You are on page 1of 10


I> DEFINITION II> CLASSIFICATION II.1> Simple sentences II.2> Complex sentences II.3> Compound sentences III> TREE DIAGRAMS


Sentence is the largest unit of grammatical organization within which parts of speech (e.g. nouns, verbs, adverbs) and grammatical classes (e.g. word, phrase, clause) are said to function. In English a sentence normally contains one independent clause with a FINITE VERB. [Richards et al,1992:330] E.g.: The flight to Tokyo took 2 hours

Sentences have a structure containing clauses & may be related in 2 ways: -Co-ordinated clauses: +have coordinating conjunctions: and, but, or, yet, so, for, nor, not E.g.: Mary likes roses, but I like marigolds Ned began nodding, for the room was hot -Subordinated clauses: +have subordinating conjunctions: since, if, so that, unless, because, when, in case that, E.g.: She telephoned as soon as she could Syntactic status of conjunctions: conjunctions -are words -function directly at the sentence level: connector

II> CLASSIFICATION (according to structure) II.1> Simple sentences A simple sentence consists of a single clause that stands alone as its own sentence [Finegan, 1994 :122]. E.g. : She crawled on the floor. We will go to Greece next month.

II.2> Complex sentences

A complex sentence combines two (or more) clauses in such a way that one clause functions as a grammatical part of the other one [Finegan, 1994 :122]. E.g. : While i was having a bath in the bathroom last night, someone knocked at the door. Because i love him, i can do everything for him. Complex sentences contain clauses of unequal status One clause is subordinate to another clause and function as a grammatical part of that clause. We call the subordinate clause an embedded clause and the clause into which it is embedded a matrix clause. Every subordinate clause is by definition embedded in a matrix clause, in which it serves in a grammatical function such as subject, direct object, or adverbial .[Finegan, 1994 :122]

E.g. : That rain is going to fall is obvious. Subject finite clause To reach the goal is my biggest concern now. Subject non-finite clause Do you know why i admire you a lot ? Direct object finite clause The whole class does not know where to meet the professor. Direct object non-finite clause He gave whomever he met a warm greeting. Indirect object finite clause She did not give finding the lost bicycle a second thought. Indirect object non-finite cl.

She became what she had hoped. Subjective complement finite clause My advice is quit the job. Subjective complement non-finite clause They made him what he had always wanted to be. Objective complement finite clause The smell of oil began her coughing. Objective complement non-finite clause I strongly advise on where you look for the job Prepositional complement finite clause We can count on him to present at the conference. Prep. complement non-finite cl.

II.3> Compound sentences

In a coordinate sentence (called compound in traditional grammars), two or more clauses are joined by a conjunction in a coordinate relationship [Finegan, 1994 :122]. A compound sentence contains two clauses joined by a word such as and, but, or or, which are called coordinating conjunctions, or simply conjunctions The clauses in a coordinate sentence hold equal status. Neither clause is part of the other clause, and each could stand by itself as an independent sentence. [Finegan, 1994 :118] E.g. : She is rich but i am poor. Roses are red and violets are blue and so are you.

III> Tree diagrams

- Some rules of thumb for doing tree diagrams [Kuiper, K & Allan, W.S. 1996, 256] 1) Find the lexical verbs: For each lexical verb there will be one associated verb phrase and one associated clause. Therefore, you know how many clauses there are in the sentence by counting the number of lexical verbs. 2) Find the main clause: To do this ask yourself what the whole sentence would say as its most simple if it were to be put into. S 3) Start at the top and work down: NP VP Once you have worked out the main functions in the main clause you can fill in the top of the structures 4) Find embedded clauses: All the rest of the clauses you have found that are not the main clause can be treated in the same way. Since they are embedded they must either be modifiers of a head of phrase or functioning as the whole of a subject, object, intensive complement or adverbial.

S Conj Cl Cl


NH Lex.V Ident. NH AdjH PronH Lex.V Non-fin O: NP V Ident.NH Although Jim finds the work difficult, he continues to do his best