n    Sentences have two essential elements:

1. Subjects tell what is being talked about.

2. Predicates tell what the subject is, what the subject is
    doing, or what is being done to the subject.

    A manager from ComStar
has been calling you.
            Complete Subject        Complete Predicate    


Heart of complete subject: simple subject manager
Heart of predicate: the verb has been calling

Verbs may be single words or phrases.

Verb Phrase:        Final verb is the principal verb.
                            Other verbs are helping verbs.

What is the principal verb in the above sentence?



n     In addition to having subjects and predicates, complete sentences must make sense.

    A set of guidelines was developed (Sentence has           subject and predicate and makes sense.)

    To be used in ordering computer supplies.                     (Incomplete sentence doesn’t make sense.)



n    FRAGMENT. A fragment is part of a sentence and should not be punctuated as if it were complete.

    Which will be answered when we discuss the next             chapter. (Fragment)

    A student who won honors at graduation. (Fragment)

n    COMMA SPLICE. When two complete sentences are incorrectly joined with a comma, a comma splice results.

    Garth will take his vacation in June, Leslie plans to ask
       for her vacation in July. (Comma splice)

    Sales have been down this year, therefore, bonuses
       may be lower. (Comma splice)

n    RUN-ON SENTENCE. When two complete thoughts are run together without proper punctuation, a run-on (fused) sentence results.

    We hope to continue doing business with you call             us if you have further questions. (Run-on)

    The Internet has changed the way we do business                    it’s clear that most businesses must have a Web
       presence to survive. (Run-on)

Try Your Skill


In the following groups of words, identify sentence faults.


1.    Unless I hear from you to the contrary.

2.    No stock market prices were available, the market was closed for the holiday.

3.    Which you said you would finish in the near future.

4.    Some employees work Sunday other employees will come in early Monday.





1. Fragment     2. Comma splice     3. Fragment     4. Run-on





n    Pattern No. 1: Subject—Verb. The most basic sentence pattern; the subject is followed by its verb.

                    Courtney called.
                    She is working.
                    All employees work.

n    Pattern No. 2: Subject—Action Verb--Object. The subject is followed by an action verb and its direct object. The object usually answers the questions what? and whom?

            ComStar created a Web site.
            A law office hired her.


n    Pattern No. 3: Subject—Linking Verb--Complement. The subject is followed by a linking verb and its complement.

Complement: Noun, pronoun, or adjective that renames or describes the subject. Completes the meaning of the subject.

    Our receptionist is Patricia.  (Noun complement)
    The winner of the scholarship is he. (Pronoun                           complement)
    Their new Web site is attractive. (Adjective


n    Pattern No. 4: Inverted Order. Verbs may occasionally precede (come before) subjects.

    Chairing the committee is Renee Cornell.
    Have you read your e-mail?
    Here are the materials.
    There are many messages yet to read.

Rearrange the preceding sentences to place them in normal subject-verb order.



1.   Statement.
Janice designed the brochures.

2.   Question
Will Michael distribute them?

3.   Command
        Tell me where to send them. (The subject is                      understood to be you.)

4.   Exclamation
What a handsome brochure it is!



Try Your Skill


Identify the following groups of words as statements, questions, commands, exclamations, or fragments. Also name the subject of each complete sentence.


1.    One of my friends is preparing for a job interview

2.    During the interview if you are enthusiastic, honest, polite, and positive

3.    Why do you think you should work for us

4.    When you think of the interview as an adventure

5.    Prepare carefully by practicing questions and answers

1. Statement, One   2. Fragment   3. Question, you   4. Fragment  

5. Command, you (implied)