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Laurah Jurca
Laurah Jurca
(Laurel - United States)

<p>I currently serve as an ESOL Coach for my school district in Maryland. I work with both ESOL and mainstream teachers to help them improve the quality of their instruction for their English language learners. During my career, I have taught grades k-8,  ...

Sentence Structure

Lesson 1: The Basic Sentence

 

Lesson 1: THE BASIC SENTENCE

Every sentence has a subject and a verb.


Subject and verb

works is not a sentence because we do not learn who or what works; there is a verb, but no subject.
John is not a sentence; there is no verb.
John works is a sentence; there is a subject (John) and a verb (works).
John, the manager of the store is not a sentence; there is no verb. We do not learn how John and the manager of the store go together.

Here are some sentences:

[s]:Subject, [v]:Verb

[s] John [v] is the manager of the store.

[s] John [v] works for the manager of the store.

[s] John [v] is talking to the manager of the store.

[s] The mountains of Nepal [v] are the highest in the world.

[s] The house on the hill [v] is very old.


Word order

If a sentence tells us something (a statement), the verb goes after the subject. If a sentence asks us something (a question), one word of the verb goes before the subject.

[s]:Subject, [v]:Verb

STATEMENT [s] John [v] is riding a bicycle.

QUESTION [v] Is [s] John [v] riding a bicycle?


Exercise 1.1: The Sentence

Exercise 1.1: The Sentence

Look at the words below. Are they sentences or not? Answer True or False.

Example: She student.
Answer: False.

1. John a manager.

True False

2. John is a manager.

True False

3. Works six days a week.

True False

4. He works six days a week.

True False

5. Are you a student?

True False

6. I a student.

True False

7. I work

True False

8. He very happy about it.

True False

9. Is he happy about it?

True False

Unit 1: THE BASIC SENTENCE

Unit 1: THE BASIC SENTENCE

Every sentence has a subject and a verb.


Subject and verb

works is not a sentence because we do not learn who or what works; there is a verb, but no subject.
John is not a sentence; there is no verb.
John works is a sentence; there is a subject (John) and a verb (works).
John, the manager of the store is not a sentence; there is no verb. We do not learn how John and the manager of the store go together.

Here are some sentences:

[s]:Subject, [v]:Verb

[s] John [v] is the manager of the store.

[s] John [v] works for the manager of the store.

[s] John [v] is talking to the manager of the store.

[s] The mountains of Nepal [v] are the highest in the world.

[s] The house on the hill [v] is very old.


Word order

If a sentence tells us something (a statement), the verb goes after the subject. If a sentence asks us something (a question), one word of the verb goes before the subject.

[s]:Subject, [v]:Verb

STATEMENT [s] John [v] is riding a bicycle.

QUESTION [v] Is [s] John [v] riding a bicycle?


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Exercise 1.1

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Punctuating sentences, 1 (SMART-created)

Practice using periods, exclamation marks and question marks correctly in a sentence.

To download Notebook interactive viewer visit www.education.smarttech.com/nbiv

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Punctuating sentences, 2 (SMART-created)

Learn how to use commas, semicolons and colons correctly in a sentence.

To download Notebook interactive viewer visit www.education.smarttech.com/nbiv

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Text Structures PowerPoint

Students read a passage and guess which structure it uses. Examples of all text structures are included: descriptive, chronological, sequence, cause/effect, problem/solution, compare/contrast.

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Affirmative And Negative Contractions

This English As A Second Language/English As A Foreign Language handout explains the use of contractions with Be. It is intended for low beginner ESL/EFL adult student, but may work well in elementary school and high school beginner ESL classes. It has many colorful photos. It uses adjectives. The activities are: change sentences from the full form to the contracted form, and uncscable the words and write the sentence.

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Lesson 62: Simple Sentence Types

Lesson 62: SIMPLE SENTENCE TYPES

All sentences need a subject and a verb. Some sentences do not need anything else to complete them. But with most sentences, a subject and a verb are not enough. This lesson shows you seven basic types of sentences.

1

SUBJECT + VERB (only)

[S]: SUBJECT + [V]: VERB

[S] Maria [V] is working..

[S] They [V] talked.

[S] It [V] has been raining.

Of course, we can add extra information if we want to:

Maria is working very hard these days.
They talked about hockey.
It has been raining for days.

But the extra information is not necessary to make a good sentence.

