Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences | Definition & Exercises

In todays lesson we are going to discuss the different types of sentences. Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences with their definition and Exercises is given in this lesson. Below are four types of sentences:

Types of Sentences in English

Simple Sentence

It contains one independent clause and no subordinate clauses-an independent clause stands by itself. A subordinate clause has a subject and a predicate (as an independent clause does), but can’t stand alone as a sentence as it does not express a complete thought. We were sad when he left. Independent clause subordinate clause simple sentence

The students (simple subject) attended the class (simple predicate) and the play (drama).

Compound Sentence

It contains two or more independent clauses but no sub ordinate clauses. A compound sentence has two or more simple sentences joined by a semicolon or by a comma or a co-ordinate conjunction. Co-ordinate conjunctions are:

and, but, for, nor, or, yet, so-connect two or more independent clauses.

They are dancing; I am singing. You are a scholar, but I am only a student. She visited her friends in Jhelum; in other cities she didn’t. She is happy, you are happy, others are jubilant, but I am not.

Complex Sentence

It has one independent clause and one or more subordinate clauses, which are adjective or adverb clauses. They upset the independent clauses. ? Mr. X and Miss Y attended the party, which continued till late at night. (Main clause + adjective clause) My friends are happily settled in different parts of the country, which (or that) are quite distant from each other.

Compound Complex or mixed sentence

It has two or more independent clauses and one or more subordinate clauses.

The ice melted fast and it rained in full strength, which filled the villages with flood waters. (two independent clauses + adverb clause qualifying “melted” and “rained,” verbs.)

You are happy, we are joyful, that encourages our friends and that brings bright hopes to all of us. (two independent clauses + two subordinating clauses)

Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences Exercises

  1. All is well that ends well.

This is a simple sentence with “all” as subject and the remaining part as predicate.

  1. All is well that ends well and nothing succeeds like success.

It is a compound sentence as two independent clauses are combined by “and,” the co-Coordinating conjunction.

  1. The jokers danced before the politicians, who laughed at them as much as at their own follies.

It is a complex sentence as it has an independent clause “The jokers danced before the politicians.” It is followed by the (subordinate) adjective clause “who laughed at them.” The subordinating conjunction is “who.” The third adjective clause is elliptical (with words left out): (and who laughed at them) as much as at their own follies.

  1. The friends climbed up the hills and went to the fountains to drink the water and bathe in it, which they remember to this day and about which they have new plans of revisits.

It is a compound-complex sentence having two independent clauses and two subordinate clauses. The subordinating conjunctions are “which” and “about which.”

The people have gone through many sufferings in the recent past whose details can be found in the history of land.

It is a complex sentence with an independent clause followed by the adjective clause “whose details… land,” Which qualifies “suffering,” a noun. The subordinating conjunction is “whose.”


  1. We are citizens of the world.
  2. They have to tackle (deal with) enormous (huge) problems and we find it difficult to enjoy the diverse (different and of various kinds) activities of life.
  3. Miss Y informed me about her problems which upset me a lot.
  4. The prices have risen very high and our problems have multiplied that has made our life miserable (very unhappy and uncomfortable).
  5. It is the only problem that puzzles us.
  6. Where are the few helpers that you still have?
  7. Let us buy the little that we can to make our living pleasant and happy.
  8. What profession do you follow and what kind of people do you come into contact with as you tour through the length and breadth of your country?
  9. The teachers and the students plan to have several language workshops in the college.
  10. She plays tennis and badminton in turn in all seasons.
  11. We are dreamers, we are men of action, and it is sad to find that you are neither of the two.
  12. The galaxies in the heavens dwarf our existence, which saddens us.
  13. The leader had the idea that he would reform the country during his rule. [A complex sentence as the main idea is followed by the noun clause.]
  14. The winds are blowing, the waves are rising and falling, but we are sad in our still situation.
  15. Why do you regret missing the chance of joining the firm as its manager?
  16. It is for the first time in history that the US has a black president, which is the most significant (meaningful) sign of the breakdown of racial barriers.
  17. In 2010, the eighteenth amendment to the Constitution was passed by our assemblies and it was mostly welcomed by the nation.
  18. History tells us about the rise and fall of nations, and it also brings to our knowledge the fates of heroes and warriors, which all is very instructive.
  19. Which is the best film of the year that you were saying you had seen?
  20. Who is it that can tell me what I am?
  21. What was the question that the fair maiden asked you?
  22. Which is the road that can take us to Nila Parbat?
  23. The highest mountain that we climbed in Kaghan was all green.
  24. That is perhaps the worst that you could have done to us.
  25. After all, any, more, nothing, the same, the only, the few, the little:
  26. All the people that (or who) went to the meeting listened to the speech.
  27. Any person that (or who) knows the answer should come forward.
  28. There was none that could lift the weight.
  29. We want to do nothing that pains you.
  30. Do I see the same eyes that had won my heart?

Simple, Compound and Complex Sentences | Definition & Exercises