Simple, Compound, and Complex Sentence Trivia Challenge

Reviewed by Juliette Firla
Juliette Firla, MA |
K-12 English Expert
Review Board Member
Juliette is a middle school English teacher at Sacred Heart of Greenwich, Connecticut. Juliette earned a BA in English/Language Arts Teacher Education from Elon University (2016-2020) and an MA in Teaching Writing from Johns Hopkins University (Apr 2023-Dec 2025). She holds a Classroom Teacher license from the Connecticut State Department of Education, obtained in July 2021. Juliette possesses strong skills in English language arts, writing, editing, and literature study. She has a deep passion for working with young people and contributing to the education of America's youth in the classroom.
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Quizzes Created: 7 | Total Attempts: 695,131
Questions: 20 | Viewed: 463,856

1.

What type of a sentence is this: "Barbara and Joanne giggled all night."?

Answer: Simple sentence
Explanation:
The given sentence, "Barbara and Joanne giggled all night," is a simple sentence because it consists of only one independent clause. It does not contain any dependent clauses or coordinating conjunctions to join multiple independent clauses. The sentence expresses a complete thought with a subject ("Barbara and Joanne") and a predicate ("giggled all night").
2.

What type of a sentence is this: "John went to school today, but James remained at home."?

Answer: Compound sentence
Explanation:
The given sentence is a compound sentence because it consists of two independent clauses joined by the coordinating conjunction "but." Each clause can stand alone as a complete sentence, with "John went to school today" and "James remained at home" expressing separate ideas.
3.

What type of a sentence is this: "We decided to go fishing and camp out at the lake."?

Answer: Simple sentence
Explanation:
A simple sentence consists of only one independent clause that has a subject and a predicate, and it expresses a complete thought. In the sentence, "We decided to go fishing and camp out at the lake," there is one subject ("We") and one compound verb ("decided to go fishing and camp out"). Although there are two actions described (going fishing and camping out), they are part of the same clause and connected by the coordinating conjunction "and" within the predicate, not forming separate clauses.
4.

What type of a sentence is this: "She wanted to go to the store, but it was raining heavily."?

Answer: Compound Sentence
Explanation:
A compound sentence consists of two or more independent clauses joined by coordinating conjunctions (e.g., "but," "and," "or"). In the given sentence, the independent clauses "She wanted to go to the store" and "it was raining heavily" are joined by the coordinating conjunction "but," making it a compound sentence.
5.

What type of a sentence is this: "Since we had only gone a mile from camp, we decided to return before dark."?

Answer: Complex Sentence
Explanation:
The given sentence contains a dependent clause and an independent clause. " The independent clause is "we decided to return before dark." The dependent clause is “Since we had only gone a mile from camp,” as it includes a subordinating conjunction, “since”. Therefore, the sentence is a complex sentence.
6.

What type of a sentence is this: "After the tornado hit, my house was completely destroyed."?

Answer: Complex Sentence
Explanation:
The given sentence is a complex sentence because it consists of two clauses, an independent clause "my house was completely destroyed" and a dependent clause "After the tornado hit." The dependent clause "After the tornado hit" provides additional information about when the action in the independent clause occurred.
7.

What type of a sentence is this: "Our vacation should be exciting, but it should also be restful."?

Answer: Compound Sentence
Explanation:
The sentence "Our vacation should be exciting, but it should also be restful" is a compound sentence consisting of two independent clauses joined by the coordinating conjunction "but." It expresses the desire for both excitement and relaxation during the vacation, emphasizing the need for a balance between the two experiences.
8.

What type of a sentence is this: "Older television sets had tubes; the newest models, which take less space, are digital televisions."?

Answer: Compound Sentence
Explanation:
The sentence is a compound sentence as it consists of two independent clauses joined by a semicolon. It contrasts older television sets with tubes to newer models, which are digital and take up less space. Both clauses express complete ideas and are of equal importance within the sentence.
9.

What type of a sentence is this: "After finding out that he bought a used shirt, he went to the store to return it."?

Answer: Complex sentence
Explanation:
A complex sentence contains one independent clause and at least one dependent clause that are connected by a subordinating conjunction or a relative pronoun. In the sentence "After finding out that he bought a used shirt, he went to the store to return it," there is one independent clause and one dependent clause:
Independent Clause: "He went to the store to return it"
Dependent Clause: "After finding out that he bought a used shirt" (introduced by the subordinating conjunction "After")
The dependent clause provides additional context about why he went to the store, but it cannot stand alone as a complete sentence.
10.

