Sentence Structure and Clauses A clause is a group of words that contains a subject and its verb. An independent clause can stand alone as a sentence, thus it expresses a complete thought. A subordinate clause cannot stand alone because it does not express a complete thought, thus it does not make sense. S LVIndependent clause: Several kinds of bees are social creatures. S VSubordinate clause: Although many bee species make solitary nests.
The structure of a sentence is determined by the number and kind of clauses it contains. There are four sentence structures: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Simple sentence: an independent clause that stands alone. S V Bees depend only on flowers. Compound sentence: contains two or more independent clauses separated by a semicolon (;); by a semicolon, conjunctive adverb, and comma (; however,); or by a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction (,for).
S V S HV V Semicolon: Bees live on pollen and nectar; they may convert the nectar to honey. S V S V Conjunctive Adverb: Bees have a bad reputation; therefore, most people avoid them. S V S VCoordinating Conjunction: Bees obtain food from flowers, but wasps usually eat small insects. Hint: Do not confuse compound sentences with simples sentences that have compound subjects or predicates. Compound Subject: All ants and some bees are social insects.Compound Predicate: Social insects nest together and divide labor. Complex sentence: contains one independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses. In the following sentences, the subordinate clause is in bold type. Notice that a subordinate clause my interrupt a main clause. S S V V Honeybees, which beekeepers raise, live mainly in human-madehives. S LV S LV Although their honey is valuable, honeybees are even more valuable as pollinators. S V S V They inadvertently spread pollen as they move from flower to flower. Note: the relative pronoun that begins some subordinate clauses may be the subject of the clause. S S V V Farmers who need crop pollination often use honeybees.
Compound-Complex Sentence: contains at least one subordinate clause and at least two independent clauses. S V S V When a honeybee finds flowers, it communicates in a kind of dance, S V and fellow bees learn the location of the tasty treats.
|Subordinating conjunctions:After, although, as, as if, as though, because, before, even though, if, in order that, provided, since, so that, than, unless, until, when, where, whereas, while|
|Coordinating conjunctions:for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so (F.A.N.B.O.Y.S.)|
|Conjunctive Adverbs:Accordingly, also, besides, consequently, finally, furthermore, hence, however, instead, nevertheless, otherwise, similarly, still, therefore, thus|
|Relative pronouns: that, which, who, whom, and |