You will need to be able to identify:
- Simple sentences
- Compound sentences
- Complex sentences
- Compound-complex sentences
This neat (though heteronormative) graphic gives you a way of visualising the relationship between clauses. If you think of clauses as being independents (like your parents) and the dependents (like you, kiddo) then you will know how the parents can stand alone (simple sentence) or side-by-side (compound sentence) and that, when they have a kid in tow the kid is less important (bear with me!) and can’t survive in the world by itself.
For a more thorough look at all four sentence types in action, watch the following video . Note that it makes reference to the coordinating conjunctions (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so = FANBOYS).
Grammar Bytes! is a great website presenting easily digestible information about each grammar element and it includes self-test exercises on sentence structures and errors, such as run-on sentences or sentence fragments.
If you need to brush up on the following points of grammar, you can easily log in to the self-testing site NoRedInk and complete some drills to get immediate feedback on your proficiency.