Examples of Simplex and Complex Sentences and their Characteristics

Examples of Simple and Complex Sentences – Language plays an important role in human life, it is not only used in everyday life, but is also needed to carry out all news, even to convey thoughts, views, and feelings. “Language is a series of sounds produced by the human speech organs consciously and that language is regulated by a system” (Parera, 2008:27).

Only with human language can communicate everything. Therefore, it is no exaggeration to say that language is the most important means of communication for human life, so that studying it in more depth will make it easier for someone to communicate with others.

Learning Indonesian on the other hand does require a lot of time. The reason is, there are many things that must be learned in Indonesian. One thing that must be learned is to make sentences with good and correct grammar. If you make a mistake in making a sentence, chances are that other people will not understand the subject being discussed. Therefore, a deep understanding is needed in studying grammar in Indonesian language lessons.

The sentence itself is the smallest unit of language that expresses the mind as a whole. So, each utterance can convey complete information. According to the online Big Indonesian Dictionary (KBBI), a sentence is a unit of language that relatively stands alone, has a final intonation pattern, and actually or potentially consists of clauses.

Meanwhile, quoting a book entitled Indonesian Standard Grammar by Moeliono and Dardjowidjojo (1988: 254), a sentence is the smallest part of an utterance or text (discourse) which expresses a complete thought grammatically. Referring to the quote, a sentence is a group or arrangement of several words that express thoughts, both orally and in writing.

The main structure of Indonesian sentences is quite simple, namely only in the form of a subject and predicate (S–P). This core structure can be expanded into several basic sentence types. In general, there are four types of sentences in Indonesian that need to be understood, namely simplex, complex, compound, and mixed compound sentences.

In fact, we often encounter simple and complex sentences in everyday life and are often studied in grammar rules. Simplex sentences are sentences that consist of one main verb or one clause. This sentence is usually also referred to as a single sentence. In a simplex sentence, there are all the required elements. Meanwhile, complex sentences are sentences that have two predicates or two or more main verbs. Complex sentences are also often called compound sentences.

To find out more about simple and complex sentences, you can understand the meaning, characteristics, and examples below.

Understanding Simplex and Complex Sentences

Alwi (2003) says that a sentence is the smallest unit of language in spoken or written form, which expresses a complete thought. Traditionalists, who in Indonesian grammar were pioneered by Takdir Alisjahbana, limit sentences with the following formula.

  • The smallest unit of linguistic form that expresses a complete thought.
  • The smallest set of words that contain a complete meaning.

Expressions containing complete thoughts are characteristic of the opinion of the traditionalists because the main basis of their study of language is the content of language or philosophy. According to Mandang (2015: 163), sentences are syntactic units that are formed through basic constituents, and are equipped with final intonation.

1. Simplex or Single Sentences

Simplex sentences are also called single sentences, which are sentences that only consist of one clause or one predicate structure. The elements in a simplex sentence contain only one piece of information which is indicated by the function of the predicate. Simplex sentences are sentences that are formed from complete clauses (Kridalaksana, 1999:172).

According to Putrayasa (2006:1), a single sentence is a sentence that has one independent clause. That means there is only one predicate in a single sentence. The element is a clause marker. Subject and predicate elements are always required to be present in every sentence. Objects, complements, and adverbs of nature are not required to be present in sentences, including in single sentences. If the predicate still needs to be completed, then the complementary elements are presented.

Based on the type of word or phrase that fills the predicate, simple or single sentences can be divided into four types which are given additional names or labels according to the type of word or phrase, namely nominal, adjective, verbal, and numeral.


  • We are UNIMA Manado students (nominal sentence).
  • Mount Lokon often goes berserk (verbal sentence).
  • The smart kid’s answer is very precise (adjective sentence).
  • The cows are grazing (verbal sentence).
  • The rich man’s car is eight (numeral sentence).
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From the description above, it can be concluded that simplex sentences, which are also called single sentences, have the structure of a subject and predicate (O, K). That is, it only has one sentence predicate.

