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Transcript
Sentences
Back to basics
Sentences
We begin by identifying two parts of speech that are in
every complete sentence: nouns and verbs.
A noun is a word that names something: a person,
place, thing, or idea.
A common noun is a general name:
song, musician, foreigner
A proper noun is a specific name:
Let It Be, Beatles, Englishman
Sentences
A verb is a word that expresses action or
state of being.
action: run, carried, screamed
state of being: is, are, seemed
Sentences
A verb may consist of one word or of several words. It
may be composed of a main verb and one or more
helping verbs.
helping verb +
will
would
is
must have
main verb
return
expect
leaving
shown
=
verb
will return
would expect
is leaving
must have
shown
Sentences

There are two basic parts to a sentence
The subject tells whom or what the
sentence is about. We know a noun is a
person, place, thing, or idea. So the
subject will always contain a noun.
 The predicate is the idea expressed about
the subject. It usually tells what the subject
is; what the subject did; or what happened
to the subject. The predicate contains the
verb.

Sentences
EXAMPLES
Subject (who or what)




The volcano
A reporter
My cousin
The subway riders
Predicate (idea
expressed about
the subject)
erupted again.
relayed the news.
became an artist.
raced for the door.
Sentences

The complete subject includes all the words that identify
the person, place, thing, or idea the sentence is about.

The busy volcano erupted again.
What is the complete subject?
The busy volcano.



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

The simple subject names exactly what or whom the
sentence is about.
The busy volcano erupted again.
What is the simple subject?
volcano
Sentences


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The complete predicate includes all the words that tell or
ask something about the subject.
The busy volcano erupted again.
What is the complete predicate?
erupted again.
The simple predicate is the verb.
The busy volcano erupted again.
What is the simple predicate (the verb)?
erupted.
Sentences
Examples:
The question confused me.
Draw a line between the complete subject and
the complete predicate.
What is the complete subject?
What is the complete predicate?
Sentences
Example:
The black stove glowed like a lighted
pumpkin.
What is the simple subject? (one word)
What is the simple predicate (the verb)?
(one word)
Sentences
PRACTICE:
The soft mud under my feet cushioned my toes.
Complete subject:
Complete predicate:
Our leadoff hitter ripped a ground-rule double.
Simple subject:
Simple predicate:
All four tires need air.
Simple subject:
Simple predicate:
Sentences
Every complete sentence has a subject
and a predicate.
Is this a complete sentence?
The book on the floor.
Is this a complete sentence?
I stepped on the book on the floor.
Sentences
Is this a complete sentence?
The hippie hat on his head.
Is this a complete sentence?
The hippie hat on his head leaned at a
humorous angle.
Sentences
Sentences contain clauses
 A clause is a group of words that
contains both a subject and a predicate.
 An independent clause can stand alone;
it expresses a complete thought.
 A subordinate clause cannot stand
alone; it does not make sense without
the rest of the sentence.

Sentences





After the families came to the United States, they
tried hard to fit into American culture.
The boldfaced clause is a subordinate clause: It needs
the rest of the sentence to make sense.
The narrator’s mother liked to invent gadgets, and
her father worked at a more traditional job.
The two boldfaced clauses each express a complete
thought. They are independent clauses joined by the
conjunction “and.”
Now, you practice.
Sentences: Comma Splices
Comma splices
 Two independent clauses (or two
complete thoughts) within one sentence
cannot be separated by a comma alone.
 When that occurs, we have what’s called
a comma “splice.”

Sentences: Comma Splices

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
Example: Henry probably still would end up
like he does, no one can ever tell what is
happening to him or her next in life.
We have two independent clauses:
Henry probably still would end up like he does.
No one can ever tell what is happening to him
or her next in life.
But they are erroneously “spliced” by only a
comma.
Sentences: Comma Splices

Fix the comma “splice” in three ways:

Simply replace the comma with a semi-colon.

Henry probably still would end up like he does; no one can ever tell what
is happening to him or her next in life.

Keep the comma, but add a subordinating or coordinating conjunction.

Henry probably still would end up like he does, because no one can ever
tell what is happening to him or her next in life.

Replace the comma with a period and form two sentences.

Henry probably still would end up like he does. No one can ever tell what
is happening to him or her next in life.
Sentences: Comma Splices
Example: It was more than that, the
crops were not rotated.
 Fix: It was more than that; the crops
were not rotated.
 It was more than that. The crops were
not rotated.

Sentences: Comma Splices

Identify and correct the comma splices in these
sentences.

Because of their circumstances, the world was
cruel to them, they had no chance for a
prosperous life.

They decide to go west, nature simply gives them
a push.

It could be argued that Jackie Brown should have
pursued an education, it’s not that simple.
Parallel structure
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When we talk about parallel structure, we're dealing with a balancing
act. The idea isn't too hard, but most people don't think about it.
So what are we balancing? . . . pairs of words or series of words. Look at
the following:
Pairs
a and b
a or b
Series
a, b, and c
a, b, or c
Think of the letters as standing for words or groups of words. Any words
or groups of words that you plug in have to be the same kinds of words
or word patterns. That's all there is to it! Let's see how the "formula"
works:
Parallel structure

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
Pairs: running and jumping, bothered and bewildered, open or shut,
laughing or crying (all are verbs)
Series: broken, bedraggled, and bone-tired (all are adjectives)
an old shoe, a stuffed bear, and a chewed-up blanket (all are nouns)
When you write your sentences using parallel structure, your ideas
come across more clearly because they're easier to read. Compare the
following sentences:
Peggotty's toys were an old shoe, a bear that was stuffed, and she had
chewed up an old blanket.
Peggotty's toys were an old shoe, a stuffed bear, and a chewed-up
blanket.
See how the second sentence is smoother and more balanced?
Adapted from “Big Dog’s Grammar” http://aliscot.com/bigdog/parallel.htm