Constructing Sentences: Basic Sentence Patterns
A sentence in English usually names the subject of the sentence (the person or thing doing the action) and then offers a comment or assertion about that subject. That comment is known grammatically as a predicate.
The sections of a sentence used as examples where there are more than one item are formated as noted, otherwise examples are italic.
In the sentence "He left," He is the subject and left is the predicate.
A subject can be a word, a phrase, a clause, or a combination. A predicate must always include a verb.
Subject (italic) + Predicate (plain text)
Here are some basic patterns of sentences, with different types of predicates .
The boss of the successful new computer company left the elegantly furnished conference room.
Subject (italic) + Verb (plain text)
The most basic pattern for a sentence in English is a simple subject + verb
Even when additional elements appear in this type of sentence, the subject and verb maintain their key positions.
All the babies in the hospital nursery are crying.
Subject (italic) + Verb (plain text) + Direct Object (bold)
Intransitive verbs, such as cry, lie ("recline"), sit, and rise, do not take a direct object.
Many people wear glasses.
The direct object completes the meaning of the verb by telling what many people wear. Verbs that take a direct object are known as transitive verbs.
The artist who lives in the large corner apartment on the sixth floor owns five cute Weimaraner puppies.
Subject (italic) + Verb (plain text)+ Subject Complement (bold)
Some verbs, like be, seem, look, and appear, are linking verbs. They are followed by a subject complement (SC), a noun or an adjective that refers to and names or describes the subject.
The players on the visiting team look fit.
She is my sister.
Subject (italic) + Verb (plain text)+ Indirect Object (bold) + Direct Object (bold italic)
Verbs such as give, send, and offer can be followed by both an indirect object, naming the person or thing to whom or for whom the action of the verb takes place, and a direct object.
The director of the play gave his sister a bunch of daisies.
He gave his leading lady one exquisite rose.
Subject (italic) + Verb (plain text)+ Direct Object (bold) + Object Complement (bold italic)
The object complement (OC) refers to and renames the direct object.
They named the football star Rookie of the Year.
Verb (italic) +
Commands are the only sentence patterns that have an implied rather than a stated subject. That subject is always you.
[You] Leave me alone!
Verb (italic) + Subject (bold) Notice inverted Order.
In standard English, a form of the verb precedes the subject only in specific contexts, usually in questions and after here and there. The following examples show patterns that you are most likely to read or need to use in your writing:
Is she ambitious?
There were hundreds of people at the rally.
Inverted order is also used in other less common patterns:
Next to the river runs a superhighway.
Never have I been so tired.
Parts of Speech
Effective Sentence Construction
Connections with Transitions