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Sentences and Sentence Patterns

Sentence Structure

Verbs Verbals Verb Tense Sentence Clarity and Combining Sentence Patterns Run on sentences Nearly every complete sentence has at least a verb and subject.

Identifying Sentences:

A more complete analysis of the structure and makeup of sentences can be examined in: Diagramming Sentences Diagrams of moderately long and complex sentences are accompanied by explanations for both beginners and experienced diagrammers.

The subject of the sentence: who or what the sentence is about

What does the subject do? The infinitive form of all verbs begins with "to" to ______ (some action) (or a Verb Phrase) If the root fits after "to" and makes sense, it's a verb. (to eat, to walk) Action or State of being (to be)


What or who is the action

The object of the action o either direct or indirect. objective (prepositio

The object represents to who action takes pl

Noun or a Pronoun

Noun or Pron

Sentence Patterns:English word order is normally SUBJECT - VERB - OBJECT.

Following are the commonly used sentence patterns: 1. SUBJECT - VERB: Coyotes howl. 2. SUBJECT -VERB-OBJECT: Elephants frighten mice. 3. SUBJECT - VERB - INDIRECT OBJECT - DIRECT OBJECT: Mary baked Fred a cake 4. There - VERB SUBJECT: 1 There have been objections. 5. AUXILIARY - SUBJECT - VERB? Do coyotes howl in the distance? 6. AUXILIARY - SUBJECT - VERB - OBJECT? Have mice ever frightened elephants? 7. AUXILIARY - SUBJECT - VERB - INDIRECT OBJECT - DIRECT OBJECT? Will Mary bake Fred a cake? 8. OBJECT - AUXILIARY- SUBJECT - VERB? What did the mice frighten? 9. VERB - there - SUBJECT? 1 Were there any objections? 10. AUXILIARY - there - VERB - SUBJECT? 1 Have there been any objections? Common patterns of commands (imperative sentences) are derived from the first three statement patterns. Many exclamatory sentences are also derived from patterns of statements. There have been a hundred objections! Mary baked Fred a cake! Such Sentences as the following, usually take an exclamation point:

How many objections there were! What a cake Mary baked Fred! A sentence pattern such as the following may be a statement, a question or an exclamation: Mice Frighten elephants. Mice frighten elephants? Mice frighten elephants! 1 There used as an introductory work or filler is an expletive, which is never the subject.

5 Sentence Patterns



Subject + verb

Jesus wept. Dont wait for the snowfall from the dogwood. The mind stumbles but does not fall.


SVDO Subject + verb + direct object

Bring your own bottle. Larry sang a song off-key. Perhaps only my reverence will save me. We burden others with the full weight of our ignorance.



Subject + verb + indirect object + direct object

We found her a pig. What I wouldnt give has given me the blues. You always give me a hard time. The world often brings us a quiet dawn.



Subject + linking verb + predicate adjective

She seems distant these days. The candidate for office was funny and charming. The hardpan dust of the sky is criss-crossed and swept clean.



Subject + linking verb + predicate noun

I am the one you are looking for. Gomer is my hero. Your life is now. Every thought is a prayer of the mind.

Note: Once you have learned these sentence patterns, basically everything else in a sentence is a phrase or a clause.


In my closet I kept a disintegrating book of fairy tales. A dream is like a river, ever changing as it flows. I read for a while on the couch.

Since my baby left me, I have found a new place to dwell. When confusion visits me these days, I tell myself it is the blur of growth. You can feel bad if it makes you feel better.


My best friend, who often criticizes my hair color, recently got a botched perm at the local salon. Shes the one I plan to marry. The one who has arrived has a long way to go.


What I wouldnt give has given me the blues. Whatever this day brings will be enough for me.


I have found a quiet space in my mornings. The foul ball flew high above the backstop.


To get from here to there, you will need a better map. She went to the store to purchase needed supplies.


Made from left over plywood and framed with tacked on 1 by 1 strips, the bulletin board at Raineys store almost sags with a smorgasbord of advertisements and snapshots. Hanging out after the concert, we accidently ran into the lead singer.

The bookcase, sagging in the middle, strains to hold up its burden of books.


The cowboy sauntered into the saloon, gun belts flapping at his side. Spittle dripping from his mouth, the student began to snore in the middle of the lecture.