simple sentence: one independent clause (must have at least a subject and verb and express a complete thought)
ex: I like tomatoes.
compound sentence: two or more independent clauses
ex: I like tomatoes and I eat them often.
complex sentence: one independent clause and one or more dependent clauses
ex: I like tomatoes that are organically grown.
compound-complex sentence: two or more independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.
ex: I like tomatoes and I eat them often, but only if they are organically grown.
Sentence Types (in terms of purpose)
Declarative—makes a statement: I eat tomatoes.
Imperative—gives a command: Eat that tomato right now.
Interrogative—asks a question: Who can resist tomatoes?
Exclamatory—for emphasis—makes an exclamation: This tomato is delicious!
Periodic—begins w/subordinate elements, postpones main clause. (builds suspense?)
ex: Now truly depressed and sadly glancing at the trashcans while thinking, “here is a metaphor for my meaningless life,” he vowed to never again go a day without tomatoes.
Loose sentence—subordinate elements come at the end to call attention to them.
ex: He lost interest in school, sports, even tomatoes, caring only about the number of “friends” he had gathered on myspace.
Interrupted sentence—subordinate elements in the middle, often using dashes.
ex: Mikey—after months of eating only tomatoes while locked in his room—ran away with a girl he met online who shared his love of the delicious red fruit.
Parallel Structure—repeated grammatical structures.
ex: We must not ignore the schools without access to quality books, the children without access to quality healthcare, and the honest citizens without access to organic tomatoes.
Balanced sentences—grammatically parallel components balanced against each other.
ex: Outside of a dog a book is man’s best friend; inside of a dog it’s too dark to read. (Groucho) ex2: His garden was well-tended and full of tomatoes but his brain was neglected and bereft of ideas.