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Elements of Sentence Construction and Structural Categorization from MB0023

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

We already have discussed about sentences and kinds of sentences in my previous post. Now, you will get some more explanation about elements of sentence and structural categorization from MB0023 of SMU MBA book.

In English, every sentence has two essential parts: a Subject and a Predicate, which are inclusive of clauses and phrases.

Subject: The complete subject is the simple subject (a noun or a pronoun) plus any words or group of words modifying the simple subject that tell who or what the sentence is about. Thus, a subject is the person, place, or thing that acts, is acted on, or is described in the sentence.

Additional Facts about Subject:

The “Understood You”: Sometimes, as in the case of imperative sentences, the subject does not actually appear in the sentence. At such times the invisible subject is called the “understood you”. For example – (You) Go out of the house.

Positioning: Although the subject most commonly appears before the verb, it can also appear after the verb. This is called the inversion of the Subject and Predicate. For example – Here come my friends and their parents.

Predicate: The predicate is the action or description that occurs in the sentence. Sometimes a verb will express existence instead of an action. Verb is an essential part of the predicate. In other words, we can say that the predicate is the ‘telling part’ of the sentence because it tells us what the subject is doing and to whom.

Phrases: A group of words without a finite verb is a phrase. In other words, phrases are just a group of related words that do not express a complete thought. They also do not have a subject and predicate pair. So, they cannot be considered as a sentence.

For example – The house at the end of the street is very beautiful.

The astronaut chosen to ride the space shuttle to Mars is afraid of heights.

Alix walk down the ramp to the beach.

The flying saucer appeared above the lake before it disappeared into space.

Clauses: Words and phrases can be put together to make a clause. A group of related words that contain both a subject and a predicate and that functions as a part of a sentence is a clause. A clause is different from a phrase because a phrase is a group of related words which lack either a subject or a predicate or both.

Structural Categorization of Sentences:

Structurally, a sentence may be categorized as Simple, Compound and Complex.

A sentence can be recognized by the number of clauses it contains.

Simple sentence: A simple sentence, also called an independent clause, contains a subject and a verb, and it expresses a complete thought. For example – Some students like to study in the morning.

Compound sentence: A compound sentence contains two independent (main) clauses joined by a coordinator. It may or may not have a subordinate clause. The coordinators are as follows: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so. For example – Alex played football but Manu went shopping.

Complex sentence: A complex sentence has an independent clause joined by one or more dependent causes. A complex sentence always has a subordinator such as because, since, after, although, or, when or a relative pronoun such as that, who, or which. For example – The teacher returned the homework after she saw an error.


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