2. Complex or compound sentences

Complex sentences or multilevel compound sentences are sentences that have a main clause and a subordinate clause. The main clause is the main clause which is followed by subordinate clauses. The main clause can be a complete sentence but the subordinating clause needs the main clause to become a coherent sentence. The relationship between the main sentence and the subordinate clause in complex sentences is unequal (Kridalaksa 1999:173). According to Finoza (2008: 155), a compound sentence is a combined sentence of two or more single sentences. In other words, a compound sentence is a sentence that at least consists of a subject and two predicates.

There are two types of complex sentences, namely paratactic complex sentences and hypotactic complex sentences. Paratactic complexes are formed from combining two or more clauses that have parallel meanings. Meanwhile, hypotactic complex sentences are combinations of two or more clauses using conjunctions that create logical dependence in the overall complex clause or it can be said that the clauses in hypotactic complex sentences have unequal meanings.

Complex sentence forms are analyzed to describe the patterns or sentence systems. The form can be seen from the syntactic functions and syntactic categories. Syntax is the science that studies the formation of a sentence
(Markrub, 2014). Syntax is also part of linguistics which studies sentence structure (Hasanudin, 2018).

Characteristics of Simplex and Complex Sentences

Simplex sentences can be interpreted as a sentence consisting of one clause and one main verb. Simplex sentences are better known as single sentences. Simple or simple sentences have a subject and a predicate. However, in simplex sentences, complements, objects, and adverbs can also be added.

Compared to simple sentences, complex sentences consist of two or more clauses. In short, a complex sentence consists of a main sentence or what is commonly called a main clause and a subordinate clause. The subordinate clause functions as a complement to the main sentence which is interconnected. There are two types of complex sentences, including paratactic and hypothetical. Paratactic consists of two structures that have parallel meanings. Paratactic uses conjunctions and, but, or, and whereas . Meanwhile, hypothetical is a sentence that has two unequal structures. The conjunctions used in hypothetical are if, because, when, and so .

The following are the characteristics and examples of simple and complex sentences.

1. Characteristics of Simplex Sentences

Simplex sentences have the following characteristics:

  • Simplex sentences contain one complete clause, which can be in the form of subject–predicate, subject–predicate–object, subject–predicate–object–adverb, or subject–predicate–object–adverb-complement.
  • The sentence is simple because it consists of only one clause.
  • Generally, simplex sentences contain only one incident or event.
  • Simplex sentences do not use conjunctions or conjunctions.
  • This sentence also does not use commas.

2. Characteristics of Complex Sentences

Complex sentences have the following characteristics:

  • There are two events or occurrences in a complex sentence.
  • Structures in complex sentences are separated using commas or conjunctions (conjunctions).
  • Having two subjects and a predicate in a complex sentence.

Examples of Simplex and Complex Sentences

1. Examples of Simplex Sentences

The following is an example of a simplex sentence.

  • Elfina is playing volleyball on the field.
  • Nurwanto kicked the ball.
  • Pina’s mother is a teacher at SMAN 21 Jakarta.
  • Dhea washes the dishes in the kitchen.
  • Mother sweeps in the yard.
  • The teacher teaches his students to write.
  • Juventus signed Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid.
  • Erna watched a horror movie at the cinema with her friends tonight.
  • Avelin cleans up the trash behind his house.
  • Ikhsan wears a new uniform on the first day of school.
  • Said observed the plants around his house.
  • The hunter shoots his quarry on target.
  • The tiger pounced on its prey with gusto.
  • Arman is going on vacation to Malaysia.
  • Dina read the Whatsapp chat from Suci.
  • Pambudi describes his younger brother a natural landscape.
  • Pak Embo signed the agreement yesterday afternoon.
  • PLN officers climbed the tower without any equipment.
  • Mother bought her daughter story books.
  • Meta was successful with his swimming championship in Karanganyar Regency.
  • Shafira plays badminton.
  • Rani looks at the natural scenery.
  • Rina planted a tree.
  • Reni is watering the plants.
  • Randika is looking at the nature around.
  • Rizal observed the plants around his house.
  • Angga and Sinta draw a mountain.
  • Little sister crying in the room.
  • Mother sweeps in the yard.
  • Sister cooking in the kitchen.
  • Adi is writing bibliography.
  • The driver hit a tree because the brakes failed.
  • Meita buys vegetables at the market.
  • Syifa cleans up the trash behind her house.
  • Mbak Dira is making a cake.
  • Uncle is reading the newspaper.
  • Aunt is watching television.
  • The teacher teaches his students to read.
  • Nagita Slavina sang Indonesia Raya.
  • Roman reads a book in the library.
  • Feri and Udin go fishing in the river
  • The farmer plants rice in the fields.
  • Eki is watching a horror movie at the cinema tonight.
  • The painter sold his paintings to rich people.
  • The tiger pounced on its prey with gusto.
  • Her grandmother died this morning.
  • Jordi fell off the bike.
  • They found the car parked at the edge of the forest.
  • Nurwanto kicked the flower plant.
  • Reza crossed very carefully.
  • Aldi hit the bell very hard.
  • Irvan wears a new uniform.
  • Ainun wore red shoes during OSPEK.
  • Paula turned off her computer five minutes ago.
  • Nisa is learning to read and count at home.
  • Jelita was drinking soda.
  • Joko buys groceries.
  • Ayana likes watching Korean dramas.
  • Father is looking for a living.
  • The police caught the gang of thieves.
  • Liya sells some of her jewelry.
  • Devina burst into tears.
  • Nur found it on the street.
  • Wanto turned on the lights in front of the house.
  • Yasmin throws trash in the trash.
  • My brother married his friend Enggar.
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2. Examples of Complex Sentences

