There are four major types of Sentences:
- Simple sentence – A simple sentence has one main clause e.g; John waited for the train
- Compound sentence – A compound sentence has two main clauses that express two or more independent thoughts of equal importance, usually joined by ‘and’, ‘but’, or ‘or’. e.g; Wages have declined by 10%, and employee turnover has been low. I have highlighted the two simple sentences which we have combined into one.
- Complex Sentence: A complex sentence explains one main thought (independent clause), and one or more subordinate, related thoughts. Independent and subordinate clauses are usually separated by a comma (,). e.g, Profits increased 20% in the last year, so although the company faces long term challenges, I agree that its short-term prospects looks quite positive.
- A compound- complex sentence has two main clauses, at least one of which contains a subordinate clause. e.g; Profits increased 20% in the last year, so although the company faces long term challenges, I agree that its short-term prospects looks quite positive.
When to use which type of sentence?
- When constructing sentences, choose the form that matches the relationship of the ideas you want to express
- If you have two ideas of equal importance, express them as two simple sentences or as one compound sentence.
- However, if one of the ideas is less important than the other, place it in a dependent clause to form a complex sentence.
Overall though maintain some variety among the four sentence types to keep your writing from getting choppy (too many short, simple sentences) or exhausting (too many long sentences).
How to add emphasis or reduce it:
Let us say you are the CEO of your company and want to send out an email to your department heads to follow some of the best practices from the manufacturing unit since they have become the strongest division in the company.
You can use “
The manufacturing division is the strongest in the company, and its management techniques should be adopted by the other divisions.
Because the manufacturing division is the strongest in the company, its management techniques should be adopted by the other divisions
So which one conveys the key idea better? In the first example we are using a compound sentence and it sounds like the idea that manufacturing unit is the strongest is as important as following the best practices from the unit.
As a CEO that is not your intent, instead go with option 2 where the focus is more about following the management techniques from the Manufacturing division
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