"Based on the well-documented experiences of contemporary peers as well as those of past figures in the political arena, many of whom saw their professional reputations and their personal lives deeply and negatively affected as a consequence of releasing their own memoirs upon completing their tenures in leading public positions, the newly retired four-star general, whom, at his farewell press conference, the president himself had taken the time to praise as his most valuable asset in his administration, decided against writing his own book detailing his life, choosing instead to remove himself from the public eye to spend his golden years at his lakeside cottage with his wife of over 40 years, Dolores.''

Is this a simple, compound or complex sentence?

I can see only one complete sentence with phrases and some non-restrictive clauses.

Please, help me with this. I have posted this in several forums and haven't gotten any answer yet. Your help would be appreciated. 

Original Post
MNHD posted:

Is this a simple, compound or complex sentence?

Hello, MNHD, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

What is the source of the sentence? The quotation marks tell us that you did not write the sentence yourself, but they do not constitute a source citation. Please take a look at our policy on the use of quotations.

The sentence you have quoted contains only one independent clause: ". . . the newly retired four-star general . . . decided against writing his own book . . . ." Therefore it is not a compound sentence.

The sentence has two nonrestrictive relative clauses and a participial clause, which is likewise nonrestrictive with respect to the main clause. Is your understanding that nonrestrictive elements cannot render a sentence "complex"?

David, Moderator posted:
MNHD posted:

Is this a simple, compound or complex sentence?

Hello, MNHD, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

What is the source of the sentence? The quotation marks tell us that you did not write the sentence yourself, but they do not constitute a source citation. Please take a look at our policy on the use of quotations.

The sentence you have quoted contains only one independent clause: ". . . the newly retired four-star general . . . decided against writing his own book . . . ." Therefore it is not a compound sentence.

The sentence has two nonrestrictive relative clauses and a participial clause, which is likewise nonrestrictive with respect to the main clause. Is your understanding that nonrestrictive elements cannot render a sentence "complex"?

I found it from an image file on Facebook. My teachers asked me to answer it. I said it is a simple sentence because it has one independent clause, no dependent clause. A complex sentence has to have one independent clause and dependent clause. And in my opinion all the nonrestrictive clauses in my post are not dependent on the main clause. So I thought it is a simple.

Would you please tell me if it's a simple or complex sentence.

MNHD posted:
 [.  . . ] in my opinion all the nonrestrictive clauses in my post are not dependent on the main clause.

What else could the nonrestrictive clauses be dependent on? Is your view that they are dependent on something that is not present in the sentence? Or is it rather that they are not dependent clauses at all?

Presumably, there are only two choices: dependent or independent. If they are not dependent clauses, they must be independent clauses, capable of being stand-alone sentences unto themselves. Do you find these to be sentences?

Many of whom saw their professional reputations and their personal lives deeply and negatively affected as a consequence of releasing their own memoirs upon completing their tenures in leading public positions

Whom, at his farewell press conference, the president himself had taken the time to praise as his most valuable asset in his administration.

If so, then you are incorrect. Those are not independent clauses. They are relative clauses. The fact that they are nonrestrictive does not change the fact that they are dependent. In each case, "whom" is coreferent and dependent on a noun phrase outside the relative clause.

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