Master Simple,compound and complex sentences and their transformation(Synthesis)

Shree Ganeshay Namah


Forming and using simple , compound and complex sentences is a very important skill for better English communication. If you know this concept then you will have advantage in your English language usage.

I heard about simple, compound and complex sentences in my post graduate syllabus and I realised that this concept was not taught in the old school syllabus. As a result most people face problems in their use. I personally collected all the available material and learnt them.

Now here I am giving you my 16 years’ study and application process of simple, compound and complex sentences for your better understanding. We will know what is simple, compound and complex sentences and how they can be transformed into each other.

What is simple sentence?

What is compound sentence?

What is complex sentence?

What is transformation (Synthesis) of sentences?

What are the methods of sentence transformation with examples?

You will get answers of all these questions in the best possible way with easy explanation and lot of practical examples.

Here we go—–

Types of sentences based on clause construction—

We know that there are 4 types of sentences based on the meaning point of view. We can make them in all TENSES. Even their Passive voice is possible. They are

1)Statement(Assertive sentences)-

2)Interrogative sentences(Questions)

3)Exclamatory sentences-

4)Imperative sentences-

But from clause construction point of view, there are 3 types of sentences. They are

1)Simple sentences-

2)Compound sentences-

3)Complex sentences-

Let us know everything about them—-

1)Simple sentence—The sentence that contains only one main clause(Sentence with subject and predicate) is called as simple sentence.

Eg.1)We are creative learners.

2)She is a helpful teacher.

3)Trees are selfless friends.

2)Compound sentence—The sentence which contains two or more main clauses is called as compound sentence.

Eg. 1)We are learners and we are creative.

2)She is a teacher and she is helpful.

3)Trees are friends and they are selfless.

3)Complex sentence—The sentence containing one main clause and one or more sub-ordinate clause is called as complex sentence.

Eg. 1)We are learners who are creative.

2)She is a teacher who is helpful.

3)Trees are friends which are selfless.

Some more examples to clear the concept of simple, compound and complex sentences—

1)computer is a very useful machine—simple.

2)Computer is a machine and it is very useful.

3)Computer is a machine which is very useful.


1)John is a popular student.—simple.

2)John is a student and he is popular.—compound.

3)John is a student who is popular.—complex.


1)He tells interesting stories.—simple.

2)He tells stories and they are interesting.

3)He tells stories which are interesting.

Above examples will give you good idea of simple , compound and complex sentences and how we can write same sentence in three different ways without changing its meaning.

Further we will study transformation or synthesis of simple , compound and complex sentences.

Transformation(synthesis) of simple, compound , complex sentences—

Transformation or synthesis means changing simple sentence to compound or compound sentence to simple or complex and complex sentences to simple or compound sentences.

It is very handy skill to learn to transform sentences from simple, compound and complex sentences. You can express wide variety of meanings through it. Your speech will be more precise and easy to understand.

Most important thing is that you can easily summarize and compress the content without losing its soul. We will see the following transformations–

1)Compound to simple

2)Compound to complex—

3)Complex to simple—

4)Complex to compound—

5)Simple to compound—

6)Simple to complex—

Let us get started—

1)Transformation from compound to simple sentences—

We know compound sentence consisting of two or more main clauses connected by co- ordinating conjunctions like and, or, but, not only-but also, neither-nor, either-or, as well as, both-and etc. Basic idea behind transformation is that remove structure of one clause and transform it into a phrase.

For transforming them, we can use the following methods.

1)By using v1+ing of main verb in one clause.

Eg. 1)He learned new things and he became successful.

Simple sentence—Learning new things he became successful.

2)We will rain arrows and (we will) defeat you.

Simple—Raining arrows we will defeat you.

3)She cleaned home and (she) left for college.

Simple sentence—Cleaning home she left for college.

2)By using By+v1+ing—


Note—when there is one action and the means to do that action then we use by +v1+ing with the verb showing the means to do action.

Eg. 1)He studied hard and he stood first in the class.

Simple—He stood first in the class by studying hard.

2)People work hard and they earn money.

Simple—People earn money by working hard.

3)By using After+v1+ing —–

Eg. 1)They finished their match and went for the movie.

Simple—After finishing their match they went for the movie.

2)Sam answered the questions and sat down.

Simple—After answering the questions Sam sat down.

4)By using before+v1+ing.—

Eg. 1)He set alarm and then he went to bed.

Simple—Before going to bed he set alarm.

2)You called me and discussed things.

Simple—Before discussing things you called me.

5)By using without+v1+ing—

Eg. 1)He got up but he did not take books.

Simple—He got up without taking books.

2)Transformation from Compound to complex sentences—

We can transform compound sentences by transforming one main clause of compound sentence into the sub-ordinate clause.

Eg. 1)He ran fast and caught the thieves.

Complex—He ran fast so that he could catch the thieves.

2)I reached home and it was 8.00 pm.

Complex—I reached home when it was 8.00 pm.

