Sentexploring sentence structure nw


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Sentexploring sentence structure nw

  1. 1. Sentence parts include: Exploring • subject • predicate • clause (main, subordinate, relative, noun) Sentence • phrase • object Structure Sentence structures include: Art Lightstone • simple • compound • complexMastering the use of one‟s own language, both • compound-complexwritten and verbal, is probably the single most Sentence types include:effective thing one can do to ensure their • declarativeacademic, professional, and personal success. • interrogative • imperative • exclamatorySentence Types Declarative Sentences • A declarative sentence is used to make a statement. • Its lunch time. • An interrogative sentence is used to pose a question. • We are going to the game on Friday. • An imperative sentence is used to give a command or to • My car is out of gasoline. implore or entreat. • My parents keep telling me that I should make good grades so I • An exclamatory sentence is used to express astonishment or can get a job or go to college. extreme emotion. • We frequently ask questions, perhaps not as frequently as weMost of the sentences we speak or write are declarative sentences. should.Interrogative sentences Imperative sentences • What time does the movie start? People who have authority use imperative sentences. Sometimes, people who dont have authority use imperative sentences. The • How many people from your graduating class went to college? results may differ. • Is there a reason why these dirty clothes are in the middle of the • Wash the car. floor? • Clean up your room. • What are they serving in the cafeteria today? • Martin, report to the counsellor. • Please donate to the community charity fund. We say that sentences must have a subject and a verb. Note that some of the above sentences do not seem to have a subject. The subject is implied, and the implied subject is you. You wash the car. You clean up your room. “You” is a second person pronoun. It isnt possible to make a command statement in first person or third person. 1
  2. 2. Exclamatory Sentences Before we continue, it is important to distinguish between the “partsExclamatory sentences are rarely used in expository writing. Spoken of speech” and the “parts of a sentence.”exclamations are often a single word or an incomplete sentence.Grammarians indicate that formal exclamatory sentences begin with  In examining parts of speech we focus on words and phrases andthe word what or with the word how. Most of the exclamations we their relationships to each other.encounter are informal. In examining parts of a sentence we focus on words and phrases • What a beautiful night! and their relationships to the thought, or thoughts, being expressed in the sentence. • How happy we were when the dawn came and our flag was still there!  Parts of a sentence include the subject, predicate, object, clause, and phrase. • What did you do to your hair?! (exclamation formed as a question)  A sentence can be defined as a group of words containing a subject and a predicate and expressing a complete thought. • I just won 500 dollars! (exclamation formed as a declarative sentence) Parts of a Sentence Independent ClauseSubject: The subject or of a sentence is the noun, pronoun or nounphrase that precedes and governs the main verb. The subject is An independent clause includes a subject and a verb.what (or whom) the sentence is about. (The party who performs theaction, or being described.) An independent clause is a clause that is not introduced by a subordinating term.Predicate: Tells something about the subject. It is the verb and anycomplement of the verb, which can include the object, adverbial, etc. An independent clause is the main idea of the sentence and is not(The action or description.) dependent on another clause for meaning and context. It does not modify anything, and it can stand alone as a complete sentence.Object: Part of the predicate, the object is the person or thing that iscreated, affected or altered by the action of a verb, or appreciated or Independent clauses are sometimes called principal or mainsensed by the subject of the verb. (The party that is acted upon.) clauses.Clause: A group of words containing a subject and verb. If the Example: The hungry boy whispered to his sister because hisclause completes a thought, then it is an independent clause (aka throat hurt.main or principle). If a clause does not complete a thought, then it isa dependent clause (aka subordinate). The underlined portion of the above sentence is an independent clause.Phrase: A phrase is a group of words acting together as a singlepart of speech. A phrase does not contain both a subject and a verb. Subordinate Clause The Relative ClauseA subordinate clause is usually introduced by a subordinatingelement such as a subordinating conjunction or relative pronoun. It A relative clause (aka adjective or adjectival clause) is a type of subordinate clause that has three characteristics:depends on the rest of the sentence for its meaning. It does notexpress a complete thought, so it does not stand alone. It must 1. It will contain a subject and verb.always be attached to a main clause that completes the meaning. 2. It will begin with a relative pronoun [who, whom, whose, that, or which]Subordinate clauses normally act as single part of speech. They can or a relative adverb [when, where, or why].be either noun clauses, adjective clauses, or adverb clauses. 3. It will function as an adjective, answering the questions What kind? HowThey are sometimes called dependent clauses because they many? or Which one?"depend" on a main clause to give them meaning. The relative clause will follow one of these two patterns:The italicised clauses above are subordinate clauses. The first one isan adjective clause because it describes a noun (the word clause). relative pronoun or adverb + subject + verbThe second one is an adverb clause which describes a verb (theword called). relative pronoun as subject + verb (Some grammariansExample: The hungry boy whispered to his sister because his throat hurt. argue that this structure produces an incomplete thought.)The underlined portion of the above sentence is a dependent clause. 2
