ELEMENTS OF SENTENCECONSTRUCTIONSubjects and PredicatesParts of speech have specific tasks to perform whenthey are put together in a sentence.A noun or pronoun functions as the sentencesubject when it is paired with a verb functioning asthe sentence predicate.
ELEMENTS OF SENTENCECONSTRUCTIONEvery sentence has a subject and predicate.A subject can be a noun or pronoun that ispartnered with an action verb.
S O M E T I M E S A V E R B W I L L E X P R E S S B E I N G O RE X I S T E N C E I N S T E A D O F AC T I O N.E X A M P L E :
S O M E T I M E S W E U S E S E N T E N C E S I N W H I C HA S U B J E C T I S N O T AC T UA L LY S TAT E D, BU TI S, N E V E R T H E L E S S, U N D E R S T O O D I N T H EM E A N I N G. E X A M P L E :
Because we use such statements when we are talking directlyto someone, we omit the word you. It is understood in thesentence. Therefore, in statements like this one, we say thesubject isyou (understood).This kind of sentence is an imperative sentence.
A PRE DICATE IS A VE RB THATE X PRE SSE S THE SUBJ E CT S ACTION ORSTATE OF BE ING. E X AMPL E :
Sometimes the predicate will be composedof two or three verbs that fit together - themain verb preceded by one or more auxiliary(helping) verbs.
IMPORTANT NOTE: To be a predicate, a verbthat ends in -ing must ALWAYS have a helpingverb with it. An -ing verb WITHOUT a helpingverb cannot be a predicate in a sentence.
A S U B J E C T A N D P R E D I C AT E M AY N O TA LWAY S A P P E A R T O G E T H E R O R I N T H EN O R M A L O R D E R , A S T H E F O L L OW I N GE X A M P L E S S H OW:
PHRASESA phrase is a group of related words that1. does not express a complete thought2. does not have a subject and predicate pairOne type of phrase is a prepositional phrase.
Even though these phrases contain nouns (pronouns)and/or verb forms, none of the nouns/pronouns/verbsare subjects or predicates. None of them work as apartnership.Also, these phrases do NOT express complete thoughts.
CLAUSESWords and phrases can be put together to make clauses.A clause is a group of related words that contain a subjectand predicate.Note the difference between phrases and clauses in thefollowing examples:
ONLY ONE OF THE CLAUSES ISA SENTENCE.Clause #1 gives a thought or an idea that is COMPLETE, that canstand by itself, independent of other words.However, clause #2 gives an INCOMPLETE thought or idea, onethat cannot stand by itself, one that needs some more words tomake it whole. The word after changes the meaning, making thethought incomplete. After reading this clause, we are left hanging.
These two clauses illustrate the two kinds of clauses:independent clauses and dependent clausesAn independent clause is a group of words that contains a subject, apredicate, and a complete thought.A dependent clause is a group of words that contains a subject and apredicate, but does NOT express a complete thought.
COMPOUNDING SENTENCEELEMENTSWords, phrases, and clauses may be joined to one another inside asentence with a conjunction.The coordinating conjunctions and, but, or, and nor may joinsubjects, predicates, adjectives, adverbs, prepositional phrases ordependent clauses within a sentence. This process is called"compounding.“ The following examples show the process ofcompounding
When entire independent clauses (simplesentences) are joined this way, they becomecompound sentences.
AVOIDING FRAGMENTSA complete sentence needs only two elements:a subject - predicate unit AND acomplete thought
In other words, a simple sentence is actually the SAME thing asan independent clause.Dependent clauses or phrases are called fragments because theyare missing one or more parts needed to make a sentence.Therefore, they are only pieces or fragments of completesentences.
LOOK AT THESE EXAMPLES:
AVOIDING COMMA SPLICESAND FUSED SENTENCESSometimes two independent clauses (simplesentences) can be joined to form another kind ofsentence: the compound sentence.Two major errors can occur when constructingcompound sentences.
1: THE COMMA SPLICEWriters make this error when they try to separate the twoindependent clauses in a compound sentence with a commaalone.A comma is not a strong enough punctuation mark to separatethe two independent clauses by itself; thus, using it causes theclauses to be spliced together.
EXAMPLE OF A COMMASPLICE:
THIS SE NTE NCE CAN BE RE PAIRE D INTHRE E WAY S :1. by adding an appropriate coordinatingconjunction
2. by changing the comma to a semicolon
3. by changing the punctuation and adding anappropriate conjunctive adverb
2: THE FUSED SENTENCEWriters make this error by joining two independent clausesinto a compound sentence without using any punctuationbetween them.No punctuation between the two independent clausescauses them to "fuse" into an INCORRECT compoundsentence.
EXAMPLE OF A FUSEDSENTENCE:
THIS SENTENCE IS ALSO REPAIREDIN THREE WAYS:1. by adding a comma and an appropriate coordinatingconjunction
2. by placing a semicolon between the two clauses
3. by adding the needed punctuation and an appropriateconjunctive adverb
Another way to repair a comma splice or fused sentence is to makeeach independent clause into a simple sentence.