Six Sentence Patterns
Sentence Patterns #1 - Noun / Verb
The most basic sentence pattern is a noun followed by a verb. It's important to remember that only verbs that do not
require objects are used in this sentence pattern.
This basic sentence pattern can be modified by adding a noun phrase, possessive adjective, as well as other elements. This
is true for all the sentence patterns that follow.
People work. -> Our employees work.
Frank eats. -> My dog Frank eats.
Sentence Patterns #2 - Noun / Verb / Noun
The next sentence pattern builds on the first pattern and is used with nouns that can take objects.
John plays softball.
The boys are watching TV.
Sentence Patterns #3 - Noun / Verb / Adverb
The next sentence pattern builds on the first pattern by using an adverb to describe how an action is done.
Thomas drives quickly.
Anna doesn't sleep deeply.
Sentence Patterns #4 - Noun / Linking Verb / Noun
This sentence pattern uses linking verbs to link one noun to another. Linking verbs are also known as equating verbs -
verbs which equate one thing with another such as 'be', 'become', 'seem', etc.
Jack is a student.
This seed will become an apple.
Sentence Patterns #5 - Noun / Linking Verb / Adjective
This sentence pattern is similar to sentence pattern #4, but uses linking verbs to link one noun to its description using an
My computer is slow!
Her parents seem unhappy.
Sentence Patterns #6 - Noun / Verb / Noun / Noun
Sentence pattern #6 is used with verbs that take both direct and indirect objects.
I bought Katherine a gift.
Jennifer showed Peter her car.
SENTENCE PATTERN DEFINITION
-Sentence pattern refers to the grammatical structure of English that describe how the nature of speech should be. This
denotes how, when and where the use of prefixes is applicable. With the use of these patterns you will be able to
recognize the necessity of punctuation in English.
There are five important components in a sentence.
Subject (S) Verb (V) Object (O)
Complement (C) Adverbial (A)
1. SUBJECT (S)
To get ‘S’ ask the quesiton ‘Who?’ before the verb.
Nancy danced well (Here “Nancy” - Subject)
The child broke the glass (Here “The child” - Subject)
consists of nouns or pronouns
occurs before a verb
2. VERB (V)
In every sentence the most important word is the verb. A verb shows action or activity or work done.
He is a doctor (“Be” form verb)
Jems wrote a letter (Main verb)
The baby is crying (auxiliary verb + Main verb)
consists of (a) auxiliaries
(b) finite verbs
am, is, are ,was, were
has, have, had
does, do, did
Modals : can, could; will, would; shall, should; may, might; must
Semi-modals / Quasi Modals : dare to; need to; used to; ought to
(b) Finte verbs - denote action
talk, sing, write, make, dance, play, cook, leave, teach, sleep
- verbs occur after the subject
- vebs occur before the object
3. OBJECT (O)
To get the object ‘O’ ask the question ‘What’ or ‘Whome’. ‘What’ is for things and ‘Whome’ is for persons. Persons may
be nouns or pronouns.
He bought a pen (a pen = Object)
He handles the computer (computer = Object)
I saw him (him = Object)
Object (O) - consists of nouns or noun phrases or noun clauses
- direct object
- answers the question ‘what’
S V O (what)
I likes animals
- indirect object
- answers the question ‘whom’
S V IO (whom) DO
I gave Rosy a pen
4. COMPLEMENT (C)
The words required to complete the meaning of a sentence are called Complement of the sentence.
S V C
He is a dentist
She became a journalist
It grew dark
Complement (C) - from the word ‘complete’
- completes the meaning in the sentence
- wihtout it the, meaning is incomplete
- wihtout it the, meaning changes
occurs in two pattern. (i) S V C pattern. (ii) S V O C pattern
(i) In S V C pattern, the complement C
- complements the subjects
- tells about the subject
- wihtout it the, meaning changes
- without C, the sentence is incomplete or the sentence changes its meaning
- use to be forms, grew, became, seems for verb
S V C
They are players
She was angry
It seems absurd
(ii) In S V O C pattern
- the complement tells about the object
- the complement and object are of the same person or thing
S V O C
They called David a genius
I found her crying
They elected Michle leader
Types of Complement
1. Subject Complement
The complement which expresses the quality or identity or condition of the subject is called Subject Complement.
She is a doctor She looks sad
2. Object Complement
The complement which expresses the quality or identity or condition of an object is called Object Complement.
They made her angry She called him a liar
Adjunct or Adverbial
To get ‘A’ ask the question why, when, where or how.
The use of adverbial is optional whereas complement is essential. It has adverb phrase, adverbial clause, noun-phrase and
Why? (reason) When? (Time) Where? (Place) How? (Manner)
due to cold now, later here, there by bus / cycle
through floods after 2 years every where through efforts
under compulsion when young in the sky by mixing
carefully in the morning at home by hard work
Adjunct - A - answers the questions where? when? how? why?
- without A, any change in the meaning of the sentence
Examples of Adjuncts in sentences
S V A
She Comes every day
- Sit here