What type of a sentence is this: "Buying new footwear is my hobby."?

Answer: Simple Sentence 
Explanation:
The given sentence "Buying new footwear is my hobby" is a simple sentence because it consists of only one independent clause. It expresses a complete thought and does not contain any dependent clauses or conjunctions to connect multiple independent clauses.
11.

Rey waited for the train all night.

Answer: Simple sentence
Explanation:
The sentence "Rey waited for the train all night." is a simple sentence because it contains one independent clause expressing a complete thought. It has a subject ("Rey") and a predicate ("waited for the train all night"), making it a straightforward statement without additional clauses or conjunctions.
12.

I looked for Joe and Mary at the airport.

Answer: Simple sentence
Explanation:
A simple sentence consists of one independent clause, and it typically contains a subject and a predicate. In the given sentence, "I looked for Joe and Mary at the airport," there is one subject ("I") and one predicate ("looked for Joe and Mary at the airport"). It expresses a complete thought and doesn't contain additional independent clauses or complex structures.
13.

I like tea, but Mary likes coffee.

Answer: Compound sentence
Explanation:
The given statement consists of two independent clauses joined by the coordinating conjunction "but." Each clause can stand alone as a complete sentence, expressing a complete thought. Therefore, it is a compound sentence.
14.

What type of a sentence is this: "I want to be a ballerina when I grow up."?

Answer: Simple sentence
Explanation:
A simple sentence consists of a single independent clause that has a subject and a predicate. In this case, the subject is "I," and the predicate is "want to be a ballerina when I grow up," making it a simple sentence despite the presence of a when-clause that might make it seem more complex. This when-clause does not stand alone as an independent clause; therefore, the sentence does not fit the definitions of complex, compound, or compound-complex sentences.
15.

The rain started as soon as they left home to attend a meeting.

Answer: Complex sentence
Explanation:
The given sentence is a complex sentence because it consists of an independent clause "The rain started" and a dependent clause "as soon as they left home to attend a meeting." In the sentence, the subordinating conjunction is "as soon as." It introduces the dependent clause and shows the relationship between the two clauses. The dependent clause cannot stand alone as a complete sentence and relies on the independent clause for meaning.
16.

Which of the following sentences is an example of a simple sentence?

Answer: Sarah enjoys reading books and watching movies.
Explanation:
This is an example of a simple sentence because it contains only one independent clause. It has one subject, "Sarah," and one predicate, "enjoys reading books and watching movies," which includes a compound verb. A simple sentence can include compound elements (like verbs) but does not contain a dependent clause or more than one independent clause. The other sentences are compound or complex, containing multiple clauses.
17.

Identify the compound sentence from the options below:

Answer: Jane likes to play tennis, but she prefers swimming.
Explanation:
A compound sentence consists of at least two independent clauses joined by a conjunction. In this sentence, "Jane likes to play tennis" and "she prefers swimming" are two independent clauses connected by the conjunction "but," making it a compound sentence. The other options represent simple or complex sentences, not compound sentences.
18.

Which of the following sentences is a compound-complex sentence?

Answer: Although it was raining, they decided to go to the beach, but they brought umbrellas just in case.
Explanation:
A compound-complex sentence contains at least two independent clauses and at least one dependent clause.
"Although it was raining, they decided to go to the beach, but they brought umbrellas just in case."
Dependent clause: "Although it was raining" (begins with the subordinating conjunction "although")
Independent clauses: "they decided to go to the beach" and "they brought umbrellas just in case" (connected by the coordinating conjunction "but")
19.

Which of the following sentences is a compound sentence?

Answer: She likes to read books, but her brother prefers watching movies. 
Explanation:
A compound sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses (complete thoughts) that are connected by a coordinating conjunction (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). In option B, "She likes to read books" and "her brother prefers watching movies" are two independent clauses connected by the coordinating conjunction "but," making it a compound sentence.
20.

Which of the following sentences is a simple sentence?

Answer: The book that I borrowed from the library is due tomorrow.
Explanation:
A simple sentence consists of a single independent clause and has a subject and a predicate. "The book that I borrowed from the library is due tomorrow" qualifies as a simple sentence despite having a dependent clause ("that I borrowed from the library") because the main clause ("The book is due tomorrow") stands independently as a complete sentence. The other options contain multiple clauses coordinated or subordinated in ways that make them either compound or complex sentences, not simple.
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