Some of the most basic and important English grammar rules relate directly to sentence structure. These rules specify that:
A singular subject needs a singular predicate.
A sentence needs to express a complete thought.
Another term for a sentence is an independent clause:
Clauses, like any sentence, have a subject and predicate too. If a group of words does not have a subject and predicate, it is a phrase.
If a clause can stand alone and make a complete thought, then it is independent and can be called a sentence.
If clauses do not express a complete thought, they are called dependent clauses. An example of a dependent clause, which is not a sentence, is “when I finish my work.” A dependent clause needs an independent clause to make it whole.
Subjects and Predicates
Basic to any language is the sentence, which expresses a complete thought and consists of a subject and a predicate.
The subject is the star of the sentence; the person, animal, or thing that is the focus of it.
The predicate will tell the action that the subject is taking or tell something about the subject.
Basic Parts of Speech
Once you have a general idea of the basic grammar rules for sentence structure, it is also helpful to learn about the parts of speech:
A noun names a person, animal, place, thing, quality, idea, activity, or feeling. A noun can be singular, plural, or possessive.
A pronoun is a word that takes the place of a noun, like “I”, “you”, or “they.”
A verb shows action and can be a main verb or a helping verb, like “were” or “has.” Verbs also indicate tense and sometimes change their form to show past, present, or future tense. Linking verbs link the subject to the rest of the sentence and examples are: “appear” and “seem.”
An adjective modifies a noun or a pronoun. It adds meaning by telling which one, what kind, or describing it in other ways.
An adverb will modify a verb and tell more about it, like how much, when, where, why, or how.
A preposition shows a relationship between nouns or pronouns. It is often used with a noun to show location, like “beside,” “in,” or “on”. It can also show time, direction, motion, manner, reason, or possession.
Conjunctions connect two words, phrases, or clauses. Common conjunctions are “and”, “but”, and “or.”
Mention needs to be made about other types of words that are considered by some to be parts of speech.
One of them is the interjection. It shows emotion and examples are “hurray”, “uh-oh”, and “alas.”
Articles are very useful little words. Indefinite articles are “a” and “an” and “the” is a definite article.