� 2017 Steve Campsall
Phrases combine into clauses and clauses either are a sentence or combine to make a longer sentence. Let's take a closer look at this largest of this largest of grammatical structures, the sentence.
Grammar allows for the creation of four types of sentence. But first, what is a sentence? A sentence has been described as a group of words whose meaning seems complete in itself; and others have defined a sentence as a group of words that expresses a complete thought.
Is this a sentence, then?
Hopefully, you've said 'No - it can't be a sentence as it's meaning is not complete.'
In fact it's a part of a larger sentence and is a dependent or subordinate clause. You've already met with these.
The next few pages cover four sentence types but first a comment on punctuation.
Although technically no part of grammar, punctuation is used to show the end of a grammatical sentence. Another definition of sentence, therefore, would be a group of words that begins with a capital letter and ends with a full stop - and that the full stop can only be properly put in place when the words before it form a grammatically complete sentence.
There are three basic groups of words - syntactic structures - that are grammatical sentences. Each of these has a different grammatical structure:
a simple sentence
a compound sentence
a complex sentence
There is also a fourth structure that is not technically a sentence, but it's very common in speech and written dialogue:
a 'minor sentence'