Sentence Structure Notes on types of sentences, complete sentences, and capitalization / punctuation
What is a complete sentence? • A sentence is a group of words that expresses a complete thought. • Example: The alarm at the bank sounded late last night. • A complete sentence must also begin with a capital letter, and end with appropriate punctuation. • A complete sentence has both a subject and a predicate.
Types of sentences • Declarative • Makes a statement • Ends with a period (.) • Ex.) A beautiful house overlooks the river. • Imperative • Gives a command • Usually ends with a period, but could end with an exclamation point. (.) (!) • Ex.) Do ten more push-ups. • Ex.) Hurry up!
Types of sentences cont. • Interrogative • Asks a question • Ends with a question mark (?) • Ex.) When is our test? • Exclamatory • Expresses strong emotion • Ends with an exclamation point (!) • Ex.) I passed the English test!
Complete Sentences • A complete sentence has both a subject and a predicate • Subjects can be directly or indirectly stated. • Subject = who or what the sentence is about • Predicate = the verb / tells what the subject does or is
Complete Sentences • Subjects and Predicates • In declarative sentences – in many, the subject comes before predicate / in some, the predicate comes before the subject • Example: Alice tripped on something. • Subject before predicate • Example: On the ground were two rocks. • Predicate before subject
Complete Sentences • Subjects and Predicates • In interrogative sentences, part of the predicate comes before the subject. • To find the subject, change the sentence into a declarative sentence. Then, look for the subject near the beginning of the sentence. • Example: Can you fix my computer? • Example: You can fix my computer.
Complete Sentences • Subjects and Predicates • In most imperative sentences, only the predicate is written or spoken. • The subject of the sentence is understood to be there. This understood subject is always you. • Example: Open the window.
Sentence Fragment • A sentence fragment does NOT express a complete thought. • Something is missing… • Examples: • Agreed to the plan. (Who agreed?) • That red car. (What about the red car?) • Late last night. (What happened?)
Run-On Sentence • A run-on sentence is two or more sentences written incorrectly as one. • Run-on: The contestant hesitated too long the buzzer sounded. • Correct: The contestant hesitated too long. The buzzer sounded. • There are other ways to correct this sentence - we will get into that later!
Another type of run-on • Comma Splice / Comma Fault • The writer mistakenly uses a comma instead of a period. • Run-on:Ray began as a backup singer, now he sings lead. • Correct: Ray began as a backup singer. Now he sings lead. • (In this correction, the writer made the run-on sentence two single sentences.)
How to fix incorrectly written sentences • Changing a fragment to a complete sentence: • Add the missing information (could be the subject - who or what of the sentence could be the verb). • Begin the sentence with a capital letter. • End the sentence with ending punctuation.
How to fix incorrectly written sentences • Changing a run-on to a complete sentence. • 1st way: Change the run-on to two single sentences, both beginning with capital letters and ending with the appropriate punctuation. • 2nd way: Add a comma WITH a conjunction • 3rd way: Add a semi-colon
First way – two single sentences • Example: • Run-on: The dog quickly ran across the road no one could catch it. • Run-on (comma splice / comma fault): The dog quickly ran across the road, no one could catch it. • Correct: The dog quickly ran across the road. No one could catch it.
Second way – Add a comma with a conjunction • Example: • Run-on: Susan already excels in art now she wants to study music. • Run-on (comma splice / comma fault): Susan already excels in art, now she wants to study music. • Correct: Susan already excels in art, and now she wants to study music.
Third way – Add a semi-colon • Example: • Run-on:The judge entered the courtroom everyone rose. • Run-on (comma splice / comma fault): The judge entered the courtroom, everyone rose. • Correct: The judge entered the courtroom; everyone rose. • The semi-colon allows two independent clauses to stand together in a single sentence. • Remember: an independent clause is something that can stand alone and make sense – it’s independent!
Capitalization • There are a set of rules in a packet I will give you on capitalization… • These come straight from OGT’s Buckle Down – a practice book to prepare for the OGT • It will be important you don’t lose this packet
Punctuation – some basics • Comma (,) • Used as a separation device • Used to join 2 independent clauses with a conjunction • Colon (:) • Used before a list or explanation • Acts as a gate, telling you to go on / keep reading • Semi-colon (;) • Used to separate 2 independent clauses in a single sentence • Quotation Marks (“ “) • Used for when someone is speaking / quotes