Grammar - Sentences


Our first unit in Writing will be on sentences.  We will learn about sentence structure and the kinds of sentences.

 A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought.  A sentence has 2 parts - the subject and the predicate.

 The subject tells who or what is doing something.  It can also name who or what is being talked about.

  • A simple subject is the main noun or pronoun in a complete subject.

                     Two big white tigers slept in the sun.    

                     The golden sun glistened in the sky.

  • A complete subject includes all the words that tell whom or what the sentence is about.

                     Two big white tigers slept in the sun.

                     The golden sun glistened in the sky.

  • A compound subject has two or more simple subjects with the same predicate that are joined by the words and or or.  

                     Tanya and John will visit the zoo today.   

                     Fran or Len will go with them.

  • In sentences that give commands or make requests, the subject is sometimes left out. You is the understood subject of these sentences.

                     (You) Take Tyler home now.

 The predicate of a sentence tells what the subject does or is, or what happens to the subject.

  • The simple predicate is the verb in the complete sentence.

                     Our team won last night's game.

                     It has won every game this season.

  • The complete predicate includes the simple predicate and all the words that make up the predicate part of the sentence.  

                     Our team won last night's game.

                     It has won every game this season.

  • A compound predicate includes two or more simple predicates joined together by the words and or or.

                     The team cheered and celebrated with a party.

                     The team will win or lose the national championship.

 Sentences have a structure.  They can be simple sentences, compound sentences, or complex sentences.

  • A simple sentence expresses one complete thought.  It may have more than one subject and more than one predicate.  

                     Miguel enjoys gymnastics.

                     His heart and lungs are growing stronger.

                     Miguel exercises each day and eats healthful foods.

  • A compound sentence has two or more simple sentences that are joined by a comma or conjunction such as and, but, or, nor, for, or so.

                     Amy went to the movies, and she saw a great film.

  • A complex sentence includes a simple sentence and one or more clauses that cannot stand alone.



Simple Sentence


Amy was really happy

because the book was exciting.


 A common mistake that writer make is to write sentence fragments or run-on sentences. 

  • A fragment is an incomplete thought.  Most fragments are missing either a subject or a predicate.  You can correct them by adding a subject or predicate.  

           fragment:  cause a lot of damage

           sentence:  Natural disasters cause a lot of damage.

  • A run-on sentence is two or more complete sentences joined without either punctuation or a conjunction.  To correct a run-on, add punctuation and capitalize the next word or add a comma and a conjunction.   

            run-on:     Mia saw a bear she ran for help.

            sentence: Mia saw a bear.  She ran for help.

            sentence: Mia saw a bear, and she ran for help.  

 There are 4 types of sentences.  Each one has a specific purpose.   

  • Declarative sentences make statements or give opinions.  A period(.) ends a declarative sentence.

            Wolves are endangered and need protection.

            I think it is important to care for wildlife.

  • Interrogative sentences ask a question.  A question mark (?) ends an interrogative sentence.  

            Have you ever seen a wolf?

            Do you think wolves are interesting animals?

  • Exclamatory sentences show strong feeling or surprise.  An exclamation point (!) ends an exclamatory sentence.

             I can't believe it!  I saw a wolf and her pups!

             Seeing the little wolves play was the greatest!

  • Imperative sentences make requests or give commands.  A period (.) ends an imperative sentence.   

             Show Pia the wolves.

             Be careful not to frighten them.