Basic Sentence Structure


Transcript

Slide 1 — Basic Sentence Structure

Slide 2 — Basic Sentence Structure

Every English sentence must contain at least a subject and a verb and must be a complete thought. Most sentences contain words in addition to the subject and the verb.

The owl hooted.
Alicia studied for her exam.
Pedro’s brother borrowed his new laptop.

Slide 3 — The Subject

In general, the subject is a noun or pronoun and does the action in the sentence. The sentence is about the subject.

Examples of subjects:

The women danced.

The dog ran.

The family smiled.

Slide 4 — The Verb

In general, the verb describes the action or condition of the subject.

Examples of verbs:

The women danced.

The dog ran.

The family smiled.

Slide 5 — Clause Examples

Many sentences include clauses and phrases in addition to the subject and main verb. A clause also contains a subject and a verb, but not all clauses are complete sentences.

More examples:

Sally passed the salt

If they don’t arrive on time

Because he felt sick

Slide 6

Let’s look at each clause and see if it is a complete thought.

Sally passed the salt — Yes. This clause is a complete thought and is also a sentence.

If they don’t arrive on time — No. This clause is not a sentence because information is missing. (What will happen if they don’t arrive on time?)

Because he felt sick — No. This clause is not a sentence because information is missing. (What happened because he felt sick?)

Slide 7 — Phrases

Now let’s look at phrases.

Phrases are groups of words that are missing either a subject or a verb (and are never a complete sentence).

Examples:

at home

went to the store

the book with a red cover

ran quickly

Slide 8 — Phrase Examples With No Subject

The following are phrases because they do not have subjects.

going home
to know the truth
had worked hard

Slide 9

Let’s look at how we could add a clause to the phrase to make a complete sentence.

The professor was going home.
She would love to know the truth.
She hoped her student had worked hard.

Slide 10 — Phrase Examples With No Verb

The following are phrases because they do not have verbs.

in the garden
on the bridge
the boy with the blond hair

Slide 11

Let’s look at how we could add a clause to each phrase to make a complete thought and sentence.

I love to work in the garden.
The cars were stuck on the bridge.
I noticed the boy with the blond hair.

Slide 12 — Exception

There are a few cases where you might not see a subject, but you are still looking at a complete thought.

These are usually directions, requests, or orders.

Examples:
Please pass the salt.
Give me the knife!
Enter your email address here.

In each of these cases, the subject is understood to be “you.”

Slide 13 — Activity Introduction

On the next few slides, you will see some groups of words. Decide if each group is a phrase or a clause. Select the best choice.

Slides 14-23 — Multiple Choice Questions

Slide 24 — Summary Slide

After completing this activity, you may download or print a completion report that summarizes your results. To save a PDF copy of the report, click below and follow instructions for your browser.

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