A sentence is the largest unit of any language. In English, it begins with a capital letter and ends with a full-stop, or a question mark, or an exclamation mark.
The sentence is generally defined as a word or a group of words that expresses a thorough idea by giving a statement/order, or asking a question, or exclaiming.
He is a good boy (statement), Is he a good boy? (question), What a nice weather! (exclaiming).
Kinds of Sentence:
Sentences can be classified into five categories, according to their meaning or function.
অর্থ বা কাজের ওপর ভিত্তি করে ইংরেজিতে Sentence কে সাধারণত পাঁচ ভাগে ভাগ করা যায়।
- Assertive Sentence.
- Interrogative Sentence.
- Imperative Sentence.
- Optative Sentence.
- Exclamatory Sentence.
- Assertive Sentence
1.Assertive Sentence: An assertive sentence is a simple/general statement or assertion, either affirmative or
Pattern: Subject + verb + object/complement/adverb/adjective
-English is an International Language. (Affirmative)
-We do not do bad things. (Negative)
-Everybody should know English. (Modal auxiliaries)
2.Interrogative Sentence: An interrogative sentence asks question about a person or thing(s). It always ends with a note of interrogation a.k.a. question mark (?).
There are two ways to form an interrogative sentence.
- Beginning with helping verbs (am, is, are, was, were, have, has, had) or modal auxiliaries (shall, should, will, would, can, could, may, might, etc.).
– Do you have your assignment ready?
– Does he speak English?
– Did she work abroad?
– Should I go there?
– Can you hear the sound?
– Don’t you want any food? (Negative)
- Beginning with some specific words like who, which, what, when, where, why, how, whom, how much, how many, etc. [These are known as ‘WH’ questions.]
– How is your business going on?
– Who fixed the computer?
– Whom do you support?
– What are you expecting from me?
– What time is it now?
– How many people have died there?
3. Imperative Sentence: A sentence that expresses a request, command, order, advice, suggestion, etc. is an imperative sentence.
- In an imperative sentence, the subject is usually unexpressed; it is understood rather.
Pattern: Subject (Invisible) + verb + object / where
– Take care of you.
– Give me the pen.
– Do it now.
– Be honest.
– Come here
– Never tell a lie
– Do not laugh at other’s helplessness.
– Let him go there.
Caution: You must do your duty. (It is an assertive sentence, not an imperative sentence.)
4. Optative Sentence: Wish, desire, prayer, etc. are expressed by the Optative sentence.
Pattern: May + Assertive
– May you live long.
– May Allah bless you.
– Wish you all the best.
– Long live Bangladesh. (Can be formed without ‘may’)
5. Exclamatory Sentence: Exclamatory is a sentence which expresses strong/sudden feeling or emotion like surprise, pain, delight, anger, disgust, etc.
Pattern: Alas/ Hurrah/ Bravo/ What/ How etc. + Others
– Hurrah! Our cricket team has won the series.
– Alas! He has failed the competition.
– Bravo! You have done a great job.
– What a talented girl she is!
– How sweetly the cuckoo sings!
– What a wonderful land Bangladesh is!
– Were I a Super Hero!
– What a pity!
– What an idea!
– Put that down now!
Structure of a Sentence:
According to structure, sentences are of three types.
I. Simple Sentence.
II. Complex Sentence.
III. Compound Sentence.
I. Simple Sentence:
Simple sentence is structured with only one subject and one finite verb.
Simple sentence has only one independent clause.
Pattern: Subject + finite verb + complement
Exmaple:- Bangladesh is a populated country
– Life is not a bed of roses
– Human is the superior in this planet.
II. Complex Sentence:
A sentence consisting of one principal clause and one or more sub-ordinate clause(s) is a complex sentence.
Example: – If you work hard, you will shine in life. (Here, ‘if you work hard’ is sub-ordinate clause and ‘you will shine in life’ is main or principal clause.)