  3. 3. Avoid Creating a Sentence Fragment. Examples of Relative Clauses A relative clause does not express a complete thought, so it cannot stand… which Francine did not accept. alone as a sentence. To avoid writing a fragment, you must connect each relative clause to a main clause. which = relative pronoun; Francine = subject; did not accept = verb [not, an adverb, is not officially part of the verb]. Read the examples below. Notice that the relative clause follows the word that it describes.…where George found Amazing Spider-Man #96 in fair condition. To calm his angry girlfriend, Joey offered an apology which Francine did not accept. where = relative adverb; George = subject; found = verb.…that dangled from the one clean bathroom towel. We tried our luck at the same flea market where George found Amazing Spider-Man #96 in fair condition. that = relative pronoun functioning as subject; dangled = verb.…who continued to play video games until his eyes were blurry with Michelle screamed when she saw the spider that dangled from the onefatigue clean bathroom towel. who = relative pronoun functioning as subject; played = verb. Brian said goodnight to his roommate Justin, who continued to play video games until his eyes were blurry with fatigue. Punctuating Relative Clauses: Restrictive or Non-Restrictive? Noun ClausesPunctuating relative clauses can be tricky. For each sentence, you will haveto decide if the relative clause is essential or nonessential and then use Any clause (grouping of subject and verb) that functions as acommas accordingly. noun in the larger sentence becomes a noun clause.Restrictive (aka essential) clauses do not require commas. A relative Consider this example:clause is restrictive when you need the information it provides. You really do not want to know the ingredients in AuntConsider this example: Nancys stew.The children who skateboard in the street are especially noisy in theearly evening. “ingredients” = noun.Children is non-specific. To know which ones we are talking about, we must If we replace the noun ingredients with a clause, we have a nounhave the information in the relative clause. Thus, the relative clause is clause:restrictive and requires no commas. You really do not want to know what Aunt Nancy adds to herIf, however, we eliminate children and choose more specific nouns instead, stew.the relative clause becomes nonessential and does require commas toseparate it from the rest of the sentence. Read this revision: “what Aunt Nancy adds to her stew” = noun clause.Matthew and his sister Loretta, who skateboard in the street, areespecially noisy in the early evening. Differentiating Subjects from Objects Sidebar  Beginning a Sentence with Because A subject acts, and an object is acted upon. The notion that one should not begin a sentence with because retains a Subject and Object Pronouns: mysterious grip on peoples sense of writing proprieties. This might come about because a sentence that begins with because could well end up a In English, we have different pronouns to signify the distinction fragment if one is not careful to follow up the subordinate clause with an between those grammatical categories. In other words, "I" is a independent clause. subject while "me" is an object while "my" shows possession; "we" is Because is a subordinating conjunction - used to introduce a subordinating a subject while "us" is an object and "our" shows possession. clause. A subordinating conjunction can begin a sentence by introducing a subordinate clause. As long as the thought is then completed by an independent clause, the sentence will be grammatically correct. Because the students studied grammar. Because the students studied grammar, their writing improved. Although it is true that beginning a sentence with because might produce a dependent clause fragment, similar taboos have never been associated with other subordinating conjunctions such as Although, If, When, While, and Since. It is unclear why the word because has been singled out for this dubious distinction. 3
