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This content is taken from the University of Reading's online course, An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study. Join the course to learn more.

Sentence structure

Sentence structure is a very complex area, and on this course you do not need to be able to analyse sentences in a lot of detail. However, some understanding is important for you to be able to construct grammatically accurate sentences.

In particular you need to understand:

  • how different parts of speech work grammatically in different ways

  • the difference between a clause and a phrase

  • how to “chunk”, ie split sentences into clauses or phrases

  • how conjunctions link clauses

  • how prepositions link phrases

  • how some adverbs link ideas in different sentences.


In addition, being able to “chunk” accurately (ie split sentences into clauses or phrases) will:

  • help improve your reading comprehension

  • improve the grammatical accuracy of your writing.

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This article is from the free online course:

An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study

University of Reading