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ESL Grammar Resources

Sentence Structure & Punctuation           


Basic English Sentence Structures

S - V

S - V - O

S - V - IO - DO
Jack is sleeping.

Jack ate an apple.

Jack gave Jill a ring.
S - LV - Adj.

S - LV - Adv

S - LV - Noun
Jack is sick.

Jack is here.

Jack is a doctor.

Combinations: One verb or one subject (no comma)


S and S V

S V and V

S V O and O

S and S V O and O
Jack is drinking.

Jack and Jill are drinking.

Jack is eating and drinking.

Jack drinks coffee and tea.

Jack and Jill drink tea and coffee.

Combinations: Two subjects, two verbs

Subordination (One idea is stronger.

Jack drinks coffee although Jill drinks tea. (without a comma)

Although Jack drinks coffee, Jill drinks tea. (with a comma)

Coordination (equal ideas, with coordinator: and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet)

Jack is drinking, and Jill is eating. (A comma [,] is needed here.)

Jack drinks coffee, but Jill drinks tea. (closest connection between ideas)

Closely related ideas (without coordinator)

Jack drinks coffee; Jill drinks tea. (A semi-colon [;] is used here.)

Jack drinks coffee; however, Jill drinks tea. (with a sentence connector)

Separate sentences (strongest break between ideas)

Jack drinks coffee. Jill drinks tea. (Use a period [.] to separate complete sentences.)

Jack drinks coffee. However, Jill drinks tea. (with a sentence connector)

Jack drinks coffee. Jill, however, drinks tea. (variation)


Do not use subordinators and coordinators to connect ideas in the same sentence:

Although Jack drinks coffee, but Jill drinks tea.

Jack drinks coffee, but Jill drinks tea.

Although Jack drinks coffee, Jill drinks tea.



See also:
Grammar: Coodinators
Grammar: Subordinators
Grammar: Sentence Connectors

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