A sentence is a group of words that says something, all by itself. It is complete; it can stand alone. It is followed by a period or, in certain cases, a question mark or an exclamation point. In grammatical terms, a sentence is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate.
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A sentence is a group of words that says something, all by itself. It is complete; it can stand alone. It is followed by a period or, in certain cases, a question mark or an exclamation point.
In grammatical terms, a sentence is a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate. The subject is the person or thing you're talking about. The predicate to predicate means to say or declare is what you're saying about it. For example:.
It is fundamental that a subject or a predicate by itself doesn't say anything. It isn't a sentence. In order to form a sentence you must have both a subject and a predicate. My favorite program has been discontinued for the summer. She is always busy doing odd jobs around the house. Many of the members have resigned.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating. You notice, of course, that in these sentences the subject comes first; that's the normal order. But you can't depend upon that. Often, for emphasis or variety, we put the predicate first transposed order—turned around. Each example below of transposed order has been rewritten to indicate the more usual subject-predicate order:. Even more commonly the predicate may be split up, part of it coming at the beginning of the sentence, part at the end.
This order is sometimes called mixed. Common sense tells you that the expressions "at the beginning of the season" and "suddenly" are not part of the person you're talking about the subject , but part of what you're saying about him the predicate.
Draw a single line under any word that belongs with the subject, a double line under any word that belongs with the predicate. Every word in the sentence must be underlined. Example: After dinner we all sat around and told stories. So far, every sentence you have been working with has stated or declared something.
Such a sentence is called declarative. It is followed by a period. The exclamatory sentence is different from the others: it doesn't follow any rules for sentence structure.
In fact, as you see in these examples, it may look like a question or a command. There are only three things you can say about it:. Interrogative and imperative sentences introduce some interesting problems in finding subject and predicate. Interrogative sentences are often in transposed order. To find the subject and predicate of such a sentence you must rephrase it as a statement the answer expected :. Imperative sentences also have a slight peculiarity.
The subject is nearly always the word you, even though it isn't expressed. It is called you understood. Label the following sentences D for declarative, Int for interrogative, or Imp for imperative.
Example: Please leave your wraps at the door. Imp Answers on page If the subject is you understood, write the word in. Example: Which of the pencils has soft lead: Answers on page The complete subject is The upper branches of the tree; but the main word is branches. This is called the simple subject. The complete predicate is tossed violently in the high wind; but the main word is tossed. This is called the verb, or simple predicate. Similarly, in every sentence, the main parts of the complete subject and predicate are the simple subject and the verb.
From here on, when this book refers to subject and verb, the word subject means simple subject. In order to analyze any sentence grammatically, you must be able to pick out the verb and the subject. As a rule it is easier to find the verb first, since that is the operative word, the word that makes the statement or tells what happened. Then, by asking yourself who? What happened? Something crash-landed. That's the verb. What crash-landed?
The subject is one. Somebody stood —that's the verb. Who stood? The subject is gentleman. The transposed order is no problem. Using the same method you can work out the structure of sentences beginning with there:. The verb is is —a very common little verb. What is? The answer is fire. A fire is in the fireplace. Sentences of this construction are very common in English. The word there is never the subject; it's a signal that the sentence is transposed—that the subject follows the verb.
The word there in such a construction is called an expletive something that fills out the sentence , but the name isn't important. Just remember that there is not the subject. A verb consisting of more than one word is called a verb phrase. In the sentences above, the words which have been added to break, or breaking, or broken, to vary the meaning or the tense, are called auxiliaries helpers.
They are all "verb words"; that is, they can all be used as verbs:. However, when a verb consists of several words, it may be interrupted by another word—or words. This is particularly true in questions:. You will see that these interrupting words are not "verb words" and are not therefore part of the verb.
The subject of verb forms is fairly complicated and will be studied more completely in Chapter 9, but you should now be able to recognize subjects and verbs. In the first practice exercise below, every verb is a single word; but in the second exercise remember that a verb may contain as many as four words. Underline the subject simple subject with a single line, the verb with a double line.
Supply you you understood where necessary. Example: Against the deep blue of the sky a solitary eagle soared lazily. Answers on page Follow the same instructions as in the preceding exercise, but watch for verb phrases. The word compound means having two or more parts. It is a word used frequently in grammar. For different temperaments, wealth, power, or simple comfort may provide the chief purpose in life. The words and, or, and but are called conjunctions joining words.
They will be discussed in Chapter When a verb phrase is compound, the auxiliaries are often omitted in the second third, etc. Underline the subject with one line, the predicate verb with two lines.
If either subject or predicate is compound, write a C above each part of the compound. Example: Why don't you wait and see the parade? Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, and King Lear are usually considered the four great tragedies of Shakespeare. The word complement not to be confused with compliment comes from the same root as the word complete. In grammar a complement is a word that completes the predicate. Its normal position is after the verb, and it is, of course, part of the predicate.
The natural question is What? A complement can be considered anything that answers the question What? Cake and cousin are complements. A complement, unlike the subject and the verb, is not an essential part of every sentence. Some verbs do not require complements:.
Essential English Grammar
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Essential English Grammar by Philip Gucker (Paperback, 1966)
Add to Wishlist. By: Philip Gucker. Book Reg. Product Description Product Details This English grammar has been specially designed for readers with limited learning time, who wish to gain command of all the important points of grammar needed for everyday speech and comprehension, yet who do not wish to be unnecessarily burdened with archaic, highly literary, or seldom used forms. Summarizing all the major constructions, principles, and basic terminology, this book will provide readers with a firm foundation in essential English grammar. The text proceeds in easy, natural steps, beginning with simple sentence structure and advancing logically to more difficult constructions.