Consider the sentence

The sentence - a basis for speech and writingIt may sound like a strange question, but have you ever considered the humble sentence? What is the definition of a sentence and how is it made up?

The sentence forms the basis of all speech and writing.  A sentence is a series of words that form a complete thought. For example:

Dogs bark.

Susan Parker’s mother ran a patisserie in the
High Street.

My two little dogs like lying in the sunshine.
A complete sentence has two main parts:subject and predicate. 
The subject

When we speak or write, we speak or write about something. The subject is what is being spoken about. For example:

Dogs bark. The subject is dogs.

Susan Parker’s mother ran a patisserie in the High Street. The subject is Susan Parker’s mother.

My two little dogs like lying in the sunshine. The subject is my two dogs.
The predicate

While the subject is what we are talking about, the predicate is what we say about the subject. For example:

Dogs bark. (‘Bark’ is what is said about the dogs)

Susan Parker’s mother ran a patisserie in the High Street. (‘ran’ is what Susan Parker’s mother did – that is
what is being said about her)

My two little dogs like lying in the sunshine.(‘like is what my two little dogs are doing. This is what is being said
about them.)

The main word in the predicate is a verb. The verb by itself is called a simple predicate. The complete predicate is any word or phrase that accompanies the verb to say more about it. The simple predicate may contain more than one word because some tenses require additional verbs. For example:

The Queen has ruled Britain for 60 years.

In this sentence the simple predicate is ‘has ruled’. The complete predicate is ‘has ruled Britain for 60 years’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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