Writing Effective Sentences Unit 1
Lesson 1 Simple sentences with action verbs OBJECTIVES: After completing this lesson, you should be able to • define a simple sentence • identify the subject, main verb, and auxiliary verb(s) in a simple sentence • recognize direct and indirect objects • recognize the functions of adjective and adverb modifiers
1A Identifying the subject and verb • A sentence contains a subject and a verb (also referred to as a simple predicate) and conveys a complete thought. Simple sentences are those that contain only one subject/verb combination.
Subject/Verb The subject (S) is what or who does something. People work. They ran. The action verb (AV) is what the subject does. S AV S AV
Subjects may be nouns (such as people) or pronouns (such as they). Most sentences, of course, contain several words in addition to the simple subject and verb. When these additional words appear individually, they are sometimes called modifiers.
Subject/Verb with Modifiers Words that modify nouns are called adjectives. Many people work hard. Race horses run fast. Words that modify verbs are called adverbs. S AV S AV
Application 1-1 • Identify the subject in each of the following sentences by places S above it. Because you re presently dealing only with action verbs, identify each verb with AV. EXAMPLE: Mary left soon. S AV
Most students studied quietly. • The water flows north. • Martin planned very carefully. • This morning I tried again. • Our speaker began immediately.
1B Identifying direct and indirect objects • Sentences with action verbs in them often contain a word that tells who or what received that action. Such a word is known as a direct object (DO) of the verb. Some examples follow: All students wrote their papers. The word papers (direct object) tells what the students wrote. S AV DO
S AV DO Every player hit the ball well. The word ball (direct object) tells what the players hit. The teacher remembered me. The word me (direct object) tells whom the teacher remembered. S AV DO
Sentences may also contain an indirect object (IO) of the verb. It is a word that tells to whom or for whom something was done: She gave Maria her keys. The keys (direct object) were given to Maria (indirect object). I asked Bill several questions. The questions (direct object) were asked of Bill (indirect object). S AV IO DO S AV IO DO
Application 1-2 • In the following sentences place S above the subject and AV above each action verb; also, place DO above each direct object and IO above each indirect object. (Note: Every sentence will contain a subject and an action verb, but every sentence will not contain both a direct and an indirect object.)
Their family bought a new house last week. • Mr. Jones added the numbers first. • I mailed the company my check. • Only one person believed her story. • His secretary wrote each customer a letter.
1C Identifying auxiliary verbs • The main verb in a sentence is often preceded by one or more auxiliary (helping) verbs. The most common auxiliaries are shown below. Columns 4 and 5 contain various forms of the verb “to be.” when these state-of-being verbs appear with action verbs, they act as auxiliaries (AUX); when used individually, they act as linking verbs (LV). Linking verbs will be explained in Lesson 3.
S AUX AV • Subject/Verb With Auxiliaries She has planted her garden. He was chosen team captain. Our customers have been complaining lately. S AUX AV S AUX AUX AV
Application 1-3 • Identify the subject (S), auxiliary verb (AUX), and main verb (AV) in each of the following sentences.
Many more colleges have developed these programs. • The noisy fan was removed right away. • Some patients are going home tomorrow. • Their boss may have given poor instructions. • Mrs. Brown did pay her bill promptly last month.