Knowing how to combine sentences is essential when writing. If you were unable to properly combine sentences, each sentence would be very short, simple and boring. Check out these helpful exercises and worksheets if you’d like to practice combining sentences.
Exercises for Combining Sentences
If your writing is full of short, simple sentences, readers may get bored quickly. Set your writing apart with these techniques for combining shorter sentences. After finishing the basics, you can go on to subordinating conjunctions, combining common subjects and verbs, and combining sentences within a paragraph.
Sentence Combining: The Basics
Simple sentences are independent clauses. You can combine the following sentences with a coordinating conjunction, known in the FANBOYS acronym (for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so). See if you can tell which coordinating conjunction would best connect the following sentences. For more practice (and the answers), click on the printable worksheet below.
1) She went to work. She did not want to go.
2) The scientists trained him well. They helped him find a job when his training was through.
3) Polar bears are fierce, territorial animals. Grizzly bears are the same.
4) Mark told me not to come with him. He looked longingly at me as I left.
5) I will not give in to you. I will not let you push me around.
6) My father loves to drive during the day. His nursing home lets him drive before 9pm.
7) My cat was hungry. It had not eaten since breakfast.
8) They couldn't think of anything better to do. They decided to baby-sit for the family.
9) A book can be a lot of fun to read. A book can be boring.
10) I want to go on a date with Javier. I’ll ask him out.
Sentence Combining: Using Subordinating Conjunctions
When combining independent clauses and dependent clauses (which can’t stand alone as complete sentences), you can use subordinating conjunctions (after all, although, because, before, however, therefore, until, which). This may require a semicolon.
1) They made plans to go. They ended up not being able to make it.
2) Some say that dogs are friendlier than cats. Cats can also be extremely loving.
3) I can’t rest. I need to finish my time machine.
4) Dr. Johnson ate a big meal. He went to work afterward.
5) I simply cannot get out of bed. I am too tired.
6) Don't give me a hard time. We've been close friends for so long.
7) We don't believe the way you do. Our culture is very different from yours.
8) Hannah is attending Brown University. It was her first choice.
9) The two brothers weren't always this close. When their mother died, they became closer.
10) I refused to talk about it. I was put in jail.
Sentence combining using subordinating conjunctionsClick to View & Download
Sentence Combining: Subjects and Verbs
Sentences with the same subjects and verbs can sound repetitive in writing. Read the following sentences to determine whether they share the same subject or the same verb. Combine the sentences however you can.
1) Mr. Brown walked to the store. His pet monkey Ralph walked along with him.
2) The cactus is thirsty. The cactus is not getting enough sunlight.
3) My mug was in the cupboard. My mug is no longer in the cupboard.
4) Drew's dog jumped into the air. Janine's dog jumped into the air as well.
5) The book fell to the floor. It opened to a page I had never read before.
6) Your face has scars on it. Your face looks friendly.
7) Why did you say that word? It was extremely rude.
8) Everyone is lying to me. They want to protect me.
9) Stop dancing like that. Sit back down in your chair.
10) Thomas' friends seemed so strange. They were being friendly, though.
Sentence combining using subjects verbsClick to View & Download
Sentence Combining: Paragraphs
You’ve mastered coordinating conjunctions, subordinating conjunctions and finding common subjects and verbs. Now it’s time to combine sentences in a paragraph. Combine as many sentences as you can in the following paragraph using the above examples to guide you.
The Boston Red Sox were three games down. The Red Sox had to win the next four games to advance. Fans were worried. Boston had not won a World Series since 1918. No team had ever come back in the playoffs from a three-game deficit. All of the fans knew this. Red Sox fans watched anxiously as the fourth game of the ALCS began. Yankees fans watched confidently. They also knew that anything could happen. People wanted to watch a good series. They did not expect it to be such a nail-biter! David Roberts stole second base. This move would be remembered as the turning point of the series. Nobody believed the Red Sox would win that year. The Red Sox won that year. The Yankees would not win the World Series for another five years. In 2009, the Yankees won the World Series.
Sentence combining using paragraphsClick to View & Download
Keeping Your Writing Interesting
Now that you’ve had lots of experience combining sentences, your writing will be more engaging for your readers. Keep up the practice by reviewing the rules for combining sentences. For more ideas on teaching this skill in the classroom, check out activities for teaching sentence combining.