Simple Sentences Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

An error occurred trying to load this video.

Try refreshing the page, or contact customer support.

Coming up next: Suffixes Lesson for Kids: Definition & Examples

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

Take Quiz Watch Next Lesson
Your next lesson will play in 10 seconds
  • 0:00 What Is a Simple Sentence?
  • 1:49 Dissecting a Simple Sentence
  • 2:14 Examples of Simple Sentences
  • 2:39 Lesson Summary
Save Save Save

Want to watch this again later?

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

Log in or Sign up

Speed Speed

Recommended Lessons and Courses for You

Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shelley Vessels

Shelley has taught at the middle school level for 10 years and has a master's degree in teaching English.

The simple sentence is the foundation of our language. It's complete, with a subject and a predicate, but with nothing extra. Let's look a little closer at what a simple sentence is, and don't forget to prove your understanding with the quiz!

What Is a Simple Sentence?

So what is a simple sentence? Is it a sentence that's easy to understand? It could be, but that's not exactly right. A simple sentence is like a skeleton of a sentence. It only has what it needs: a subject and a predicate, and that's it. There is no 'meat' that would add depth or understanding to the sentence. It is just the structure of a sentence - just the bones.

So let's take a look a a simple sentence diagrammed. The sentence is:

  • The dog ate the bone.

Simple Sentence Diagram

The words 'the dog' make up the noun phrase, with the subject being 'dog.' The phrase 'ate the bone' is the verb phrase, and the verb (or simple predicate) is 'ate.' The word 'the' is labeled as a determiner.

There are no additional clauses that would make the sentence compound, which contain at least two independent clauses, or complex, which is defined as a sentence with one independent and one dependent clause.

When you have a simple sentence, you have just one independent clause. An independent clause has one subject and one predicate and can stand alone as a sentence. Simple, right?

A dependent clause, on the other hand, may have a subject and a simple predicate, but it is not a complete thought. Dependent clauses usually start with the words 'because,' 'while,' 'if,' 'that,' or 'when.'

A few examples of dependent clauses are:

  • When the parade marches down the street
  • If the hurricane strengthens
  • Because my sister is silly

Can you see how the dependent clauses listed have a subject and a verb but do not express a complete thought? You might be left wondering what the rest of the message is on each example.

Dissecting a Simple Sentence

Let's take a closer look at an example.

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

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 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? 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 risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account