Grammar – the studyof the way the sentences of alanguage are constructed.
Sentence – has a subject, averb, and a completethought.Sentences are formed with groupsof words called clauses andphrases.
Clause – a group of wordswith a subject and verb thatforms part of a sentence ora complete simple sentence.
Independent clause – has a subject-verbcombination and a complete thought. It canbe a simple sentence or part of a sentence.Independent means to ―stand on ones own.‖S VI had to hurry. (Subject, verb, complete thought)NOTE: The subject and verb of an independentclause are the subject and verb of the sentence.
Dependent clause – has a subject-verbcombination but does not convey a completethought. It cannot be a sentence on its own.Dependent means to ―depend on something else.‖This type of clause is subordinate (less important)to the independent clause to which it is attached. Itstarts with a ―dependent word‖ (a subordinatingconjunction).Because I was late (Subject, verb, incompletethought)NOTE: The subject and verb of a dependent clauseare not the subject and verb of the sentence.
Dependent Wordsafteralthoughasbecausebeforeeven ifeven thoughhowifin order thatsinceso thatthatthoughunlessuntilwhatwhenwheneverwherewhereverwhetherwhichwhilewho(Langan, 2011, p. 60)
Four sentence structuresSimple sentence – has one independent clausewith one subject-verb combination.X(independent)S VI was late.XCompound sentence – has two or moreindependent clauses, each with a subject-verbcombination; all are the subjects and verbs of thesentence. Each clause could be a sentence by itself.Xxx(independent)(independent)S V S VI was late, so I had to hurry.
Four sentence structurescon’t.Complex sentence – has one independent clauseand one or more dependent clauses. A dependentclausecannot be a sentence by itself.X(dependent) (independent)s v S VBecause I was late, I had to hurry.Compound-complex sentence – has two or moreindependent clauses and at least one dependentclauses.X(dependent) (independent) (independent)s v S V S V VBecause I was late, I had to hurry, so I did not answer the phone.
Phrase – a group ofwords—with no subject orverb—that work together ina single grammaticalfunction.
Prepositional phrase – agroup of words—starting witha preposition—that often tellwhen or where or add detail.These phrases end withnouns or pronouns.Time: in the morning during the dayLocation: under the table behind the houseOf what: of the girls of the classes
Prepositionsaboutaboveacrossafteralongamongaroundatbeforebehindbelowbeneathbesidebetweenbydownduringexceptforfromininsideintolikeofoffonontooverthroughtotowardunderuntilupuponwithwithout(Langan, 2011, p. 8)
SummaryClauses and phrases areused to form sentences inEnglish. The four basicsentence structures are builtwith independent and/ordependent clauses.
ReferenceLangan, J. , & Goldstein, J. M. (2011). Englishxxxxbrushup (5th ed.). New York, NY:xxxxMcGraw-Hill.