  4. 4. Differentiating Clauses from Phrases Parenthetical Clauses and PhrasesClause: “cows eat grass” A parenthetical clause or phrase provides additional information for the reader, but it is information that could be left out of the sentence This example is a clause because it contains the subject "cows" without altering its basic message. and the verb "eat grass." Example: The practice of teaching grammar, originally pursued byPhrase: “cows eating grass” only a few English teachers, has now become standard practice in all Grade 12 courses. This example is a phrase because it does not contain a subject and a verb. In this case, “eating grass” serves as an adjective Example: The teachers in the Bjork board, although understaffed phrase that is part of a larger noun phrase. The reader is left and under funded, manage to maintain orderly and effective wondering, “What about the „cows eating grass‟?” While this learning environments. noun phrase could be a subject, it has no verb attached to it. The adjective phrase "eating grass" show which cows the writer In each of the above examples, the words between the commas is referring to, but there is nothing here to show why the writer is could be left out without changing the core meaning of the sentence. mentioning cows in the first place. Including a parenthetical clause allows the writer to add ancillary information without writing a separate sentence. After all, if separate but related concepts were always separated out into their own sentences, one‟s writing would become extremely choppy and mechanical. Restrictive versus Non-restrictive Clauses More Examples of Restrictive ClausesRestrictive clauses: A restrictive clause will limit the possible • Students who cheat only harm themselves.meaning of a preceding subject. • The baby wearing a yellow jumpsuit is my niece.Example: The suspect who has red hair committed the crime. • The candidate who had the least money lost the election.Note how the subject "suspect" in this sentence is restricted, orclearly identified, by the restrictive clause. It is not just any suspectwho committed the crime, it is the suspect with red hair. More Examples of Non-restrictive ClausesNon-Restrictive Clauses: While non-restrictive clauses will tell us • Fred, who often cheats, is just harming himself.additional information about a preceding subject, they do not limit orspecifically identify that subject. • My niece, wearing a yellow jumpsuit, is playing in the living room.Example: The suspect in the lineup, who owns a red car, • The Green party candidate, who had the least money, lost thecommitted the crime. election.Note how the subject "suspect" in this sentence is not restricted oridentified. Rather, we just learn additional information about thesuspect: apparently, he owns a red car. Appositives Appositives are punctuated in a similar manner to parenthetical phrases or clauses. However, an appositive serves specifically as a Punctuating Restrictive versus Non-restrictive Clauses noun or pronoun – often with modifiers. Appositives are placedRestrictive clauses are dependent clauses that begin with relative beside another noun or pronoun in order to explain or identify it.pronouns (who, whom, that, whoever, whomever, whichever) and Essentially, appositives serve to rename or restate another noun inare not surrounded by commas. the sentence.The elephant that trampled the village was drunk on fermented Example: The law teacher, a grammar enthusiast, emphasized thefruit. need to learn sentence structure and the parts of speech. Punctuation: If the sentence would be clear and complete withoutNon-restrictive clauses are dependent clauses that begin with the appositive, then commas are necessary. In these cases, werelative pronouns (who, whom, which, whoever, whomever, would place one comma before and one comma after the appositive.whichever) and are surrounded by commas. In some cases, however, the noun being explained would be too general to be understood without the appositive. If the appositive isAndy, who always admired John Lennon, was very sad to hear he essential to the meaning of the sentence, then we do not placewas killed. commas around the appositive. Example: The popular English prime minister Winston Churchill was well known for his eloquent and inspirational speeches. 4
  5. 5. Differentiating Sentence Types Differentiating Sentence TypesSimple: A simple sentence contains one independent clause. Hints on differentiating between sentence types:Example: We have only one week to study for the test. i) Focus on spotting subordinating conjunctions. They tell you rightCompound: A compound sentence contains more than one away whether a sentence is complex or not. They can, however, beindependent clause. hidden within the middle of a sentence. For example: “I didnt to go to work today because I was feeling sick.” There are actually two Example: We were frightened, but the mandatory English proficiency test clauses within this sentence: "I didnt to go to work today" and was not nearly as hard as we imagined. "because I was feeling sick." Thus, this is a complex sentence. It would be much easier to spot if the subordinating clause cameComplex: A complex sentence contains one independent clause and before the main clause. For example: “Because I was feeling sick, Iat least one dependent clause. didnt to go to work today.” Example: Although he is a law teacher, Mr. Lightstone insists on teaching ii) Remember that the smallest sentence possible consists of a noun grammar. and a verb. For example, “Jill fell,” “I ran,” “She hid,” etc. Why do I mention this? I point this out because we must always be aware thatCompound-complex: A compound-complex sentence contains more just two little words can at times produce a main clause within athan one independent clause and at least one dependent clause. larger compound or a compound-complex sentence.Example: If he is the nominee for the Democratic Party, Barack Obama will runagainst John McCain, but it wont be an easy contest to win. 5