Basic Sentence Parts and Patterns
- Simple subject and predicate
- Understood subject (for commands, directives)
Where are you going?
What were you reading this morning?
Whose bike were you using?
May I postpone this assignment?
- Compound predicate
The cat howled and scratched ferociously.
- Compound subject and compound predicate
Juanita and Celso worked hard and then rested.
- Three subjects
Juanita, Federica, and Celso are working.
- Direct object
Tashonda sent e-mail.
- Compound direct objects
Tashonda sent cards and letters.
- Three direct objects
Tashonda sent e-mail, cards, and letters.
- Compound predicate with direct objects
Joselyn cooked breakfast and ate it.
- Compound predicate with one direct object
Samantha proofreads and edits her essays.
- Indirect object
Mrs. Doubtfire gave the children homework.
- Compound indirect objects
Mrs. Doubtfire gave Tabitha and Samantha quizzes.
- Predicate noun
John Calhoun is a coach.
- Objective complement
Johnny painted his old jalopy purple.
The club elected Tashonda [as its] president.
- Reflexive Pronouns.
[as direct object] Josť cut himself.
[as indirect object] Mr. Edwards gave himself a raise.
[as object of a preposition] She cared only for herself
- Intensive Pronoun
I myself prefer basketball.
[or] I prefer basketball myself.
John Calhoun, the coach, yelled at the referees.
- Direct address
Heitor, address the class now.
Man, that hurt!
Athletic moves excite the crowd.
- Compound adjectives
The little old lady hit the tall and distinguished gentleman.
- Predicate adjective
Samson was powerful.
- Compound predicate adjectives
Samson was powerful but gullible.
- Comparative adjective
Joanna is considerably taller than her brother [is].
Dogsbreath works quickly.
- Adverbs modifying other adverbs
A very friendly dog wags its tail quite often.
- Compound adverbs
Dr. Turveydrop waited patiently and quietly at the door.
- Prepositional phrase
Charles is working in the garden.
- Prepositional phrase modifying another prepositional phrase
Charles is working in the garden by the river.
- Preposition with compound objects
The thought of getting up and working is alarming.
- Prepositional phrase modifying an adverb
Tashonda does her best work early during the semester.
- Prepositional phrase as subjective complement
She felt under the weather.
The crumbling bridge must be repaired.
- Participial phrase
The screaming crowd watched the bridge falling into the river.
Working hard can be profitable.
- Gerund phrase acting as object
Terminata hates eating broccoli.
- Gerund phrase as object of a preposition
Wolfson wrote a book about playing basketball.
- Infinitive as noun (subject & predicate)
To know him is to love him.
- Infinitive acting as adjective
His decision to leave early was unfortunate.
- Infinitive acting as adverb
He is determined to work hard.
- Infinitive as direct object
The Eagles slowly began to climb the national rankings.
- Infinitive phrase as object of preposition
Pedrito had no choice except to run away.
- Infinitive phrase as objective complement
Mom wanted me to do the dishes.
- Infinitive phrase as appositive
It was a mistake to elect William president.
- Causative Verb
Professor Villa made her students read four novels.
- Expletive Construction
There are never enough hot dogs at the annual picnic.
There is no one working with Albert.
- Absolute Construction
To tell the truth, I do not remember meeting her.
- Correlative Conjunction
Either we wash the walls, or we paint them.
- Passive Verbs
The burglar was shot.
Mary was awarded the Smith Case.
Turveydrop was named chairman while he was out of the room.
Guide to Grammar and Writing