SENTENCE STRUCTURE

What¶s a sentence?
‡ Here are three sentences:
± He smiles. ± Autumn leaves twirled gently to the ground. ± The park district will open an outdoor ice skating rink in November.

Length does not determine what is and is not a sentence. Regardless of how long or short a group of words is, it needs two parts to be a sentence: a subject and a predicate. ‡The subject tells us who or what. ‡The predicate tells us what about it.

twirl gently to the ground. . will open an outdoor ice skating rink in November. These two parts connect to form a basic sentence.Who or what? He Autumn leaves The park district What about it? smiles. also known as an independent clause.

. the predicate is the other wheel.Another way to describe a sentence is to compare it to a bike« The subject is one wheel. These two parts connect to form a stable structure.

We can have just one word in each wheel« Children play. Students studied. .

But most of the time our ideas include more details. . The neighborhood children play basketball at the community center. Students in the biology lab studied cells under an electron microscope. We add extra words to the wheels.

Efficient train service will decrease traffic congestion. The predicate tells us what about it. The subject tells us who or what.Regardless of how much detail we add. . benefit from customer loyalty. the wheels give the same kind of information. Who or what? Randy Companies What about it? loves pizza.

Do not separate them with a comma.Subjects and predicates connect directly. Incorrect: Carlos and his family. showed me that honor is more important than winning. . Correct: Carlos and his family showed me that honor is more important than winning.

a subject and a predicate . Concrete image A sentence has two parts: . .they connect to form a sentence.Taking Stock The bike with its subject and predicate wheels show a concrete image of how sentences work. A sentence is NOT determined by its length.

there must be a ³who or what´ (subject) and a ³what about it.´ (predicate) .Meaning-centered definition Remember: to be a sentence.to test whether a group of words is a sentence. ask yourself: ³Is there a who or what and a what about it?´ Examples: Everyone started to dance. (yes! this is a sentence) When the music began. (no! there is no ³who or what´ or ³what about it´) .

Dependent clauses Dependent clauses cannot stand alone. . They are not complete sentences. They are like baskets that need to be attached to the bike (or the independent clause).

When the music began.When the music began Everyone started to dance. . everyone started to dance.

Here are some more dependent clauses: As soon as it stopped raining Because I registered early When we need a quiet place to study .

. Because I registered early. When we need a quiet place to study.We can place these baskets on the front of a bike. As soon as it stopped raining. I got the classes I wanted. we saw a double rainbow. we go to the library.

We can also place them on the back of a bike. We saw a double rainbow as soon as it stopped raining. . We go to the library when we need a quiet place to study. I got the classes I wanted because I registered early.

They are like baskets that need to be attached to a bike.More Dependent Clauses Another kind of dependent clause begins with the relative pronouns who. who works part-time which includes a swimming pool that is parked in my driveway These clauses are NOT sentences. . and that. which.

Sometimes they¶re in the middle of the bike. Frank. The new fitness center.These baskets go after the word they describe. . who works part-time. will open in February. The car that is parked in my driveway is Henry¶s. which includes a swimming pool. will be our guide.

Karen likes books that have a happy ending.Sometimes they are on the back of the bike. which begins at noon. . who do not eat meat. I have tickets to the jazz festival. We are making pasta for the Richardsons.

Example: The new fitness center. Basket: which includes a swimming pool . Basic sentence: The new fitness center will open in April. we need a basic sentence (or independent clause) to support it. will open in April. which includes a swimming pool.Sentence Support Regardless of what kind of basket (or dependent clause) we add.

Taking Stock The baskets help you understand that .dependent clauses are not sentences . .they need to be attached to a sentence Moving Forward The basket is also useful for understanding fragments and sentence variety.

Often it¶s a disconnected basket. . It may lack a subject or a predicate.Fragments A fragment is just a part of a sentence.

The village will enlarge the parking lot. I was not responsible.Disconnected dependent clauses As soon as I understood the problem. Let¶s rent the same movie. That we saw last weekend. I thought of a solution. Which serves weekday commuters. When I was sixteen. .

We put an ad in the Lake Norman Times. We have ordered everything on the menu. The corporation provides employees with benefits. . Like medical insurance and a pension. Our local newspaper.Disconnected description and detail It was an easy task. Especially for someone so small. Except fried buffalo wings.

They are going to Asheville for the weekend.Disconnected -ing and ±to fragments I sprinted down the street. To celebrate their anniversary. . To prove to ourselves we could do it. Hoping to find a cure. Trying to catch the train. The scientists continued their research. We walked up sixteen flights of stairs.

trying to catch the train. I sprinted down the street. As soon as I understood the problem. I thought of a solution.We can correct these fragments by attaching them to the sentence. .

. or on the back. we can add a variety of baskets on the front. Once we have a stable structure. in the middle.Sentence Variety Baskets are excellent ways to create sentence variety.

. we took a nap before studying. By the time we got home. Irritable after a long day at work. we bought a truck. the viaduct was closed because of flooding. Earlier this spring.We can add a variety of baskets on the front. it was dark. Eight months ago.

The elderly couple. A modern art gallery. John Jackson. a friend since grade school. is under construction. unable to sleep. walking slowly up the driveway. waved at their grandchildren. is my math tutor. . turned on the light. funded by a million dollar grant.A variety of baskets in the middle: My little brother.

. even my sister. We are building a home with Habitat for Humanity. lulling us to sleep. a national volunteer program.And a variety of baskets on the back: Jeff wants a hybrid. Everyone wants to leave at noon. A gentle rain fell throughout the night. his best hope for good gas mileage.

we can save money. use a comma to show readers where the addition ends and the basic sentence begins. the main idea. ‡ If you begin a sentence with a basket. If we go to the early movie. According to the weather report. . tomorrow will be hot and humid.The Logic of Punctuation Readers are looking for the who or what and what about it of a sentence. Commas help them see that main idea.

features local artists. . which opens this weekend. The art gallery. Ruby. will loan me her car.If the basket interrupts the sentence. my sister¶s best friend. use commas to show readers where the addition begins and ends.

not the past. The award was given to James Johnson. . the most respected person in our town. the comma shows readers where the addition begins.If the basket is attached to the end of the sentence. They are living in the present.

how the whole communicates meaning .how the parts relate to the whole . .how punctuation signals these connections.SUMMARY The bike helps students see how sentences work .

giving the who or what. or the back of the bike.Students see how the whole communicates meaning and how the parts relate to the whole. These two parts connect to form a stable structure. giving the what about it. . the middle. The predicate is the other wheel. These additions are like baskets that can be placed on the front. which can then carry additions (baskets). The subject is one wheel.

the main idea of the sentence. Students learn. for example. students realize that punctuation is not a list of arbitrary rules to be inserted on top of sentences. that commas are used to mark additions so readers can see the basic sentence. Through similar explanations and concrete illustrations.Students see how punctuation signals these connections. it is system of signs telling readers how to read the writer¶s thoughts. .

Focuses on the essential ± doesn¶t lose students with overwhelming detail .BIKE STRENGTHS .Emphasizes Who or what/What about it definition .Concrete (similar to diagramming) .Can be used with traditional terminology .

A CONCRETE IMAGE OF HOW SENTENCES WORK .