The Basic Sentence Unit


Declarative sentences are used to convey information or to make statements.

– David plays the piano.
– I hope you can come tomorrow.
– We’ve forgotten the milk.

Declarative sentences are by far the most common type


The structure of a sentence

Every clause is, in a sense, a miniature sentence. A simple sentence contains only a single clause, while a compound sentence, a complex sentence, or a compound-complex sentence contains at least two clauses.

The most basic type of sentence is the simple sentence, which contains only one clause. The most natural sentence structure is the simple and is the first kind which children learn to speak; it remains by far the most common sentence in the spoken language of people of all ages. In written work, simple sentences can be very effective for grabbing a reader’s attention or for summing up an argument.

A simple sentence can be as short as one word:



All of the following are simple sentences, because each contains only one clause:

Ice melts.
The ice melts quickly.
The ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun.
Lying exposed without its blanket of snow, the ice on the river melts quickly under the warm March sun.
: : Activity/Exercise : :
  1. Create your own weather picture – use simple sentences or declarative statements.