Sentence Structure and Punctuation
Basic English Sentence Structures
|S – V
S – V – O
S – V – IO – DO
|Jack is sleeping.
Jack ate an apple.
Jack gave Jill a ring.
|S – LV – Adj.
S – LV – Adv
S – LV – Noun
|Jack is sick.
Jack is here.
Jack is a doctor.
Combinations: One verb or one subject (no comma)
S and S V
S V and V
S V O and O
S and S V O and O
|Jack is drinking.
Jack and Jill are drinking.
Jack is eating and drinking.
Jack drinks coffee and tea.
Jack and Jill drink tea and coffee.
Combinations: Two subjects, two verbs
Subordination (One idea is stronger.
Jack drinks coffee although Jill drinks tea. (without a comma)
Although Jack drinks coffee, Jill drinks tea. (with a comma)
Coordination (equal ideas, with coordinator: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet)
Jack is drinking, and Jill is eating. (A comma [,] is needed here.)
Jack drinks coffee, but Jill drinks tea. (closest connection between ideas)
Closely related ideas (without coordinator)
Jack drinks coffee; Jill drinks tea. (A semi-colon [;] is used here.)
Jack drinks coffee; however, Jill drinks tea. (with a sentence connector)
Separate sentences (strongest break between ideas)
Jack drinks coffee. Jill drinks tea. (Use a period [.] to separate complete sentences.)
Jack drinks coffee. However, Jill drinks tea. (with a sentence connector)
Jack drinks coffee. Jill, however, drinks tea. (variation)
Do not use subordinators and coordinators to connect ideas in the same sentence:
|Although Jack drinks coffee, but Jill drinks tea.
Jack drinks coffee, but Jill drinks tea.
Although Jack drinks coffee, Jill drinks tea.
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