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English Grammar English Grammar 101
I dentifying Sentences by Structure
 
Lesson 2-39
Prompt:A simple sentence is an independent clause: "We will play hard." A complex sentence is an independent clause with one or more dependent clauses: "When we play, we will play hard" or "We will play hard when we play." A compound sentence has two or more independent clauses appropriately joined by punctuation and/or conjunctions such as and, but, or, nor, yet, so, still, for: "We will play hard, and we will win" or "We will play hard; consequently, we will win" or "We will play hard; we will win" or "We will play hard — we will win." A compound-complex sentence has two or more independent clauses with one or more dependent clauses: "When we play, we will play hard, and we will win."
Example:Consider the following: "Slavery was one of the chief issues of the Civil War; however, President Lincoln desired to save the Union above all else when the southern states seceded from the Union." Note that this sentence has two independent clauses and one dependent clause — the sentence is a compound-complex sentence.
Directions:Below are listed several different sentence types. Read each sentence and click to select below each sentence whether the sentence is simple, complex, compound, or compound-complex.
1.Abraham Lincoln was elected in November 1860; the moment of decision had arrived for the south.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
2.On December 20, 1860, South Carolina declared its independence from the Union - the Union was dissolved.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
3.After state conventions were held throughout the South, Southern states seceded from the Union.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
4.After state conventions were held throughout the south, Southern states seceded from the Union, and they formed the Confederate States of America.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
5.Jefferson Davis was elected President of the Confederacy.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
6.Jefferson Davis made a speech of defiance to the Union when he addressed the new Confederate States of America.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
7.Succession presented the Union with a great challenge, yet President Buchanan did little while he served his last months in office.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
8.Buchanan declared that secession was illegal, still he maintained that the Federal Government had no power to prevent it.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
9.As Northerners debated what course to pursue, the Confederacy was busily asserting its sovereignty by seizing Federal property.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
10.Southern officers in the tiny 16,000-man U.S. Army were forced to make a decision.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
11.For most, their ancestral ties to the South proved overwhelming; they resigned their commissions and journeyed homeward to serve the Confederacy.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
12.Before the South seceded from the Union, Col. Robert E. Lee of Virginia had been offered the command of the Federal Army.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
13.Robert E. Lee could not fight against his Southern home, so he became the Confederacy's most celebrated hero.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
14.Abraham Lincoln gave his inaugural speech beneath an unfinished capitol dome.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
15."In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow countrymen, is the issue of civil war; ... you have no conflict without being yourself the aggressors."
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
16."You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I have the most solemn one to 'preserve, protect, and defend' it."
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
17.For a month, Lincoln hesitated; then on April 6, 1861, he informed South Carolina officials that he intended to send supplies to Fort Sumter in the Charleston harbor.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
18.When the Union commander of Fort Sumter refused to evacuate the fort, the Southern forces fired on the fort.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
19.The Union troops withdrew from the fort with their flags flying and their drums beating.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)
20.Because the realities of the struggle ahead were unknown and were vastly underestimated, Lincoln acted quickly — he called on the Northern states to provide 75,000 men for three months to put down the rebellion of the Southern states.
(simple) (complex) (compound) (compound-complex)