Sub-ordinate clause begins with conjunctions like who, which, that, when, how, where, while, if, whether, because, since, as, though, although, till, until, unless, before, after, so that, whenever, wherever, whoever, whatever, etc.
Example:- I know where he lives.
– I do not know what his name is.
– While there is life there is hope.
– We eat so that we can survive.
III. Compound Sentence:
A sentence having more than one principal clauses, linked by one or more coordinating conjunctions, preceded by a comma, is called compound sentence.
Conjunctions that are used in compound sentences are and, but, or, for, nor, also, however, moreover, thus, so, therefore, else, still, as well as, accordingly, otherwise, yet, not yet, but also, either or, neither nor, on the contrary, etc.
– Respect others, and others will respect you.
– He loves us, but he does not show it.
2. Structure of a Sentence
Illustration: Components of a Sentence
A sentence consists of the following parts :
1. Subject : The person or thing about which something is stated is called subject.
2. Predicate : It is that part of a sentence that tells something about the subject.
- His sister works in London
- The flight arrived late
- This is my car
- The young lady was running
- The temperature in Gulmarg is zero degree
In the above sentences the italicized words are the subjects while the other words are the predicates.
3. Direct Object : A person or thing which receives the action of the verb is the direct object. It comes after the verb and answers the question ‘What’. For example:
- Sohan ate breakfast
- The breakfast was tasty
- Naina read the book
- He repaired his mobile
- I have written a book
In the above sentences, italicised words are direct objects. Sentence structure is Subject, Verb, Direct Object.
4. Indirect Object : A person or thing that the action is done to or for is known as the indirect object. It is the receiver of the direct object. It follows the verb and answers the questions ‘Whom’. The indirect object usually comes just before the direct object. For example :
- She made Rava dosa for breakfast
- Deepak is sending his wife an e-mail right now
- Rohan has made his mother promise to work hard
- Ms. Gupta teaches them communication skills
In the above sentences, italicized words are indirect objects. Sentence structure is Subject, Verb, Indirect Object, Direct Object.
5. Object of the Preposition : It is a noun or pronoun that provides meaning. The noun that comes after the preposition is called the object of the preposition. For example :
- The cat is looking at the mouse
In this sentence “the mouse” is the object of the preposition “at”.
- They are going to ooty
Here “ooty” is the object of the preposition “to”.
Object of the preposition is different from the indirect object. The object of the preposition comes immediately after the preposition whereas the Indirect object does not come immediately after the preposition. Moreover, the indirect object is usually followed by the direct object but this rule does not apply to object of the preposition. For example :
- Mohan gave Monika the book.
- Mohan gave the book to Monika
In the first sentence Monika is the indirect object. In the second sentence Monika is the object of the preposition “to”. The meaning of both the sentences is the same but their structure is different.
6. Verbs : A verb means that part of speech which describes an action or occurrence. For example,
- John ran a mile.
- Perry is a teacher.
- We know the solution to this problem.
Verbs are of the following types according to their function in the sentence.
(i) Finite Verbs : A finite verb (or main verb) agrees with its subject in person and number. It forms the main clause of a sentence. It also changes according to the tense of the sentence. For example:
- She is a professor
- They are professors
- She goes to college five days a week
- They go to college five days a week
In the above sentences, italicized words are finite verbs.
(ii) Non-Finite Verbs : A verb that does not change according to the person, number and tense of the sentence is called a non-finite verb. Non-finite Verbs are of three types :
(a) Infinitive : It is generally used like a noun. Generally the word “to” is used before the infinitive verb. For example:
- To err is human
- To forgive is divine
- Asha loves to sing
In the above sentences, italicised words are infinitive verbs
(b) Participle : It is a verb which can be used as an adjective. Present participle ends with ing and the past participle ends with ed or t. For example :
- We saw the breaking news today at 7 p.m.
- The broken glass cut my foot.
- The food tasted like a burnt log.
