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Sentence Structures!

In Year 5, we have a big focus on learning to use a range of sentence structures in our writing.

There are 3 main types of sentence structures we learn about:

A simple sentence has a subject and ONLY ONE verb:

The girl sprinted after the tiger.
The squirrel ran up the tree.

A compound sentence is formed when you join two main clauses with a connective / conjunction called a coordinating conjunctions. Examples of these are: and, but, so, or, yet, nor, for.

Raindrops like fat bumblebees fell from the sky and dark storm clouds gathered.
 I shouted loudly at the bus driver, but he did not hear me.

Complex sentences can also be referred to as multi-clause sentences.

A complex sentence is formed when you join a main clause and a subordinate clause with a connective. A subordinate clause is one that relies on a main clause to make sense.

The connectives in complex sentences are called subordinating conjunctions. Connectives used in complex sentences include after, although, as, because, if, since, unless, when.

I love roast potatoes, although my mum prefers them mashed.
You need to prepare for the spelling test tomorrow if you want to get full marks.
The angry dog next door barked whenever I knocked on the door.

Complex sentences can also be constructed by including relative clauses. Relative clauses are another type of
subordinate clause which starts with a relative pronoun (e.g. which, who, that) and can be dropped into a sentence to provide extra information.

For example: Tom, who liked to read, settled down happily with his new book.

Why not look for examples of these sentence types as you read and start to spot examples of the different conjunctions / connectives which are used?

Here is a passage from Harry Potter. What different sentence types can you see? What conjunctions can you spot?

October arrived, spreading a damp chill over the grounds and into the castle. Madam Pomfrey, the nurse, was kept busy by a sudden spate of colds among the staff and students. Her Pepperup potion worked instantly, though it left the drinker smoking at the ears for several hours afterward. Ginny Weasley, who had been looking pale, was bullied into taking some by Percy. The steam pouring from under her vivid hair gave the impression that her whole head was on fire.

Raindrops the size of bullets thundered on the castle windows for days on end and Hagrid's pumpkins swelled to the size of garden sheds. Oliver Wood's enthusiasm for regular training sessions, however, was not dampened, which was why Harry was to be found, late one stormy Saturday afternoon a few days before Halloween, returning to Gryffindor Tower, drenched to the skin and splattered with mud.

Even aside from the rain and wind it hadn't been a happy practice session. Fred and George, who had been spying on the Slytherin team, had seen for themselves the speed of those new Nimbus Two Thousand and Ones. They reported that the Slytherin team was no more than seven greenish blurs, shooting through the air like missiles.  

As Harry squelched along the deserted corridor he came across somebody who looked just as preoccupied as he was. Nearly Headless Nick, the ghost of Gryffindor Tower, was staring morosely out of a window, muttering under his breath.

Freddie Hayes,
24 Nov 2016, 00:22