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Parts of a Sentence

Subject, predicate, clause, phrase, modifier
by

Misty Coller

on 15 October 2014

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Transcript of Parts of a Sentence

There are so many parts to a sentence!
How do I figure them all out?
Let's begin simply.
There are two main parts to a sentence.
Subject
Predicate
Simple? Right?
A SUBJECT is the noun or noun phrase that tells whom or what the sentence discusses.
SUBJECT
Example: Grimmace decided to save money.
What/who is the SUBJECT?
Example: All freshmen are silly.
What/who is the SUBJECT?
The main subject and ALL the words that modify it.
FULL subject
Example: Patrick Henry’s dream of freedom for all citizens compelled him to make his famous declaration.
What/who is the FULL subject?
the MAIN NOUN in the complete or full subject
SIMPLE subject
Same example: Patrick Henry’s dream of freedom for all citizens compelled him to make his famous declaration.
What/who is the SIMPLE subject?
a complete subject with multiple simple subjects
COMPOUND Subject
Example: Juanita, Tyrone, Jake, and Tim like to spend time at Darien Lake together.
What/who are the COMPOUND subjects?
So let's review.
Subject:
full subject
simple subject
compound subject
Not complicated yet...
Remember that this is the second main part of the sentence.
a verb or verb phrase telling what the subject does or is
Predicate
Example: John drove.
Example: The boy was respected by his elders because of his outstanding character.
the verb of the sentence and all the words that modify it
FULL or COMPLETE PREDICATE
You just did this in the examples given.
But just for fun, I will give you more.
Example #1: Girls rule.
Example #2: Boys drool.
Another quick review:
Predicate:
Full/complete predicate
Simple predicate
Compound predicate
the main verb in the full predicate that indicates the action or state of being of the simple subject
SIMPLE predicate
Example: The old greyhound climbs slowly up the rickety stairs to get his favorite food.
Find the simple predicate.
a complete predicate with multiple verbs
COMPOUND predicate
Example: He thought of his lover and missed her dearly.
What is the COMPOUND PREDICATE?
Example: The freshman was looking straight ahead and running for the pond.
What is the COMPOUND PREDICATE?
On a scale of 1-5, tell me how hard that was by raising your hands with your difficulty level.

5 = Oooh! Wicked easy! I did that in 3rd grade.
1 = That stuff scares me. I will fail this test.
Example: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water.
So we move on to...
But let's get more sophisticated. Determine the complete predicate in the following sentences:
In a calm river on a very sunny day, Ron decided to repair the punctured kayak body with a simple piece of currently bland chewing gum. He quickly earned the nickname "McGuiver". This is a true story.
a part of a sentence that contains its own subject and predicate
Clause
In fact, a sentence could CONSIST of only one clause!
(It would have to be an INDEPENDENT clause, though.)
Example: My couch is comfortable.
In this sentence, there is a subject and predicate. Therefore it is a CLAUSE. This is also called a SIMPLE sentence.
Yep. It can stand alone.
INDEPENDENT CLAUSE
Like the honey badger, it is fierce and can stand INDEPENDENTLY against all odds.
When it stands alone, it is a SIMPLE sentence.
Look at this sentence:
When the Bears are playing, the opposing team shakes in their cleats.
It has TWO subj/pred sets. Only ONE is fierce enough, like the honey badger, to be able to stand alone.
Try another sentence. Find the INDEPENDENT CLAUSE:
If he actually pays attention, he has a chance to pass English class.
This is a CLAUSE that needs something else to be a complete sentence. It needs an independent clause to become a sentence.
Dependent clause
Remember our sentence? When the Bears are playing, the other team shakes in their cleats.
Where is the DEPENDENT clause? Which word makes this dependent instead of independent?
Try another one:
If I had a million dollars, I would buy you an emu.
He tried to leap over a tall building in a single bound, but he quickly realized that he wasn't Superman when he couldn't even get off the ground.
How many CLAUSES are in the following sentence? Which ones are INDEPENDENT and which are DEPENDENT?
A DEPENDENT clause can function as a NOUN.
If you want to get tricky...
Example: I realized that I owed my entire happiness to my cousin Bob.
A DEPENDENT clause can also function as an ADJECTIVE or ADVERB.
This is an example of a dependent clause functioning as an adjective: The homework that Mrs. Clancy gave was simple and easy to understand.
Review:
Subject (full, simple, compound)
Predicate (full simple, compound)
Clause (independent, dependent)
a group of related words without a subject or predicate
PHRASE
Example:
The snarling badger attacked the cobra.
The simple subject is BADGER.
The simple predicate is ATTACKED.
What other word group appears in this sentence that DOESN'T have a sub/pred combination?
As what part of speech does THE SNARLING BADGER function?
He gave her the book of poems.
Find a word group WITH a sub/pred combination.
What is this called?
Find a word group WITHOUT a sub/pred combination.
What is this called?
FYI - A phrase is NOT a whole sentence. It is a FRAGMENT of a sentence.
Also, a DEPENDENT CLAUSE is not a whole sentence! It is also a FRAGMENT.
You were right if you said NOUN.
a PHRASE that starts with a PREPOSITION.
Prepositional
PHRASE
with a grenade
in New Vegas
at Hoover Dam
for the ghouls
about King Mirelurks
against the Legion
into Craterside Supply
with nuca-cola
at the refugee camp
of an outlaw
Phrase (noun phrases, adjective phrases, prepositional phrases)
Phrases can function as ADJECTIVES:
The woman getting all the attention was famous.
Phrases can function as ADVERBS:
The dog was infested with fleas.
The woman GETTING ALL THE ATTENTION was famous.
The dog was infested WITH FLEAS.
a word or phrase that modifies or adds information to other parts of a sentence
MODIFIER
Adjectives, adverbs, and many phrases and clauses are modifiers.
a word or phrase that limits the scope or degree of an idea
LIMITING MODIFIER
Words like almost, only, or barely are limiting modifiers
Example: It was almost time for dinner.
a phrase or clause that restricts the meaning of what it modifies and is necessary to the idea of its sentence
RESTRICTING MODIFIER
Find the restrictive modifier in the following example: Any person who has not graduated high school has great difficulty finding a lucrative career.
Just for fun, where is the SUBJECT?
Where is the PREDICATE?
Find any phrases.
How many clauses does this sentence have?
Correct answer:
"Any person who has not graduated high school"
Correct answer:
"has great difficulty finding a lucrative career"
Correct answer:
"any person"
"great difficulty"
"finding a lucrative career"
Correct answer:
ONE
"Any has."
(This could be a complete sentence because it has a subject and a predicate and is independent.)
Modifier that further explains, but doesn't restrict
NON-RESTRICTING
MODIFIER
Seventeenth-century poets, many of whom were also devout Christians, wrote excellent poetry.
We could hear the singing bird—a wren, perhaps, or a robin—throughout the forest.
Commas, dashes, or parentheses set apart nonrestricting modifiers.
Get into groups. You will have ONE MINUTE to tell each other everything you remember about each part of a sentence.
Ready?
Set.
Answer: Grimmace
Answer: All Freshman
Answer: Patrick Henry’s dream of freedom for all citizens
Answer: dream
(In this case DREAM is a thing, not a verb.)
Answer:
drove
Answer:
was respected by his elders because of his outstanding character
Answer: rule
Answer: drool
The simple predicate is CLIMBS.
Answer:
THOUGHT
MISSED
Answer:
*was looking
*was running
Full transcript