Uploaded by Clara Howard

Sentence-Complexity-Guidelines

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Sentence Complexity Guidelines
Grades 1–3
Simple Sentence Structures
Subject and verb, may include a direct or indirect object
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Run! (most basic: verb in a command sentence)
I run. (subject + verb)
I like cars. (direct object)
I like cars and trucks. (common connector – noun phrases)
I run and jump. (common connector – verb phrases)
I run because it is fun. (common connector – sentences)
I run and I can jump (common connector, auxiliary)
I can run. (auxiliary)
I run fast. (adverb)
I stand up. (phrasal verb)
I run as fast as he does. (comparative)
I like running most. (superlative)
So, who likes running? (question)
Complex Sentence Structures
Sentences with more than a subject, verb, and possible object
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I give my friend cars. (indirect object)
I run with my friend. (prepositional phrase)*
I will run with my friend. (auxiliary, prepositional phrase)*
He was hit by a car. (passive)*
I like to run. (infinitive)
You will have fun if you run. (auxiliary, conditional, uncommon
connector)
When I run, I get tired. (uncommon connector)
I like runners that win. (relative clause)
Running fast helps you win. (nominalization of subject)
I know [that] running is very important. (uncommon
connector – may be omitted)
Running is good exercise, which you need to stay healthy.
(relative clause, infinitive)
I like running and so does he. (ellipsis)
He runs every day, but I don’t do that. (ellipsis)
I saw him get hit by a car. (passive infinitive)
The problem is that he doesn’t run. (Subject-predicative
clause, uncommon connector)
They want to know how fast he runs. (Post-predicative clause,
uncommon connector)
Note: sentences marked with an asterisk are categorized as different types across grade clusters.
Sentence Complexity Guidelines
Grades 4–12
Simple Sentence Structures
Complex Sentence Structures
Sentences with more than a subject, verb, and possible object
Subject and verb, may include a direct or indirect object
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•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Run! (most basic: verb in a command sentence)
I run. (subject + verb)
I like cars. (direct object)
I give my friend cars. (direct object, indirect object) *
I like cars and trucks. (common connector – noun phrases)
I run and jump. (common connector – verb phrases)
I run because it is fun. (common connector – sentences)
I run and I can jump (common connector, auxiliary)
I can run. (auxiliary)
I run fast. (adverb)
I run with my friend. (prepositional phrase) *
I will run with my friend. (auxiliary, prepositional phrase) *
I stand up. (phrasal verb)
I run as fast as he does. (comparative)
I like running most. (superlative)
So, who likes running? (question)
He was hit by a car. (passive) *
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I like to run. (infinitive)
You will have fun if you run. (conditional, uncommon
connector)
When I run, I get tired. (uncommon connector)
I like runners that win. (relative clause)
Running fast helps you win is a common idea. (nominalization
of subject)
I think [that] running is very important. (uncommon connector
– may be omitted)
Running is good exercise, which you need to stay healthy.
(relative clause, infinitive)
I like running, so does he. (ellipsis)
He runs every day, but I don’t do that. (ellipsis)
I saw him get hit by a car. (passive infinitive)
The problem is that he doesn’t run. (Subject-predicative
clause, uncommon connector)
They want to know how fast he runs. (Post-predicative clause,
uncommon connector)
Note: sentences marked with an asterisk are categorized as different types across grade clusters.