The sentence is the primary unit of grammar,
and understanding the sentence is the key to
good grammar. As in our everyday expressions,
the effectiveness of the sentences we use to
produce a desired result depends a great deal on
the way we arrange our words in our sentences.
A sentence, as we know, is a combination of
words which expresses a thought with
intelligibility and completeness.
The sentence has two parts. The topic of the
sentence is the subject. What is said to subject is
predicate. Usually but not always , the subject
identifies the agent of the action, that is, it tells
us who or what is doing something.
The complete subject of a sentence is a noun/
pronoun (which is the doer of the action), along
with any words or phrases that modify the
,main noun/pronoun. The main
noun/pronoun by itself called the simple
subject. Every sentence has a subject, although
sometimes the subject is implied. To find the
subject of the sentence first find the main verb,
then, ask yourself, who or what is doing this
The delegates arrived yesterday.
the delegates- simple subject)
Not only the price but also the quality of their
products fluctuates wildly
Answer: price and quality
Obviously, the student government election is
*What is over?
Answer: the student government election
The predicate is what is being said about the
topic of the sentence, always has a verb. The
main verb or verb phrase is called simple
predicate. The verb usually has a verb
completion called an object or a complement.
Like the noun or the pronoun, the verb often
has modifiers. In effect, the complete predicate
of the sentence is made up of a verb (or a verb
Francis jude jogs every morning.
*What did francis jude do?)
Answer: Jogs (action verb)- simple predicate
Aunt jeanie visits her son and brings gifts
*What did Aunt jeanie do?
Answer: visits and brings- compound predicate
The bus station is near Mae’s house.
(no action verb)
*is (linking verb) near Mae’s house – tells
something about the subject- complete predicate
The subject more often comes first in a
sentence, and putting the subject first is
probably the more straightforward way to
organize a sentence. But for variety, and even
for suspense, writers can choose to reverse the
order, putting the predicate first and the
subject last, or putting parts of the predicate on
either side of the subject.
The tired man sat under the mango tree.
Under the mango tree sat the tired man.
(emphasis on the predicate, which comes first)
In sentences that ask questions rather than
make statements, the subject comes first, but
the more usual order is to place the subject
inside the verb.
Her sister is arriving today?
Is her sister arriving today?
In sentence that gives commands rather tan
make statements again the subject can come
first, but nearly always, the subject and part of
the verb are deleted.
You will do as I tell you!
Do as I tell you!
When there or here begins a sentence, the
subject usually follows the verb.
there were thousands of candy wrappers on