SENTENCES: ELEMENTS, PATTERNS, TYPES
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?
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.)
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)
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)
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.
I hear from you to the contrary.
stock market prices were available, the market was closed for the holiday.
you said you would finish in the near future.
employees work Sunday other employees will come in early Monday.
1. Fragment 2. Comma splice 3. Fragment 4. Run-on
No. 1: Subject—Verb. The most basic sentence pattern; the subject is followed by
She is working.
All employees work.
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.
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
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.
FOUR SENTENCE TYPES
Janice designed the brochures.
Will Michael distribute them?
Tell me where to send them. (The subject is understood to be you.)
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.
of my friends is preparing for a job interview
the interview if you are enthusiastic, honest, polite, and positive
do you think you should work for us
you think of the interview as an adventure
carefully by practicing questions and answers
1. Statement, One 2. Fragment 3. Question, you 4. Fragment
5. Command, you (implied)