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Simple - compound - complex or just crazy!

Discussion in 'English' started by johnpp, Nov 10, 2015.

  1. johnpp

    johnpp New commenter

    Hi all,

    I know I'm not alone in finding myself challenged in classifying sentences. I only have to speak to my colleagues! In trying to gain clarity and understanding, I can at times, just confuse myself further!

    Would someone be kind enough to give me their opinion on which category the following sentences fall into, I'd be interested to see if it concurs with my thinking.

    In my opinion the following sentences are all simple, although some may have compound verb predicates. Am I correct?

    He stumbled and found himself back on the allotment.

    He ran past the bike sheds, round the corner and onto the school allotment.

    At first, he saw the wooden bench with cobwebs dangling down and dust settling.

    Thank you for any enlightenment.

  2. johnpp

    johnpp New commenter

    In correction to my original post I believe my third sentence to be complex as it begins with an adverbial. Correct?
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    I'd say the first was compound. He stumbled. He found himself back on the allotment.

    Second simple. He ran past this, round that and elsewhere.

    Third simple. He saw the wooden bench.
  4. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    All simple because they are all just one clause. (There is only one S + V etc structure.)

    An Adjunct (or "adverbial" if you prefer) only makes a sentence complex if it is a clause.
  5. markuss

    markuss Occasional commenter

    However, there are different grammatical descriptions of English and even when the same terms are used, they may be used differently.

    There are references nowadays to "verbless clauses" - so I wouldn't be amazed to see that somewhere there is reference to "subjectless" clauses.

    (My own view is that "sentence" is not great as a grammatical term anyway!)

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