourself on the piano, you need a firm grasp of sentence structure to express yourself in writing. In this video, we are going to review the most common types of sentences found in English language writing, and how to determine the right ones to use for your essay.

The Four Types of Sentences

There are four main types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Simple sentences contain one independent clause. The best way to figure out if a sentence has more than one independent clause is to see if it has more than one subject and verb. For instance, in the sentence 'I swam and fished yesterday;' although there are two verbs, swimming and fishing, there is only one subject, I. In the sentence 'Jack and Jill went up the hill,' we have two subjects, yet just one verb. Both of these sentences would be simple sentences.

A compound sentence has two independent clauses and a coordinating conjunction. An example of a compound sentence would be: 'Jack went up the front of the hill, and Jill went up the side of the hill.' You can count the number of independent clauses by counting the number of subjects and verbs. There are two subjects: Jack and Jill, and there are two verbs: going up the front of the hill and going up the side of the hill. The two clauses are linked using a conjunction - and.

A complex sentence contains one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses that contain subordinating conjunctions. An example of a complex sentence would be: 'Jack fell down the hill because he tripped on a rock.' The independent clause is Jack falling down the hill. The subordinating conjunction gives us the reason he fell down the hill - because he tripped on a rock.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Study.com Member.
Create your account

Register for a free trial

Are you a student or a teacher?
I am a teacher
What is your educational goal?
 Back

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 10 million people use Study.com

Become a Study.com member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 95 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 2,000 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it free for 5 days!
Create An Account
Support