The Sentence: Subjects and Verbs





Fragment vs. Sentence



A SENTENCE has a subject and a verb.  It will make sense.



     Helen loves to run in the woods with her dog.  (This is a sentence.  IT has a subject (HELEN) and a verb (loves).  It also makes sense.


A FRAGMENT is a part of sentence.  It does not contain a subject or a verb.  It makes NO SENSE.



     Over by the old barn in the woods.  (NOT a SENTENCE.  This is a FRAGMENT.  This phrase does not make any sense.)



Kinds of Sentences 


There are FOUR kinds of sentence.  Each type has its own unique punctuation mark at the end.


     1.  DECLARATIVE SENTNECE:  This a sentence that makes a statement or expresses an opinion.  It will always end with a PERIOD.



                    The ice cream was very cold and very tasty.

                     My favorite thing to do in my spare time is to be on my cell phone.

                     I think that summer is way too hot.



2.  INTEROGATIVE SENTENCE:  This is a sentence that asks a question.  It will always end with a QUESTION MARK.



                    How many days are there in a school year?

                    What type of pizza is your favorite?

                    Who is the person with the new red car?



3.  IMPERATIVE SENTENCE:  This a sentence that makes a requests or gives a command.  It can end with a PERIOD if it is request, and it can end with an EXCALMATION MARK if it is a command.  THe subjects of this type of sentece is understood (YOU).



                      Please close the window for me.  (This is a request, so a PERIOD is needed.)

                      Get out of the road now!  (This is a command, so an EXCALMATION MARK is needed.

                      Show your father the award that you won.  (This is a request, so a PERIOD is needed.)

                      Watch out for that falling piece of concrete!  (This is a command, so an EXCALMATION MARK is needed.)



4.  EXCLAMATORY SENTENCE:  A sentence that show expresses strong feeling/emotion.  It will end with an EXCALMATORY MARK.



                    Sit down now!  (Shows strong emotion.  It will end with an EXCALMATORY MARK.

                    What a tasty pie that was!  (Shows strong feeling.  It will end with an EXCALMATORY MARK.




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Subjects and Predicates


A SENTENCE is a group of words that express a complte thought.  Sentences must have two basic parts in order to do that.  The parts are a SUBJECT and a PREDICATE.


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The SUBJECT tells what the sentence is about.  The PREDICATE shows what the Subject is doing or being connected to at the end of the sentence.


The SIMPLE SUBJECT is the the main words (sometimes words) that tells the reader who/what the sentence is about.


     My old friend came to my house.  (The simple subject is FRIEND.  It tells who or what the sentence is talking about.

At night the dogs howl very loudly.  (The simple subject is DOGS.  It tells who or what the sentence is talking about.




The old man is my grandfather

That cat is not the one that comes to the backporch.

Susie brought her new bike to the game for us to see.

Everyone in the English class got his/her homework done on time.





Verb and Verb Phrase


A VERB or VERB PHRASE shows what the subject is doing or what the subject is being connected to at the end of the sentence.  To find the VERB or VERB PHRASe first find the simple subject then ask what the simple subject is doing or is being connected to.




The cat meowed all night long.  (In this sentence the subject is CAT.  Ask what the cat is doing or what is the cat being connected to:  the answer is MEOWED.  The verb is MEOWED.


After math class the students took a recess break.  (In this sentence the subject is STUDENTS.  Ask what the students are doing or what are they being connected to:  the answer is TOOK.  The verb is TOOK.


My best friend could eat a whole pizza in one bit.  (In this sentence the subject is FRIEND.  Ask what the friend is doing or being connected to:  the answer is COULD EAT .  The verb is COULD EAT.




could  +  run  = COULD RUN  (COULD is a helping verb.  RUN is the main verb.  The verb phrase is COULD RUN.)



am, is are was were be, being been has have had, do does, did , may might, must can, could shall, should will, would.


VERB PHRAES can be written as one unit (DID WALK) or they be written seperated in a sentence. (Max SHOULD never ASK again!)


***N'T is NOT.  It is never part of the verb.  

The dog SHOULDn't HAVE BARKED at all.  (N'T is not part of the verb, so it must be left off!!)





COULDn't the train HAVE MOVED faster?


The wagon DID ROLL down the hill.


Megan ATE the whole thing.



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Compound Subjects and Compound Verbs (verb phrases)


A COMPOUND SUBJECT is two or more SIMPLE SUBJECTS joined together by a conjunction. 




Millie and Gail took the books to the library. (Mille and Gail is the compound subject)


At the store my mother, father, and sister found a really good deal on shoes.  (mother, father, and sister is the compound subject)





And, but, or, nor, for, either/or, neither/nor, not only/but also



A COMPOUND VERB or VERB PHRASE is two or more verb/verb phrases joined together by a conjunction.




The pilot flew and landed the plane perfectly


My friend Marissa did call and tell me the story.





Normal position of a subject is at the first of the sentence followed by the verb.  Sometimes a subject can be in the middle or end of the sentence


Normal Sentence Structure is:


                   Subject first followed by the verb.


Subjects in inverted order look like this:


                   Verb first followed by the subject.




There is that book.  (Subject is BOOK and the verb is IS.

Did your little brother win the price?  (Subject is BROTHER and the verb is DID WIN)



"In teaching others we teach ourselves"  - Proverb