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Sentence Structure: Understanding Grammar

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Canan Dirican

on 4 November 2013

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Transcript of Sentence Structure: Understanding Grammar

Sentence Structure: Understanding Grammar
How to Identify the Subject of a Sentence
To identify a subject, you should find the verb of the sentence first. After that you should ask "who or what"
to the verb. The answer is the subject.

My sister

loves
me.


Subject Who? Verb
Simple Subject:
The subject without of its modifiers.
Animal Farm
is a great book.
Complete Subject:
The subject with its modifiers.
The amazing book
is named Animal Farm.
Compound Subject:
The subjects connected with conjunctions.
My sister and I
love hamburger.
When you see a personal pronoun, a verb will follow it and the personal pronoun is the subject of the sentence.
In a passive sentence, the action happens to the subject.
Hidden subject: You can't see the subject but you can understand it. Don't
(you)
go there!
Relative Pronouns: It explains the subject more briefly
than the complete subjects.
The one who looks good
is my best friend.
Point Of View
The perspective which the writer tells the story.
Sentence Fragments, Comma Splices and Run-on Sentences
Sentence Fragments
Sentence Fragment is an incomplete sentence - a sentence which doesn't have a verb or a subject.
Fragments can be used to impress the reader but you have to stay away from fragments if you are writing something formal.
Can't wait.


I
can't wait.
Independent
Clauses
An independent clause can stand alone as a complete sentence. It contains all the information that is necessary to be a complete sentence - a subject and a verb.
For example;
I am hungry.
We can join two independent clauses to make a sentence by using:
Comma and coordinating conjunction (
F
or,
A
nd,
N
or,
B
ut,
O
r,
Y
et,
S
o)
I am hungry
, but
I don't want to eat pizza.
Semicolon and conjunctive adverb
I've had breakfast
; nevertheless
I am still hungry.
I've had breakfast
;
I am still hungry.
If you don't use a conjunction or a semicolon you will end up with a run-on sentence.
Dependent and independent clauses are the building blocks of sentences.
Independent & Dependent Clauses
Dependent Clause
Dependent clause is the clause that cannot
stand alone. It has to combine with an independent clause in order to be a sentence.
I am hungry

because I didn't have lunch this morning.

(Subordinating conjunction)
Dependent clause+Relative Pronouns+Dependent clause
The woman

who was wearing a red dress

screamed.

Adjective Clause
I listen to music

when I am happy.


Adverb Clause
I know

who said that.


Noun Clause
Run-on Sentences
It occurs if you don't use punctuations while are you connecting two independent clauses in one sentence.
You can fix a run-on sentence by using
Comma and coordinating conjunction
Semicolon and conjunctive adverb

I love school I hate exams.


I love school
, but
I hate exams.
Comma Splices
Occurs when we don't use a coordinating conjunction after the comma while connecting two main clauses.
I don't like fish, my sister loves it.


I don't like fish,
but
my sister loves it.
First Person
Person talks about his/her own experiences. Writer uses pronouns like "I, me, we, us". It is personal and uncommon in academic writing. You can use it in the writings that you express your feelings (Ex: book review)
Second Person
The writer uses pronouns like "you" and write from perspective of teaching. It is the most often type of writing. It doesn't used often in academic writing.
Third Person
It is a more generalized perspective. It is the preferred point of view in the academic writings. Reader can compare the topic with other books easily.
Simple Present Tense: to make a verb singular, you usually add an "s/es", yo make a noun singular you remove the "s".
The cat
s
look happy / The cat look
s
happy.
Past Tense: The verb form does not change because of the singular/plural subjects.
Animal
s saw
their owners/Animal
saw
its owner.
Exceptions: Has/Have, Was/Were
Conjunctions:
If two singular subjects combine, they produce one plural subject so the verb will be plural.
My sister
and

I

are
ready.
If two singular subjects combine with nor & or, they will stay singular.
Prepositional Verbs: Subject+other words+verb.
A team
of cats
is
coming.
Subject-Verb Agreement
Singular verb+singular noun, plural verb+plural noun.
Group Nouns:
They represent a group but structurally they are singular. The team was waiting for me to go.
Stealth Singular Nouns:
They represent a singular noun but it seems like a plural word. (News, politics etc.)
Indefinite Pronouns:
They look like they are plural but actually they are singular. (Everybody, someone etc.)
Exceptions to indefinite pronouns:
few
,
many
,
both
,
others
,
several
.
Five indefinite pronouns can be either singular or plural depending on context.
Many
,
any
,
some
,
all
,
none
.
Verb Tense & Subject-Verb Agreement
Parallelism: How to Write
and Identify Parallel Sentences
If you want to spot the parallelism problems of a sentence firstly look for the coordinating conjunction. Words that are in the both sides of coordinating conjunctions should have the same part of speech.
I like
to

write
and

reading
.
I like
writing

and
reading
.
Sentences that contain correlative conjunctions must be parallel.
I like
not only

to read,

but also

writing
.
I like
not only

reading

but also

writing
.
Most common parallel structure mistakes occurs when writers list items.
Writers do parallel structure mistakes in comparison sentences as well.
I like
watching
How I Met Your Mother
more than

to watch
Doctor Who
I like
watching
HIMYM
more than

watching
Doctor Who.
While writing a parallel sentence, make sure your verb tenses are
the same.
She
looked
at me
and

smiles
.
She
looked
at me
and
smiled
.

Conjunctions
They join things in a sentence.
Identify and Avoid
'Mixed Structure' Sentences
Mixed structure sentences are problems that occur when writers combine different sentence construction types. To fix a mixed structure sentence, examine the faulty sentence and identify the two different structures that cause it, and correct your sentence.
Although
I like speaking English,
but
my pronunciation is not good enough.
Although
I like speaking English
,
my pronunciation is not good enough.
The easiest ways catch mixed structure sentence errors are to read your finished essay aloud to yourself and read your essay backward, one sentence at a time.
Coordinating Conjunctions
Joins elements that have equal importance in a sentence.
F
or
A
nd
N
or
B
ut
O
r
Y
et
S
o
They can be used to coordinate sentences, clauses, words, phrases.
I listened to music too loud so I have a
headache today.
Correlative Conjunctions
Pairs of conjunctions that join two elements of an equal importance in a sentence.
not only/ but also
either/or
neither/nor
both/and

She is not only beautiful, but also intelligent.
Canan Dirican
10/B 245
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