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Basic Sentence Elements

Basic Sentence Elements

The ability to identify the sentence elements and the understanding of their arrangement and their relationship are the first to learning writing skills.
Note: The six basic requirements of a written sentence are:
-A capital letter at the beginning.
-Punctuation at the end (a full stop, a question mark, or an exclamatory point).
-A subject.
-A predicate containing a complete verb phrase.
-Standard word order (commonly, S+V (complement).
-An independent clause; that is a complete idea that can stand alone with its own subject and verb.

1.       Identifying the subject: 

The subject is the person or things talked about. It may be expressed by a noun, a pronoun, or a group of words doing the work of noun.
The sun shines (subject -noun) 
They are playing (subject-pronoun)
The new settled and their two children visited the region (subject-a group words).
The subject is usually placed before the verb in a sentence except for interrogative sentences and for sentences beginning with the introductory particle “there”.
-          The room is closed. (Statement)      
Subject (The room) + Verb (Is) + complement (closed)
-          Is the room closed? (question)
Verb (Is) + Subject (the room) + complement (closed)
-          There are many rooms in the house.
The particle (there) +Verb+Subject+complement.
To identify the subject of a sentence, we usually put the question “who” for persons and “what” for things.
-The teacher explains the lesson?
Who explain the lesson? (The teacher is the subject)
-The meal was very tasty?
What was very tasty? (The meal is the subject)
Note: In imperative sentences either denoting (request or command) the subject is always you either singular or plural. It is understood but not stated.
   You go, look; stand…
   è To indentify Subject (see more explanation The parts of speech)

2.       Indentifying the verb

·         The verb is a word or a group of words expressing an action or a state. It is used to make a statement, to ask question, to make an order or command.
-She speaks three languages.    –they travelled to Belgium.
-Why were not you here yesterday?  - Listen to your elder brother.
·         The verb always agrees with the subject and can be identified by its from, its position, and its function.
·         Verbs take –s for the third person singular, -ed for the past tense and past participle (regular verbs), - ing for the present participle.

-the wind is blowing.                   –they will have graduated by next June.
·         The verb usually stand after the subject (except in questions) and before the complement.
The verb functions as the entire predicate of a sentence or as a part of predicate.
-The baby is crying. (Entire predicate)
-I have been translating some article. (Part of the predicate)
-These examples show the verb may consist of one word or a group of words called verb phrase.
·         -The verb phrase is composed of auxiliary or “helping” verbs and the main verb which always come last in the verb phrase.
·         The verb is of three types: transitive, intransitive, and linking.
-A transitive verb has an object. ( He sends his application)
-An intransitive verb has no object. ( They are walking.)
-A linking verb joins the subject to a noun, an adjective or an adverb in the predicate:
Roses are flowers.  –The mother feels tired.
-The boss will be on Monday.

3.       Identifying the object of the verb

·         The object is a simple word or a group of words which stands in close relationship to some verbs called transitive verbs to complete the meaning of the predicate.
-She bought flowers. (Simple object)
-Cats hate getting their feet wet. (Complex object)
-They could not understand what he is intending to say.
·         The object is of two kinds: The direct object which is the direct receiver or product of the action denoted by the transitive verb.
The indirect object usually indicates the person towards whom or for whom the action of the verb is directed.
èThe parents give their children some advice.
The parent (subject)+ give(Verb)+ their children(Indirect object)+some(direct object)
 èShe sent her family and her friend many letters and post cards.
She (verb)+sent(verb)+her family and her friend(Indirect object)+many letters and post cards(direct object)
To identify the object in the sentence, we ask the question “whom” for persons or “what” for things; to find the indirect object we ask the questions “to whom” or “for whom” or “to what” or “for what”.
èThey give financial aid to needy people.
What do they give? The give financial aid (direct object)
To whom do they give financial aid?  They give financial aid to needy people. (Indirect object)
-Sentences with the following verbs:”send”, “take”, “teach”, “write”, “give”, “offer”, “bring” may contain both a direct object and an indirect object.
-The direct object immediately follows the transitive verb which governs it. If the sentence contains also an indirect object, the indirect object precedes.
-The teacher explains the lessons ( Subject+Verb+direct Object)
-The teacher explains his student the lesson (subject+verb+Indirect object+direct object)

4.       The subject complement

èBesides the direct object and the indirect object some sentences may contain other complements. These complements are called subject complement and object complement.
èThe subject complement is a word joined to the  subject by a linking verb such as: be, feel, look, grow, appear, sound, seem ,become ,remain ,  and smell.
-He is tired. (Subject complemen.adjective)
-she was an actress.( subject complement.noun)
-The teacher will be on Friday.( subject complement adverb)

5.       The object complement

The object complement is a word or a group of words (noun, adjective, adverb) that refers to the direct object and usually occurs with the following verb: consider, elect, choose, select, appoint.
-She considers him a brave. (object complement)

-They elected him president.

Also check : How to make sentence clear and consice?

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