A sentence is the written expression of a complete thought. In most sentences the reader is given one complete piece of information. This unit teaches you how sentences work and how to write a good sentence.
A sentence needs to contain the following:
• a capital letter at the beginning and a full stop at the end
• a subject (person / people or thing(s) that is / are doing something)
• a verb (action or doing word).
The time (tense) can be past, present or future.
There are three main types of sentences. The first of these is called a simple sentence.
• A simple sentence has one independent clause and expresses one idea.
• A simple sentence must have one subject - verb combination but the subject may be compound, ie have more than one element.
• A simple sentence can also have a compound verb construction.
Simple sentences can only have only one subject-verb combination and commas are not used. Below are some examples of the different combinations that you might find in simple sentences.
The second type of sentence is the compound sentence. This sentence is composed of two simple sentences joined together by a comma and a joining word (coordinating conjunction). We could also describe a compound sentence as two independent clauses joined by a conjunction.There are seven coordinating conjunctions:
Clauses are groups of words that form sentences. A clause must contain a subject and a verb.
There are two types of clauses:
• independent - expresses a complete idea, ie a sentence, and makes sense all by itself
• dependent - does not express a complete idea, it is a part sentence, and does not make sense by itself).
Dependent clauses begin with a subordinating conjunction, eg who, when, while, that, because, since, although.