The Foundations of a Sentence
BASIC ENGLISH STRUCTURE
Structure of a sentence and examples.
Structure of a question and examples.
Uses of auxiliaries in sentences and questions.
Deconstruction of a question.
How a question becomes a sentence.
Almost every English sentence can be reduced to these elements:
Many syntax errors can be avoided by always making sure that you
follow these structures.
The SUBJECT of a sentence is the thing that does the action.
The VERB is the functional verb in a sentence, the one that gets
the conjugation for number and tense.
The OBJECT can be many things, but it is what is acted upon by
the verb. Some verbs do not take objects.
SUBJECT VERB OBJECT
Robert eats pizza
The cars don’t have powerful motors
The baby cried (no object)
QUESTION WORD refers to the “who, what, when, etc. of a sentence.
QUESTION WORD OBJECT refers to other parts of the question such as “What time,
How much, etc.”
With simple questions that have “yes” or “no” answers, we start with an AUXILIARY.
Each verb tense (present, past, future, etc.) has its own auxiliary or auxiliaries.
Note the position of the SUBJECT. It comes right after the auxiliary in a question. That
is how you begin when you answer the question.
Auxiliary Subject Verb Object
Will she buy the book?
What time did the train leave the station?
How much money have you made?
Where does Harry live?
Used for asking questions
- Do you have a pen?
Used for short answers
- Will you go to Rome this year?
- No, I won’t.
Used for responding in the negative
- No, I didn’t work yesterday.
When an auxiliary appears in the sentence (simple present and past), only the auxiliary is
- I bought a pen.
- I didn’t buy a pen.
DECONSTRUCTING A QUESTION
HOW A QUESTION BECOMES AN ANSWER