2

SUBJECT + VERB + NOUN PHRASE (Lesson 45)

[S]: SUBJECT + [V]: VERB + [N]: NOUN PHRASE

[S] We [V] have found [N] a house.

[S] John [V] is [N] the best player.

[S] The teacher [V] saw [N] me.

These sentences are not complete without the noun phrase.

3

SUBJECT + VERB + ADJECTIVE (Lesson 64)

[S]: SUBJECT + [V]: VERB + [A]: ADJECTIVE

[S] The noise [V] was [A] terrible.

[S] She [V] looked [A] beautiful.

[S] The food [V] tasted [A] lovely.

You can also make sentences of this type with these verbs:
become, get, feel, seem, smell, sound.

4

SUBJECT + VERB + NOUN PHRASE + PLACE

[S]: SUBJECT + [V]: VERB + [N]: NOUN PHRASE + [P]: PLACE

[S] John [V] put [N] the book [P] on the table.

[S] He [V] left [N] his bag [P] on the train.

We must complete a sentence with put this way.

5

SUBJECT + VERB + NOUN PHRASE + NOUN PHRASE

[S]: SUBJECT + [V]: VERB + [N]: NOUN PHRASE + [N]: NOUN PHRASE

[S] She [V] gave [N] John [N] a watch.
(gave a watch to John)

[S] John [V] bought [N] Maria [N] a present.
(bought it for Maria)

[S] They [V] showed [N] us [N] the garden.
(showed the garden to us)

[S] He [V] told [N] me [N] a joke.
(told a joke to me)

[S] I [V] lent [N] him [N] my car.
(lent my car to him)

You can also make sentences of this type with these verbs:
ask, bring, find, leave, make, offer, owe, pay, promise, read, sell, send, take, teach, wish.

6

SUBJECT + VERB + NOUN PHRASE + ADJECTIVE

[S]: SUBJECT + [V]: VERB + [N]: NOUN PHRASE + [A]: ADJECTIVE

[S] I [V] painted [N] the house [A] red.

[S] They [V] kept [N] the man [A] warm.

[S] She [V] made [N] him [A] angry.

You can also make sentences of this type with these verbs:
call, find, get, hate, have, leave, like, prefer, want.

7

SUBJECT + VERB + to + BASE FORM OF VERB (Lesson 14)

[S]: SUBJECT + [V]: VERB + to + [BF]: BASE FORM OF VERB

[S] Everybody [V] had to [BF] go.

[S] I [V] want to [BF] leave.


NOTICE:

The sentences in 1-7 above show the basic information in the sentence. But we can always add extra information to them. For example:

2 above We have found a house near the station.

3 above Yesterday, the noise was terrible.

4 above He left his bag on the train by mistake.

5 above She gave John a watch for his birthday.

6 above They kept the man warm with a blanket.

7 above I want to leave as soon as possible.


Lesson 63: Complex Sentence Types

Lesson 63: COMPLEX SENTENCE TYPES

Simple sentence types are in Lesson 62. This lesson shows you some other types of sentence. It also tells you the most useful verbs which you can use with each type.

NOTICE:
To understand NOUN PHRASES, look at Lesson 45.
To learn about VERB FORMS, look at Lesson 14.

1

VERB + NOUN PHASE + BASE FORM OF VERB

[V]: VERB, [N]: NOUN PHRASE, [BF]: BASE FORM OF VERB

They [V] let [N] the children [BF] leave early.

Just [V] look at [N] him [BF] run!

In this type, you can also use:
feel, hear, help, make, notice, see, watch.

2

VERB + NOUN PHRASE + to BASE FORM OF VERB

[V]: VERB, [N]: NOUN PHRASE, [BF]: to BASE FORM OF VERB

Everybody [V] expects [N] Argentina [BF] to win.

The boss [V] wants [N] us [BF] to work late today.

In this type, you can also use:
allow, ask, forbid, get, help, leave, prefer, would like, would love.

3

VERB + NOUN PHRASE + -ing FORM OF VERB

[V]: VERB, [N]: NOUN PHRASE, [I]: -ing FORM OF VERB

I finally [V] got [N] the car [I] working.

They [V] saw [N] him [I] standing there.

In this type, you can also use:
feel, find, hate, have, hear, keep, leave, like, listen to, look at, love, notice, remember, see, stop, watch.