3)Transformation from complex to simple sentences—

Complex sentences can be converted into simple by using the following methods.

Basic concept of this type of transformation is that we should remove sub- ordinate clause structure and change it into phrase which does not have subject and main verb.

1)By using present participle(v1+ing) form of main verb in subordinate clause—

we can transform complex sentence to simple—

Eg. 1)There is a big tree which gives fruits and flowers.

Simple—There is a big tree giving fruits and flowers.

2)When the prince noticed their mistakes, He got angry.

Simple—Noticing their mistakes the prince got angry.

3)We should eat food which provides essential nutrients.

Simple—We should eat food providing essential nutrients.

4)Patriot is a person who loves his country.

Simple—Patriot is a person loving his country.

5)Work that gives dignity is the best for me.

Simple—Work giving dignity is the best for me.

2)By using infinitive(To+v1)—

we can transform complex sentence to simple—

Complex sentence is transformed into simple by using to+v1—

Eg. 1)He ran away when he saw police.

Simple—He ran away to see police.

2)We had no food that we could eat.

Simple—-We had no food to eat.

3)By using Have+ ing +v3(Past participle)—

we can transform complex sentence to simple—

Eg.1)He finished his work, so he was happy.

Simple—Having finished his work he was happy.

2)when he solved all the sums, He started watching TV.

Simple—Having solved all the sums he started watching TV.

4)By using too—to—

we can transform complex sentence to simple—

Eg. 1)He was so tired that he could not stand up.

Simple—He was too tired to stand up.

2)She is so sad that she can not speak.

Simple—She is too sad to speak.

5)By using noun phrase

we can transform complex sentence to simple—

Eg. 1)He confessed that he had committed a crime.

Simple—He confessed his crime.

6)By using by+v1+ing—

we can transform complex sentence to simple—

Eg. 1)When he tried hard, he achieved success.

Simple—He achieved success by trying hard.

2)When we wish something from the heart, we get it.

Simple—We get something by wishing it from the heart.

7)By using noun for noun clause—

we can transform complex sentence to simple—

Eg. 1)You said that you were happy.

Simple—You declared your happiness.

8)By using adjective for  adjective clause—

Eg. 1)The person who is happy is liked by all.

Simple—Happy person is liked by all.

9)By using preposition with its object—

Eg.1)School where they learn is highly reputed.

Simple—Their learning school is highly reputed.

2)The park where they visit daily is a good place.

Simple—Their daily visiting park is a good place.

4)Complex to compound—

Basic idea behind this transformation is that we should transform sub-ordinate clause to main clause so that complex sentence will become compound.

Eg.1)He is the teacher who won this prize.

Compound—-He is the teacher and he has won this prize.

2)She has invented a device which is very useful.

Compound—She has invented a device and it is very useful.

5)Simple to compound—

Here we will make two main clauses from one main clause present in simple sentence and connect these two main clauses by co- ordinating conjunction like and, or, but, not only-but also, as well as, both-and, neither- nor, either-or

Eg.1)By asking difficult questions he confused me.

Compound—He asked difficult questions and (he) confused me.

2)Running fast she reached in time for the event.

Compound—She ran fast and (she) reached in time for the event.

6)Simple to complex—

We can transform simple sentence by adding one subordinate clause with main clause in the given sentence. For that we should prepare suitable clause as per meaning of the sentence and the requirement.

Eg.1)He is a versatile dancer.

Complex—He is a dancer who is versatile.

2)Fruits provide essential nutrients.

Complex—-Fruits provide nutrients which are essential.

In this way we have learnt about all the details about simple compound and complex sentences. Now we will see exercise about them to strengthen our knowledge.

Exercise for simple , compound and complex sentences—

1)This is the place where he was defeated.(Make simple)

Ans.-He was defeated here, or He was defeated at this place.

2)This is where the vicious circle starts.(make simple)

Ans.-The vicious circle starts from here.

3)He spent all his money carelessly and now he is repenting.

Ans.-Having spent all his money carelessly, he is repenting now.

4)My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order.(make simple)

Ans.-My doctors advised me to go home to get my affairs In order.

5)Anne decided to write the diary which her parents had given her.(Make simple by removing which)

Ans.-Anne decided to write the diary ,given by her parents.

6)I feel like a songbird whose wings have been torn off.(Make simple)(remove whose)

Ans.-I feel like a songbird with torn-off wings.

7)I wake up at 5.00 a.m. and go for morning walk.(make simple)

Ans.-Waking up at 5.00 a.m. I go for morning walk.


From the above discussion we can conclude that simple sentence has one main clause and compound sentence has 2 or more main clauses and complex sentence has one main and one or more sub-ordinate clause.

We can transform simple, compound and complex sentences by using various methods but important role is played by infinitive(To+v1)and gerund(v1+ing).Basic idea of transformation(synthesis) is that we have to create or remove clause structures as per sentence type without changing the meaning and tense of the sentence.

We are sure you will like this work and we request you to give your valuable suggestions and feedbacks through your comments.

With love+ Respect from team

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