(Click the PLAY button at the bottom to listen while you read)
A sentence is a group of words that are put together to make one complete thought.
To understand sentence structures in the English language, you must first have a general understanding of the types of words that are used to make sentences.
Noun – a person, place, or thing
Singular examples (one): brother, home, sock, cat
Plural examples (more than one): brothers, homes, socks, cats
Verb – an action
Examples: jump, sit, talk, have
Adjective – describes a noun
Examples: colorful shirt, funny story, tall boy
Adverb – describes other words (not nouns)
Examples: jumped yesterday, talks fast, sings loudly, very pretty, luckily for us
Adverbs give us more information about place, time, and so forth.
Types of Adverbs:
Where: home, here, there, outside, inside, away, around, anywhere, abroad
When: now, sooner, later, yesterday, tomorrow, lately
How: well, hard, fast, quickly, slowly, loudly, secretly, happily
How often: always, never, sometimes, often, rarely, usually, occasionally
How much: very, highly, totally, perfectly, partially, almost, too, enough, quite, extremely
NOTE: An adverb can have more than one word.
Compare these examples:
yesterday OR the day before
there OR in the other room
outside OR at the beach
nicely OR in a nice way
Adverbs that have more that a single word are called “adverb phrases”. We use them the same way, and in this course we will call them all “adverbs”. We will do so with other parts of speech too, in order to keep things simple.
Subject – the noun or nouns that perform the action
Example: The dog jumped.
The subject of this sentence is the noun, dog, because it is performing the action of jumping.
Example: Dogs and cats sleep.
The subjects of this sentence are the nouns, dogs and cats. This is called a compound subject because there is more than one subject performing the same action.
Object – the noun or nouns that receive the action
Example: The child drank milk.
The object of this sentence is the noun, milk, because the child is drinking the milk. The milk is receiving the action.
Example: She is eating bread and cheese.
The objects of this sentence are the nouns, bread and cheese. The subject is eating them both.