Structural classification of Sentences

The meaning of an English sentence depends on the word order. We put the subject before the verb and the object after the predicate. The cook burnt the dinner.

From the point of view of their structure sentences can be divided into: two-membered; one-membered; complete; incomplete; simple; composite (compound, complex).

A simple sentence contains a subject and a verb followed if necessary. Tom open the door.

Two-membered sentence contains two principle parts — the subject and the predicate. (Fleur had established immediate contact with an architect).

A two-membered sentence can be complete and incomplete. It is complete when it has a subject and a predicate (Young John could not help smiling). It is incomplete when one of the principal parts or both of them are missing.

One-membered sentence have only one principal part (Dusk — of a summer night).

Composite sentence is formed by two or more predicative groups.

According to the traditional view, all composite sentences are to be classed into:

—    compound sentences (coordinating their clauses),

—    complex (subordinating their clauses).

The compound sentence. The form of a compound sentence -when we join two or more simple sentences we get a compound sentence. Tom phoned. He left the message. — Tom phoned and left the message. The name which we give to «joining words» is conjunction. These are the conjunctions which we use to make compound sentences: and, and then, but, for, nor, or, not only…
The complex sentence.

We can join two or more simple sentences to get complex sentences: The alarm was raised. The fire was discovered. The alarm was raised as soon as fire was discovered. The alarm was raised after the fire was discovered. The alarm was raised when the fire was discovered. We use many different kinds of joining words (or conjunctions) to make complex sentences: after, as soon as, when, that, if, so that … etc.

In a complex sentence there is one main ‘idea’ and one or more subordinate ‘ideas’ (clauses).

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