Sentence Structure

Sentence is the largest unit of grammar. A sentence has its own internal structure. Today we will learn the structure of simple sentences or independent clauses.

Basic Sentence Structures

Central elements (verb, subject, object, and complement) have fixed positions in the sentence. For example, subjects come before the verbs and objects and complements go after the verb. If you want to make sentences of your own, you must learn which components are used where in the sentence. Don't worry as it's not difficult to learn them as there are only nine patterns of a simple assertive sentence. They are:

  1. NP + vi
  2. NP + Be + Adjective
  3. NP + Be + Adverbial
  4. NP1 + Be + NP1
  5. NP1 + vt + NP2
  6. NP1 + vt + NP2 + NP3
  7. NP1 + vt + NP2 + Adjective
  8. NP1 + vt + NP2 + NP 2
  9. There + verb + NP

(1) Subject + Intransitive Verb

  • Patric sleeps. 
  • Boys run.

(2) Subject + Linking Verb + Adjective Complement

  • The bird is beautiful. 
  • James became angry. 

(3) Subject + Linking Verb + Noun Complement

  • China is a large country. 
  • James was an angry man.

(4) Subject + Be Verb + Adverb Complement

  • The sun is up.
  • Owls sleep in the day. 

(5) Subject + Transitive Verb + Direct Object

  • Mother made a cake. 
  • James helps the poor. 

(6) Subject + Transitive Verb + Indirect Object + Direct Object

  • She gives me a lift. 
  • Ricky bought Nancy some chocolate. 

(7) Subject + Transitive Verb + Direct Object + Adjective Complement

  • You made the dog angry. 
  • We found the cake rotten.

(8) Subject + Transitive Verb + Direct Object + Noun Complement

  • They elected me chairman. 
  • Mother named him Abraham. 

(9) There + Verb + Subject

  • There was an old man. 
  • There lived some dogs.