In the above sentences italicised words are participles
(c) Gerunds : A gerund is a verb but acts as a noun. It ends with ing. For example:
She likes reading poetry.
- Playing football is not allowed in this park.
- Running is a healthy activity.
- Painting keeps me busy.
- I enjoy dancing to classical music.
In the above sentences italicised words are gerunds.
(iii) Auxiliary Verbs : The verbs ‘be’, ‘have’ and ‘do’ which are used with main verbs to make tenses, passive forms, questions and negatives are known as auxiliary or helping verbs. These include is, own, are, was, were, has, have, had, does, do, did. For example:
There are 23 auxiliary verbs that can be remembered using the abbreviation “CHAD B SWIM”
|Be Being been||Shall should||Was Will Were
|is||May might must|
- She is working on her dissertation
- This song was sung by Lata Mangeshkar
(iv) Modals : Modals are used before main verbs to express meanings such as ability, permission, possibility and obligation. For example :
- Geeta can drive a truck (ability)
- You may go (permission)
- We should speak truth (obligation)
- It might rain tonight. (possibility)
- The temperature might drop tonight. (possibility)
(v) Transitive Verbs : The Verbs which always have direct objects. In other words, these give action to someone or something: Therefore, these are also called action verbs which express doable activities. For example :
- Ramesh told a lie
- The traffic police fined the driver
- The dog licked the bread
(vi) Intransitive Verbs : An intransitive verb indicates an action that does not pass over to an object. It merely expresses a state or being. For example:
- The watchman remains awake (state)
- There is a snag (being)
- She danced (action)
7. Phrases : A phrase means a group of words that makes some sense but not complete sense. It acts as a single part of speech. It may not have a subject, or a predicate or both. Phrases are of the following types:
(i) Prepositional Phrase : It is a group of words that begins with a preposition and ends with a noun or pronoun or gerund. For example :
- He gave the job to her
- Her car is struck in traffic jam
- The army works for the entire country
A prepositional phrase is generally used as an adjective or adverb. When used as an adjective, it comes after the noun or pronoun which it is describing. The objective case of a pronoun (me, him, her, us, them, whom) is used a prepositional phrase.
Mughal Garden is part of the Rashtrapati Bhawan Estate
In this sentence ‘of is the preposition Rashtrapati Bhawan Estate is a noun’ and is the object of the preposition.
The phrase decided the word ‘part’
(ii) Noun Phrase : A noun phrase consists of a single noun or pronoun and its modifiers. It does the function of a noun. It may be used as a subject, an object or a complement. For example:
- The dark, foul smoke engulfed the locality (noun phrase as subject)
- Namita does a lot of office work at home (noun phrase as object)
- The constitution club is a great place for a press conference (noun phrase as complement)
(iii) Verb Phrase : In a verb Phrase, a main verb and one or more helping verbs are linked together. It serves as the predicate of a clause or sentence. It defines the different times of the action. For example:
- I have read a book
- I was reading a book
- I have already read a book
- I must have been reading a book
8. Complements : A word or a group of words that completes the meaning of a subject, an object, or a verb is known as complement:
(i) Subject complement : A subject complement modifies or refers to the subject and follows a verb. It may be a noun or an adjective for example:
- Taj Mahal is Magnificent : (The adjective magnificent is a subject complement that describes the subject Taj Mahal).
- Mr. Anoop Jalota is a bhajan Singer (The noun phrase bhajan singer describes Mr. Anoop Jalota).
(ii) Object Complement : It modifies and follows an object. For example :
- Voters elected her a member of the Parliament (Member of Parliament describes the direct object her).
- I consider smoking cigarettes harmful to health (Cigarettes is the direct object, harmful to health describes it).
(iii) Verb Complement : Direct or Indirect object of a verb is called verb complement. It may be a noun, pronoun, or word/group of words acting as a noun. For example :
- Naina gave Mohan my umbrella (Mohan is the indirect object, my umbrella is the direct object of the verb gave. Both are verb complements)