A simple sentence (sometimes called an independent clause) is a sentence that contains a subject and a predicate (a verb). It also must express a complete thought. This follows the rules of syntax in English grammar.
A simple sentence is not defined by how short it is. A simple sentences is often short and uncomplicated. But it is not limited by the number of words used to express the thought. For example:
- "Bill reads". This is a simple sentences. "Bill" is the subject and "reads" is the action (verb).
- "Being an English teacher with a penchant for syntactical complexity, I love to read simple sentences upon getting up and before going to bed." This is still a simple sentence even though it uses more words.
Simple or dependent?
A simple sentence or independent clause is one that has a meaning to a reader or listener. If the sentence does not complete the thought, it may be a dependent clause. A dependent clause is one that does not express a complete thought. By itself it is a sentence fragment. It may look like a simple sentence, but it will not make sense on its own.
- "Bill reads". Again, a simple sentence. Bill (a noun for a subject) reads (the action that completes the thought).
- "He reads". Who reads? Who is he? This is a dependent clause. It is dependent on another clause to tell us who "he" is. "Bill has a hobby; He reads."
Simple sentence Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.