In this page on Sentence Structure, I would like to show how the various parts of a sentence interplay to form a sentence.
You will understand better how a sentence is structured if you know its parts. Therefore, I suggest that you first read about sentence parts here.
I am now going to show you five ways (patterns) of constructing a sentence. Each pattern or sentence structure can be used for making any number of sentences.
The adverbial is most often not an essential part of the sentence. The brackets around the word 'adverbial' indicate this fact. For more information on adverbials, read about them in the page on Parts of a Sentence.
|The boys||jumped||over the wall.|
|Birds of the same feather||flock||together.|
|She||teaches||English||at the university.|
|His car||hit||a tree||this morning.|
|They||will meet||the boss||next Monday.|
|Subject||Transitive Verb||Indirect Object||Direct Object||(Adverbial)|
|The woman||gave||her daughter||a gift||on her birthday.|
|The bank manager||reluctantly granted||the poor farmer||a loan||this morning.|
|Mr. Mendoza||taught||us||Greek||in those days.|
|Subject||Linking Verb||Subject(ive) Complement||(adverbial)|
|Hannah||was||a teacher||in Delhi.|
|The old man||looks||happy||today.|
|Those young people||will become||experts||soon.|
|Subject||Transitive Verb||Object||Object(ive) Complement||(Adverbial)|
|The PM||appointed||Mr X||a minister||in 2004.|
|The Inspector||found||the man||innocent.|
|The landlord||called||the new tenant||a crook.|
All the sentences I have given as examples above are affirmative sentences, i.e. those that state (declare, mention) some fact.
Other types of sentences, such as negative sentences and question sentences (aka interrogatives) can be constructed from affirmatives by using consistent methods.
More importantly, you will have noticed that in each of these sentences there is only one finite verb (word or phrase). Such sentences are called Simple Sentences.
Sentence structure has different levels. This page has shown you how various sentence parts can come together to form a Simple Sentence. Constructing a simple sentence is like building a room.
What about a house with several rooms?
We do have sentences which can be built from two or more Simple sentences. They are called Complex Sentences and Compound Sentences.