4

VERB + NOUN PHRASE + PAST PARTICIPLE

[V]: VERB, [N]: NOUN PHRASE, [PP]: PAST PARTICIPLE

I [V] had [N] my hair [PP] done.
(Somebody did it for me.)

We [V] got [N] the TV [PP] fixed.
(Somebody fixed it for us.)

In this type, you can also use:
find, keep, leave, see, want.

5

VERB + that CLAUSE

[V]: VERB + [CL]: that CLAUSE

I [V] know [CL] that you have had many problems lately.

They [V] said [CL] that the weather would be fine.

I [V] suggest [CL] that you see a doctor.

she [V] thinks [CL] that Canada will win the World Cup.

Also tell + noun phrase + that clause:
He told the students that they could go home.

NOTICE: We usually leave out that in speaking. This does not change the meaning.
They said that the weather would be fine and
They said the weather would be fine
have the same meaning.

6

VERB + ADJECTIVE + that CLAUSE

[V]: VERB + [A]: ADJECTIVE + [CL]: that CLAUSE

They [V] were [A] surprised [CL] that I had got the job.

She [V] was [A] sure [CL] that he hadn't forgotten..

You can use most adjectives which show what you feel and think in this way. For example, angry, happy, hurt, pleased.

NOTICE: We usually leave out that in speaking (the same as in 5 above).

7

If OR Whether CLAUSE

I'm not sure if it will be ready on time.
I don't know whether he has passed the exam.
She wondered if she should tell him.

You can also use ask, discuss, find out, forget, not remember, not say in the same type of sentence.
For clauses after question words, look at Lesson 13.

8

VERB TENSE IN THE CLAUSE

If the verb of the sentence is past tense, the verb in the clause is also past tense. For example:

He agreed that it was not a good idea. NOT is

They said the weather would be fine. NOT will be fine

I didn't know whether he had passed the exam. NOT has passed


Lesson 42: Passive Sentences

Lesson 42: PASSIVE SENTENCES

All sentences are either active or passive.

Active and passive

These two sentences have different meanings:

ACTIVE: John helped the other students.
PASSIVE: John was helped by the other students.

In the active sentence, John did something. In the passive sentence, something happened to John (he did not do anything).


Agent

Look at these two passive sentences:

The other students were helped by John.
John is the agent because he did something.

John was helped by the other students.
John is not the agent; the agent is the other students.

The agent is the doer of the action.

We use by before the agent in a passive sentence. But many passive sentences do not tell us about the agent because it is not of interest or not important (Lesson 44).


Making active into passive

When you change an active sentence into passive, you change the verb formation and you change the word order.

[AA]:ACTIVE AGENT,[AV]:ACTIVE VERB,[PV]:PASSIVE VERB,[PA]:PASSIVE AGENT

These two sentences have the same basic meaning:

[AA] Maria [AV] helped the other students.

The other students [PV] were helped by [PA] Maria.


Lesson 43 shows you passive verb formations, but don't forget that subject and verb must agree in number and person (Lesson 4).

Lesson 44 shows you when to use the passive.


Lesson 5: Negative Sentences

Lesson 5: NEGATIVE SENTENCES

We put not after the first word of the verb. In speaking, we often use the short form (n't).


With the verb be

I am not a thief.
They aren't coming.
It wasn't very cold there.
He is not a teacher.


With one-word verb formations

Put the correct form of the verb do (Lesson 15) before not.

[A]:AFFIRMATIVE, [N]:NEGATIVE

[A] He works on Fridays.
[N] He does not work on Saturdays.

[A] These shops sell food.
[N] They do not sell food.

[A] They arrived by bus.
[N] They didn't arrive by train.


With other verb formations

Put not after the first auxiliary verb.

I haven't seen him for five years.
Our team has not been beaten this season.
He wouldn't have gone if he had known.
They aren't doing math this term.


Word agreement

Look at the different words in AFFIRMATIVE and NEGATIVE sentences.

[A] John is going somewhere but
[N] Maria isn't going anywhere.

[A] John has got some money but
[N] Maria hasn't got any money.

[A] They have got a lot of money but
[N] we haven't got much money.

[A] I've got a lot of friends but
[N] he hasn't got many friends.

[A] John and Maria have already left but
[N] we haven't left yet.

[A] John is leaving too and
[N] Maria isn't staying either.

SMART Ideas Diagram - Clauses

This file opens with the SMART Ideas software. It covers the way clauses interact with other parts of a sentence.

This resource is part of the Clause Unit and the English 10 course.

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