Writing Interesting Sentences

English I Sentence Patterns

Click the links for examples and explanations! You may have to scroll down the page a bit to find examples for the patterns.

Many of these patterns were adopted from The Art of Styling Sentences, by Ann Longknife et al.

Fun With Simple Sentences


  • Modifier(s) SV
    • The hungry and vicious gargoyle lurked.
  • SV modifier(s)
    • The gargoyle lurked grimly and patiently.
  • S — modifying phrase — V.
    • The gargoyle — eager to eat the unwary marmosets who traveled near his lair — lurked grimly and patiently.
  • S prepositional phrase(s) V.
    • The gargoyle beneath the ancient bridge of the old castle lurked.


Compound Sentences


  • Compound sentence with semicolon:
    SV; SV.

    • The goat crossed the bridge; the troll beneath it licked his lips eagerly.  
  • Compound sentence with conjunctive adverb:
    SV; conjunctive adverb, SV.

    • Weasels love to dance with vigor and enthusiasm; however, they are not particularly graceful.  
  • Compound sentence with conjunction:
    SV; SV, conjunction SV.

    • My brother claimed he could spit a distance of twenty feet, and he proved it to me.  
  • Compound sentence with colon:
    General idea: specific example.

    • Some freshmen do not always understand this simple idea: following directions raises your grade.


Complex Sentences* Dependent clause, SV.
  • Adverb clause SV, SV.
  • When SV, when SV, when SV, SV.
  • If SV, if SV, if SV, then SV.
  • Because SV, because SV, because SV, SV.


Varying the Beginnings
Varying the Middles
Combine the Patterns! Compound-Complex Sentences
  • Dependent clause, SV; conjunctive adverb, SV.

Example: After the final examination was over, Jared, Sarah, and I went to the lawn to sprawl in the sun; however, our joy could not last long.

Before we could sprawl in the sun, Jared looked at his planner; consequently, we understood that we

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