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Câu đơn/ghép/phức/phức tổng hợp trong tiếng Anh – Sentence Types: Simple/Compound/Complex/Compound-Complex Sentences

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Lưu ý: Không nên quan tâm quá để tránh bị rối rắm bởi tên gọi các loại câu: simple/compound/complex/compound-complex sentences VÀ cumulative/periodic sentences (và một số kiểu câu khác, sẽ giới thiệu sau). Các cách phân loại như vậy là dựa trên các tiêu chí khác nhau, ví dụ: tiêu chí “cấu trúc  ngữ pháp” hoặc tiêu chí “văn phong”. Cuối cùng, chúng cũng chỉ là CÂU, mỗi câu biểu đạt một “complete thought/idea mà thôi.

Xem thêm bài: Phép đảo ngữ trong tiếng Anh – Periodic sentences [1]

và bài: Phép điệp trong tiếng Anh – Loose/cumulative sentences


Structurally, English sentences can be classified four different ways, though there are endless constructions of each. The classifications are based on the number of independent and dependent clauses a sentence contains. An independent clause forms a complete sentence on its own, while a dependent clause needs another clause to make a complete sentence. By learning these types, writers can add complexity and variation to their sentences.

1.  SIMPLE SENTENCE

A simple sentence consists of an independent clause, so it contains a subject and a verb. It does NOT contain either a dependent clause or another simple sentence.

Examples of simple sentences:

short simple sentence: The dog barked.

long simple sentence: Leaning first this way and then that, the large tan dog with a wide black collar barked loudly at the full moon last night from under the lilac bush in the shadow of the north side of the house.

The simple sentence may have a compound subject: 

The dog and the cat howled.

It may have a compound verb:

The dog howled and barked.

It may have a compound subject and a compound verb:

The dog and the cat howled and yowled, respectively.

2.  COMPOUND SENTENCE

A compound sentence consists of two or more simple sentences joined by:

  • a comma followed by a coordinating conjunction (and, but, or, nor, for, yet, so): The dog barked, and the cat yowl
  • a semicolon: The dog barked; the cat yowled.
  • a comma, but ONLY when the simple sentences are being treated as items in a series: The dog barked, the cat yowled, and the rabbit chewed.

3.  COMPLEX SENTENCE

A complex sentence consists of a combination of an independent clause and a dependent

An example with a relative clause as the dependent clause:

The dog that was in the street howled loudly.

A student who is hungry would never pass up a hamburger.

An example with a subordinating conjunction creating the dependent clause (note the various positions of the dependent clause):

End:  The dog howled although he was well fed.

Front:  Because the dog howled so loudly, the student couldn’t eat his hamburger.

Middle: The dog, although he was well fed, howled loudly.

4.  COMPOUND-COMPLEX SENTENCE

A compound-complex sentence consists of a combination of a compound sentence and a complex:

As the dog howled, one cat sat on the fence, and the other licked its paws.

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