Sentences

English 0750 March 2009

What is a Sentence?

Group of words
 

Generally 10-25 words Expresses a “complete thought”

Basic unit of communication  Action + Agent

 

Who does what? Subject + Verb (+Other Stuff)

Examples
Sally studied.  Sally studied for her test.  At the library yesterday, Sally feverishly studied for her math test tomorrow.  Sally studied for her test, but Bob went to the beach instead.  Because she studied, Sally passed the test, while Bob failed miserably.

Exercise

Identify the subject and verb in each sentence:
Sue asked a good question. The dog barked all night. Tomorrow we will go to the baseball game. She went to Las Cruces for the weekend. Everyone needs to be more serious in class.. Joe walked and Anne drove. My brother slept in, but everyone else woke up early. The doctor told me that I need to exercise more.

Clauses
A clause is the core of the sentence • Subject + Verb • Two types of clauses:

• Independent • Dependent

Independent Clauses
An independent clause can act alone • Example:

• Sally Studied

Independent clauses can be combined with a coordinator
• For, And, Nor But, Or, Yet, So

Dependent Clauses
A dependent clause relies on an independent clause • It cannot function by itself • Example:

• While Sally studied

The dependent clause is joined to an independent clause by a subordinator
• While, because, if, so that, although, why, that, when, what, even though,

Exercise

Identify the clauses in the following sentences:
• I rode my motorcycle to work today. • Jim went to the party, but Joe had to work. • She called and I answered the phone. • Because I went to the baseball game, I missed my favorite TV show. • He knows that you want to buy the car. • When the alarm went off I rolled over, but I couldn’t sleep in.

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