Sentence Structure Basics Help (page 2)
Finding the subject of a sentence is as simple as asking who? or what? in relation to the verb. In the following examples, the subject is underlined once and the verb is underlined
A sübject can be a proper noun:
Who ? Thomas; thus, Thomas is the subject.
A subject can be a common noun:
What The market; thus, market is the subject.
A subject can be a pronoun:
Who They did; thus, They is the subject.
A subject can be compound (two or more nouns playing an equal role in the sentence):
What Books and the Internet; thus, Books and Internet play an equal role as the subject.
Although the subject is typically found at the beginning of the sentence, it can also appear elsewhere.
In the middle:
At the end:
Not all sentences have an obvious, or stated, noun or pronoun as a subject; sometimes the subject is implied. Imperative sentences (sentences that make a request or a command) always have an implied subject:
- Wash your hands frequently during the day to prevent colds.
If you ask yourself who or what there is not a noun in the sentence that answers the question. That is because the subject is implied; it is the pronoun you:
To find the subject in a question, turn it into a statement that places the subject before the verb:
- Did Ed go to the convention in Seattle or not?
You can then ask yourself Who Ed is your subject.
Predicates tell something about the subject or subjects in a sentence. The verb, known as the simple predicate, expresses the action done by or to the subject, or tells about its condition. You can find the simple predicate in a sentence by asking yourself which word indicates action being done by or to the subject or conveys the condition of the subject.
Like subjects, predicates can be single or compound, which means there are two or more verbs relating to the same subject or compound subject in the sentence.
The purpose of good communication is to get your message across clearly. Sometimes a sentence has a clear message with just a subject and a verb:
- Stanley left.
- Please be quiet.
- What's up?
- How are you?
Other sentences may require more information to complete their meaning:
- Kyle picked _____.
- Gina took_____.
The additional parts that these sentences require are called complements.
Kyle picked Andrew first.
Gina took a breath.
The complements Andrew and breath complete the meaning in these sentences by telling us what the subjects picked and took. Complements can include direct objects, indirect objects, predicate nouns, and predicate adjectives.
Direct and Indirect Objects
A direct object is a complement in a sentence with an action verb. It is a noun or pronoun that "directly" relates to the action verb and receives action from that verb. Direct objects answer whom? or what? about the action verb.
Like subjects and predicates, direct objects can also be compound: One or more verbs share more than one object.
Tip: Every sentence must have a subject, but not every sentence will have an object.
A sentence that has a direct object can also have an indirect object. It tells which person or thing is the recipient of the direct object, so you cannot have an indirect object without a direct object. You can easily identify a direct object by asking yourself to or for whom? or to or for what? after an action verb. Indirect objects are usually placed between the verb and the direct object.
Predicate Nouns and Predicate Adjectives
Known as subject complements, predicate nouns rename the subject, and predicate adjectives describe the subject. They are used in sentences with linking verbs, not action verbs.
When a predicate noun follows a linking verb, the linking verb acts like an equals sign (=):
Predicate nouns can also be compound in form, so long as they are identifying the same noun:
Predicate adjectives also follow a linking verb, describe or modify the subject, and can be compound in form as well:
Remember that complement means "add to or complete." Predicate nouns and predicate adjectives add to or complete an idea to make it more precise or clearer.
Exercises for this concept can be found at Sentence Structure Basics Practice
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