Dec 21, 2013

Basic English - Simple sentence

How to write a basic sentence correctly?

Like I have said, a paragraph, an essay, or a business email starts with one sentence no matter how big it is. They are basically a combination of sentences. Mastering the sentences, we will at least write correctly.

Today, I am going to write about the first kind of sentence, which is simple sentence. (page 418 P&E ebook)

We need to practice breaking apart a sentence, in fact, break apart any sentences that come across our eyes.


1. Eat!
This is the most simple sentence. Wait, one word is also a sentence, you may wonder. It is, actually.
The sentence has an implied subject You
Full sentence would be: You eat! (imperative)

A simple sentence has ONLY one independent clause. It has no dependent clauses.
Hold on, what on earth is a clause. Well, read page 417 P&E, lazy kid!

I am just kidding. A clause is a group of words (ha, we know what a word is, luckily) that have one subject and one or more verbs. We have two kinds of clauses, not too much, right?
  • Independent clause: a clause that can stand alone as a sentence and make sense, or present a complete idea.
  • Dependent clause: well, dependent. It has to depend on something, so it cannot stand alone as a sentence, even though it has meaning.
That is enough about clauses for now. Period!

Let's get our hands dirty.

"Eat!" has an implied subject You and a verb "eat". "You eat" presents a complete idea, so it has a independent clause.

He eats, she eats, they eat, or you and I eat, is the same.

We now have a sentence (assuming that we have ^_^) that has only one independent clause and no depentdent clause; therefore, it is a simple sentence. It sounds logic, right? (Syllogism ^^)

2. I go to school with my friend everyday.
Oops, it is too long. Is this still a simple sentence?

Calm down, guys. Break it apart.
  • Subject: I
  • Verb: go
Cross out other parts, they are there to support our main actors (subject and verb).
  • go to school: a prepositional phrase (start with a preposition)
  • with my friend: a prepositional phrase (start with a preposition)
  • everyday: an adverb
Without these, we still have a simple sentence "I go."
Therefore, that long line is a simple sentence.

(to be continued ... )