2Clause: A group of words containing a subject and verb Independent clause: a group of words that contains a subject and verb and expresses a complete thoughtDependent clause: a group of words that include a subject and verb but does not express a complete thought
3Simple, Complex, and Compound Sentences Simple: includes a subject and verb and expresses a complete thoughtCompound: two independent clauses joined by a coordinator (FANBOYS)Complex: independent clause and one or more dependent clauses
4CommasCompound Sentences: separate independent clauses joined by coordinatorsComplex Sentences: If a dependent clause starts the sentence, use comma after it—if it ends sentence, do not use commaSeparate unessential parts of sentence, not essential parts, i.e. that clauses (relative clauses)After introductory phrases, clauses, etc.
5Avoiding Common Comma Mistakes Can break sentence into illogical parts and cause confusionDo not place after independent clause that is followed by dependent clauseDo not separate subject from verbDo not separate parts of compound predicate (the verbs and its modifiers)Avoid fused sentences, run-ons, and comma splices
6Constructing Better Sentences Experienced writers use a variety of sentence types to make writing engaging—not too many simple, compound, or complexMore succinct sentences: shorter often betterOften, complex sentences can be much more engagingOnly join two related sentences
7Semicolons Join two closely related independent clauses Lists in which individual item(s) include commas:The visitors hailed from Los Angeles, California; Baltimore, Maryland; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; and Bowie, Maryland.Conjunctive adverbsUse sparingly