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Definition and Types of Sentence

A.    Definition of Sentence

A sentence is an expression in natural language, and often defined to indicate a grammatical unit consisting of one or more words that generally bear minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it. A sentence can include words grouped meaningfully to express a statement, question, exclamation, request or command. So, a sentence is a group of words that contains a subject and a verb and expresses a complete thought.

These are sentences:
1. Muammar Jumran breathes.
2. Shihab loves Ayha.
3. Are you sick?
4. Does Imamsyah Al-Hadi love Marhamah?
5. Hurry! (the subject is “you”)
6. Don’t cheat! (the subject is “you”)

B.      Types of Sentence by Structure
By structure, we can classify into four basic kinds of sentences in English: simple sentences, compound sentences, complex sentences, and compound-complex sentences.
1.    Simple sentence

A simple sentence is a sentence structure that contains one independent clause and no dependent clauses.

a.  Harisman lives in Makassar city.
     This simple sentence has one independent clause which contains one subject, Harisman, and   one predicate, lives in Makassar city.

b. Mismar and Muh. Ikhsan Nur live in Makassar city.

    This simple sentence has one independent clause which contains two subjects, Mismar and Muh. Ikhsan Nur and one predicate, live in Makassar city. This sentence has two subjects, known as a compound subject: Mismar and Muh. Ikhsan Nur. 

c. Hasan Basri speaks and writes English well.

    This simple sentence has one independent clause which contains one subject, Hasan Basri, and one predicate, speaks and writes English well. This predicate has two verbs, known as a compound predicate: speaks and writes.
 d. Marhamah and Karmila love English and always get ‘a’.
     Marhamah and Karmila are a compound subject, and love and get are a compound verb.

2.    Compound sentence

A compound sentence is composed of at least two independent clauses. It does not require a dependent clause. The clauses are joined by a coordinating conjunction (with or without a comma), a correlative conjunction (with or without a comma), or a semicolon that functions as a conjunction. A conjunction can be used to make a compound sentence. The use of a comma to separate two short independent clauses in a sentence is accepted.

Examples :
a. The students of English education department of State Islamic University of Makassar go refreshing every last semester, and they usually have fun.

b. Do you want to stay here, or would you like to go shopping with me?

Notice that a compound sentence has a comma before the coordination conjunction. There are only seven coordinating conjunctions in English : but, and, or, so, nor, yet, and for.
It’s possible to connect three simple sentences. (don’t connect more than three, however, and don’t use the same conjunction twice.) E.g.: we love go refreshing, but last year we didn’t enjoy it, so this year we will do something different during our vacation.

3.    Complex sentence

A complex sentence is a sentence with one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. 

An independent (main clause) clause is same with a simple sentence. Whereas, a dependent clause (subordinate clause) is an independent clause with a subordinating conjunction added to the beginning of it.
The most common subordinating conjunctions in the English language include the following: after, although, as much as, as long as, as soon as, because, before, if, in order that, lest, since, so that, than, that, though, unless, until, when, whenever, where, wherever, whether, and while.
Examples :
 a. Rifqi and Uli love each other very much although the distance between their home is so far. 
     Rifqi and Uli love to each other very much is an independent clause.
    Although the distance between their homes is so far is an dependent clause.
 b. After finishing class, Ikhsan and all the students of pbi 3,4 go home.
      But : Ikhsan and and all the students of pbi 3,4 go home after finishing class. (no comma between them)

4.    Compound-complex sentence
A sentence with at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses (which can also be called subordinate clause) is referred to as a complex-compound sentence. Sometimes also called a compound-complex sentence.
Examples :
 a. Mursyidah Mutia Izza enjoys learning reading, but Iswahyudi, who is smart at reading, enjoys learning speaking.
     Independent clause :
     Mursyidah Mutia Izza enjoys learning reading.
     Iswahyudi enjoys learning speaking.
     Dependent clause :
     who is smart at reading
 b. Ahkam always comes late to campus, but Muh. Daniel, whose house is so far from campus, always comes early.
     Independent clause :
    Ahkam always comes late to campus.
    Muh. Daniel always comes early.
    Dependent clause :
    whose house is so far from campus

C.      Types of Sentence by Purpose

Sentences can also be classified based on their purpose:
1.       Declarative/statement sentence or declaration, the most common type, commonly makes a statement: "I am going home."
2.        Interrogative sentence or question is commonly used to request information — "when are you going to work?" — but sometimes not; "see" rhetorical question.
3.       Exclamatory sentence" or "exclamation is generally a more emphatic form of statement expressing emotion: "what a wonderful day this is!"
4.       Imperative sentence" or "command tells someone to do something: "go to work at 7:30 in the morning.”

Muhammad Ahkam Arifin
Muhammad Ahkam Arifin Muhammad Ahkam Arifin is a Fulbright PhD student at Washington State University, US. He earned a master`s degree in TESOL from the University of Edinburgh & Applied Linguistics from the University of Melbourne.

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