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Describing language
Describing language

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3.1 Making longer sentences

One way we can make longer sentences is to join more than one clause together. Most of the sentences you’ve looked at in the course have dealt with just one idea:

I brought a present for Amanda (Week 2)

Snow fell throughout the day (Week 3)

It’s less expensive than the French one (Week 5)

This type of sentence says one thing about one person or thing, and as a result is called a simple sentence. It has a single clause in it – that is, just one verb and one subject.

You’ve seen that words can be joined together in phrases using conjunctions such as and or but. The same goes for simple sentences. When two or more are joined using and, but, or or they form what is called a compound sentence.

They went to France that summer but they put the trip to Italy off until later.

I might bake a cake or I might buy one, and I should get some wine, too.

My sister bought a red dress and I tried on some shoes but we decided not to bother with hats.

A compound sentence is made of two or more clauses, but each clause makes sense as a sentence on its own.