Four and a half types of sentence

Putting sentence types together

Advanced: Sentence types and complex meaning

We can layer supporting clauses into questions, commands, and even fragments to make complex meaning, just like we would for statements. How many clauses can you find in the snippets below? (Look for verb groups!)

"Tell me what you know."

KoyasanDarren ShanSource

"Tell me what you know."

KoyasanDarren ShanSource

"Tell me what you know."

KoyasanDarren ShanSource

"Tell me what you know."

KoyasanDarren ShanSource

"Tell me what you know."

KoyasanDarren ShanSource

"But can we not get the Nautilus off by emptying its reservoirs, that it may regain its equilibrium?"

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaJules VerneSource

"But can we not get the Nautilus off by emptying its reservoirs, that it may regain its equilibrium?"

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaJules VerneSource

"But can we not get the Nautilus off by emptying its reservoirs, that it may regain its equilibrium?"

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaJules VerneSource

"But can we not get the Nautilus off by emptying its reservoirs, that it may regain its equilibrium?"

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaJules VerneSource

"But can we not get the Nautilus off by emptying its reservoirs, that it may regain its equilibrium?"

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the SeaJules VerneSource

Dark red like the new gum leaf tips he'd seen on his first journey down to Ted's.

Beyond the BoundariesJackie FrenchSource

Dark red like the new gum leaf tips he'd seen on his first journey down to Ted's.

Beyond the BoundariesJackie FrenchSource

Dark red like the new gum leaf tips he'd seen on his first journey down to Ted's.

Beyond the BoundariesJackie FrenchSource

Dark red like the new gum leaf tips he'd seen on his first journey down to Ted's.

Beyond the BoundariesJackie FrenchSource
Fragments don't have a 'main clause'

Supporting clauses don't change the nature of the sentence as a whole. A statement with a supporting clause is still a statement, a question is still a question, a command is still a command, a fragment a fragment.

We're going to write our own complex statements, questions, commands, and fragments. To show how supporting clauses fit without changing the nature of the sentence, we're going to use the same supporting clause in each sentence.

If you haven't done the lesson on Complex Sentences, this exercise might be challenging. Just try your best to follow along.

I am sorry for eating all of the cookies.

Are you sorry for eating all of the cookies?

Apologise for eating all of the cookies!

They all looked so smug. Those kids just eating all of the cookies.

Writelike

I am sorry for eating all of the cookies.

Are you sorry for eating all of the cookies?

Apologise for eating all of the cookies!

They all looked so smug. Those kids just eating all of the cookies.

Writelike

I am sorry for eating all of the cookies.

Are you sorry for eating all of the cookies?

Apologise for eating all of the cookies!

They all looked so smug. Those kids just eating all of the cookies.

Writelike

The Alpha Centaurians didn’t realise how long it would take to fly to earth.

Do you have any idea how long it would take to fly to earth?

Find a way to reduce how long it would take to fly to earth.

They had to do it. Reduce how long it would take to fly to earth.

Writelike

The Alpha Centaurians didn’t realise how long it would take to fly to earth.

Do you have any idea how long it would take to fly to earth?

Find a way to reduce how long it would take to fly to earth.

They had to do it. Reduce how long it would take to fly to earth.

Writelike

The Alpha Centaurians didn’t realise how long it would take to fly to earth.

Do you have any idea how long it would take to fly to earth?

Find a way to reduce how long it would take to fly to earth.

They had to do it. Reduce how long it would take to fly to earth.

Writelike

To make it clear that the fragment is a fragment, we've added an extra sentence to the front of it to provide context in both of the examples.

Your turn
Can exclamations have complex meaning?

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