A sentence is a group of words which have at least one subject and one verb and expresses a complete thought.
Every language has its own alphabets i.e. the letters of that language arranged in the order fixed by custom. The alphabet of the English language consists of 26 letters, from a to z.
When two ore more letters combine they make a word. For example,
T + h + e = The
Here “The” is a word.
When two or more words combine they make a sentence.
The + exercise + is + necessary + for + health.
“The exercise is necessary for health” is a sentence because it is a combination or group of words that makes complete sense.
Sentence Definition: A combination or group of words that makes complete sense is called a sentence.
Now look at another example
The sun rises in the east.
In this sentence the last three words, “in the east”, form a group that makes sense but not complete sense.
Phrase Definition: A combination or group of words that makes sense, but complete sense, is called a phrase.
We see that when we make a sentence we do two things:
First we name some person or thing; and then say or predicate something about that person or thing.
It means that in order to make complete sense every sentence must have two parts.
- What is a subject? The part that names the person or thing we are talking about is called the subject of that sentence.
- What is a predicate? The part that tells or predicates something about that person or thing is called the predicate of that sentence.
In above example “The sun” is the subject; and
“rises in the ease” is the predicate.
Important Note: In imperative sentences the subject is not mentioned because it is understood. For example, “Clean the blackboard.” Here the subject you the person we are talking to) is understood.
KINDS OF SENTENCES
There are four kinds of sentences
- Statement or Assertive or Declarative Sentence
- Imperative Sentence
- Interrogative Sentence
- Exclamatory Sentence
Statement or Assertive or Declarative Sentence
In assertive or declarative sentence we make a statement or declaration or simply affirm or deny something. For example, I have not made any mistake. or I have passed my exam.
In an imperative sentence we give a command or make a request. For example, “Follow the rules.”
In an interrogative sentence we ask a question. For example, “Will you post this letter today?”
In an exclamatory sentence we express strong feelings. For example, “How beautiful she is!”
Such sentences usually begin with what or how and end with a sign of exclamation (!).
Sometimes in a long sentence we find another group of words that contains a subject and a predicate, for example,
I think that he (subject) has done the work. (predicate)
Clause Definition: Such a group of words that contains a subject and a predicate and is a part of larger sentence is called a clause.
There are four types of clauses but only two are mentioned here:
Main or Independent Clauses are those that are complete in themselves and can stand alone. For example, he was driving the car the he recently bought.
The first part of this sentence ‘he was driving the car’ makes complete sense and can thus stand alone. Therefore, it is an independent clause.
Two such clauses can also be joined by a conjunction to form a complete sentence.
Although he is poor, yet he is courageous.
Conjunction: although, yet
Clause-1: he is poor
Clause-2: he is courageous
Subordinate or Dependent Clauses cannot stand along as a complete sentence. They are included as sub-clauses in a main clause and are linked to it by linking words such as that and wh-words like which and where.
He was driving the car that he recently bought.
The first part of this sentence can stand alone but the second part i.e. that he recently bought cannot.
So this part of the sentence that cannot stand alone is called a subordinate or dependent clause because it is a dependent clause and is dependent upon the main statement.
Kinds of sentence according to clause
Sentences can be divided into three kinds according to the number of clauses they have.
A simple sentence expresses one main idea as it has only one subject and one predicate, for example, “Asmar war born in New York.”
Structure of simple sentence: [ Subject + Verb ]
A compound sentence expresses two or more main ideas as it has two or more independent clauses, for example, “It was raining and we had no umbrella with us.”
A complex sentence contains one main clause and one or more subordinate clauses as it expresses one main idea and one or more less important ideas. For example, “She wept bitterly (main clause), when her mother died. (subordinate clause).
Important Note: In a complex sentence the subordinate clause may appear at the end of the sentence. It may also appear at the beginning of a sentence. e.g. She took a lunch because she was feeling hungry. OR Because she was hungry, she took a lunch.
A compound-complex sentence consists of at least two independent clauses and one or more dependent clauses. It is called complex-compound sentence. For example,
She went to park and I went to college where I attended my class. In above sentence there are two independent clauses; “She went to park”, and “I went to college” and one dependent clause “where I attended my class.”