Sentence structure
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Sentence structure

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Sentence structure Sentence structure Document Transcript

  • Business Communication Sentence Structure By Amir Jamil What is a sentence? A sentence is a series of words expressing one or more ideas. Each idea in a sentence is expressed by a clause. Examples: • The boy threw the ball. • The boy threw the ball, and his friend caught it. • The boy who was wearing the green shirt threw the ball. What is a clause? A clause is the combination of a subject and a verb. When you have a subject and verb, you have a clause. A clause is a single idea, expressed by at least two elements: the subject and the verb. Sometimes there is a third element, the complement. • The subject is the actor performing the action. • The verb is the action being performed. • The complement is the target of the action.
  • There are two types of clause: 1. Independent clause: a subject and verb that make a complete thought. Independent clauses are called independent because they can stand on their own and make sense. 2. Dependent clause: a subject and verb that don’t make a complete thought. Dependent clauses always need to be attached to an independent clause (they are too weak to stand alone). 3. Subject Verb Complement: The boy threw the ball. Word groups: It is helpful to think of the elements of a clause as word groups. • The subject group is always a noun and the words modifying that noun, or a group of words acting as a noun. • The verb group is always one or more verbs and the words modifying them. • The complement group can be one of two things: • A noun and its modifiers, or a group of words acting as a noun • An adjective and its modifiers, or a group of words acting as an adjective Subject group Verb group Complement group: The boy threw the ball. The tall boy quickly threw the orange ball.
  • Whoever had the ball should have thrown it. The ball was really quite heavy. Throwing a heavy ball can be difficult. There are four functions for sentences: 1. Making statements (declaratives): The girl shot a goal. 2. Asking questions (interrogatives): Did the girl shoot a goal? 3. Commands (imperatives): Shoot the goal! 4. Voicing exclamations (exclamatives): What a great goal! Expanding the sentence: To expand a sentence means to add more clauses to the original clause. This allows the communication of more than one idea in a single sentence. Kinds of Sentences: There are three kinds of sentence: simple, compound, and complex. SIMPLE: A simple sentence consists of one main(or independent) clause. To be complete, a simplesentence must have at least one subject and one verb. e.g., The man went to the store. A simple sentence may also have a compound subject and/or a compound verb. e.g., The man and his son went to the store and bought somemilk.
  • A simple sentence is a single clause standing alone, expressing a single idea. It is also known as an independent clause. • The boy threw the ball. • The boy’s friend caught the ball. • The boy was blamed for the broken window. COMPOUND: A compound sentence has at leasttwo main (or independent) clauses, connected bycoordinating conjunctions (and, but, or, nor, for, so, yet). Each clause has its own subject(s) and verb(s). The second clause should be separated from the firstby a comma in front of the coordinating conjunction. e.g., The man went to the store, and the salesclerk sold him some milk. A compound sentence is composed of two or more clauses, joined end-to-end. There are two common ways to join two clauses: • Use a semicolon. • Use a comma and a coordinating conjunction – for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. • The boy threw the ball; his friend caught it. • The boy threw the ball, and his friend caught it. • The boy threw the ball, but his friend couldn’t catch it.
  • COMPLEX: A complex sentence has one main (orindependent) clause and one or more dependent (orsubordinate) clauses. e.g., When an atom is split, it releases neutrons. A complex sentence is a simple sentence where one or more clauses have been inserted as adjectives, adverbs or nouns. These inserted clauses are also known as dependent clauses. To insert a clause into a simple sentence, use connecting words like conjunctions and pronouns: • Which, that, who, where, when, how, why, what, whoever, because, since, although, as soon as, etc. • The boy who caught the ball threw it to first base. (Adjective clause) • The boy threw the ball as soon as he caught it. (Adverb clause) • Whoever had the ball should have thrown it to first base. (Noun clause) • It is also possible to make a complex-compound sentence by both attaching and inserting clauses. • The boy who caught the ball threw it to first base, but he didn’t throw it fast enough. Independent clause Adjective clause
  • Using connecting words effectively: Connecting words are used to express the relationship between word groups or clauses. Changing a connecting word can alter the entire meaning of a sentence. To use connecting words effectively, you must choose the word that expresses the correct relationship. • The boy caught the ball, and the game was over. • Expresses addition and reinforcement of ideas • Implies that the boy catching the ball is what finished the game. • The boy caught the ball, but the game was over. • Expresses an opposition between ideas • Implies that the boy caught the ball when it was too late and the game was already over. • The boy caught the ball because the game was over. • Expresses cause and effect • The end of the game is the reason that the boy caught the ball • The boy caught the ball even though the game was over. • Expresses an opposition between ideas • The boy didn’t need to catch the ball at that point in time, but he did it anyways.
  • Many connecting words can have other functions in a sentence. A word’s meaning always depends on its context. • I know that you bought me a pencil today. • “That” is a connecting word that introduces a clause acting as a noun. • I broke that pencil you gave me yesterday. • “That” is a determiner that helps define “pencil “ for the reader. • You bought a pencil for me. • “For” is a preposition that tells the reader who the pencil was given to. • You bought me a pencil, for I had broken my last one. • “For” is a conjunction that connects two simple sentences. • The second clause is the cause of the first one Coordination and Subordination: Coordination and Subordination are ways of combining words, phrases, and clauses into more complex forms. The discussion below examines coordination and subordination of clauses. COORDINATION: It uses coordinating conjunctions, conjunctive adverbs (with appropriate punctuation), or punctuation to combine short independent clauses into a single sentence. Coordination implies the balance of elements that are of equal semantic value in the sentence.
  • Example: The football game has been postponed. We'll have to do something else. (2 simple sentences with no coordination or subordination, but note how coordination occurs below). SUBORDINATION: It uses subordinating conjunctions or relative pronouns to transform independent clauses (main clauses or ideas) into dependent clauses (subordinate clauses or ideas). Subordinate clauses are subordinate to (and thus hold less semantic value than) the independent clause(s) to which they are linked. Example: The football game has been postponed. We'll have to do something else.
  • (2 simple sentences with no coordination or subordination but note how subordination occurs below) Example: The lab results confirm our diagnosis. They have been sent to the attending physician. (2 simple sentences with no coordination or subordination but note how subordination occurs below)