In contrast to the simplex, there are two types of complex sentences, namely paratactic and hypothetical complexes.

a. Paratactic Complex Sentences

Paratactic complex sentences are complex sentences that consist of two structures, but have equivalent or parallel meanings. Paratactic complex sentences use the conjunctions and, but, or, and whereas . The following is an example of a paratactic complex sentence.

  • Aunt buys beef and mutton at the impromptu market.
  • Linda was confused to choose between tongseng or young goat satay.
  • Mom was shopping at Alfamart this afternoon, but not with dad.
  • Saiful is always eager to help his mother, while his younger brother prefers to play.
  • Agus is always eager to help his father, while Roni loves karaoke.
  • Arya has learned to save, while Shafira is good at washing.
  • I’ve tried very hard, while he just silent.
  • Latif went to school, while Reno went to the fields.
  • Nanda had a great effort, but the result was still the same.
  • Mother cooks in the kitchen and Ani studies in the room.
  • Bats sleep during the day and look for food at night.
  • Dad likes iced drinks, while mom likes hot drinks.
  • During the rainy season, floods and landslides often occur.
  • Sukma likes fried chicken, while Ilyas likes grilled chicken.
  • Acha ate meatballs and Darman only drank orange juice.
  • Bagus goes to school by bicycle, while Roni walks.
  • Verlina shopped at the market, but she set out on her own.
  • Nurlita planted roses and she was very diligent in taking care of them.
  • Father goes to work, while mother takes younger sibling to school every morning.
  • Lilis bought toast and martabak at the Flower Market.
  • Navira doesn’t have much money, but she saves diligently.
  • Latif went to school, while Reno went to the fields.
  • Father works as a security guard at a bank, while mother works as a clerk at a university.

b. Hypothetical Complex Sentences

A hypothetical complex sentence is a complex sentence that has two structures, but the meaning is unequal or not parallel. The two structures are combined into one sentence followed by the conjunctions if, because, when, and so . The following is an example of a hypothetical complex sentence.

  • I want to go to Saudi Arabia if I have enough money.
  • Fina didn’t go to school today because she was being treated at the hospital.
  • Nisa was not at home when the earthquake was in progress.
  • Eat and drink a lot to be healthy and stay strong.
  • Do not throw garbage anywhere, including in the river because it can cause flooding during the rainy season.
  • Erna watched a horror movie at the cinema with her friends tonight, so she didn’t do her schoolwork.
  • Mother closed all the windows when it got dark.

For more details in understanding examples of simple and complex sentences, consider the following table.

No. Simplex Sentence Complex Sentences
1. Father goes to the office. Father went to the office, while Mulyati went to school.
2. The house is old. The house is old, but looks good.
3. Mother is sewing. Mother sewed clothes and decorative flags.
4. The book is old. The book is old, but useful.
5. Noni waters the flowers. Noni watered the flowers, her sister helped her.

These are the characteristics and examples of simple and complex sentences in Indonesian lessons. Hopefully the explanation above can help you learn Indonesian. Eager to learn!

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