Simple Sentences


So a sentence in English would need to begin with a capital letter. So here we’ve got “She finished her results section”, and “she” is capitalized. A sentence ends with punctuation. It might end with a period, a question mark, or an explanation point. We’ve got to have something at the end. A sentence also contains a subject that is only given once. So here I could say “Johnson finished her results section”, or I could say “She finished her results section”, but I don’t need to say “Johnson she finished her results section”, right, so the subject is only given once.

A sentence contains a verb or a verb phrase. So here we’ve got, “She finished her results section”; finished is the verb. “Finished her results section” could be known as the verb phrase, or you might also know this as a predicate.

A sentence follows subject-verb-object word order. So this might differ in English than in other languages, so if you are a multilingual speaker, in your native language this might not work the same way. But in English, our sentences do start with subjects. So here we have “she,” verb “finished,” and object, “her results section.”

And then, a sentence must have a complete idea that stands alone, and this might also be known as an independent clause. So if you remember back from any grammar classes you’ve had in the past, you might have heard this referred to as well as an independent clause.

Well, I’d like to just keep talking more about simple sentence structure here and break it down into a more simple way for you. Again, basically, a simple sentence needs to have a subject and a predicate.

The subject then is who or what is responsible for the action of the sentence. The predicate, again this also might be known as a verb phrase depending on your history with grammar, this is what the subject does or what the subject is. There needs to be some kind of punctuation at the end. And in this case we’ve got a period. And again, we have to have a complete idea or a complete thought.

Let’s take a look at a couple of examples of this. So, if I look at this first example, I’ve got “I write in my journal every day.” Well, in this case, the subject is “I,” and the predicate is “write in my journal every day.” “Write” is the verb, right, and then “write in my journal every day” is the noun phrase or the predicate.

Here we have “Maria is a doctor at Mercy Hospital.” So similar to the first one, we’ve got “Maria” is the subject. And then we have “is a doctor at Mercy Hospital” as the predicate. “Is” is your main verb there.

In this next example, we have a more complex subject. So here we have “All of the fifth grade students”. That is all the subject. And then we have “will take a test next week”. That’s the predicate, and “will take there” is your verb. You can see again at the end of these we always have punctuation at the end.

[Source: Walden University. ]


See also:

Types of Sentences
Compound Sentences
Complex Sentences
Combining Sentences
Common errors in structuring sentences

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