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Classification of english sentences

 Traditionally English sentences are classified by their
structure and purpose.
By structure:
Simple sentence
Compound sentence
Complex sentence
By purpose:
A declarative sentence
An interrogative sentence
An imperative sentence
An Exclamatory sentence
A declarative sentence (statements) they state
facts in the affirmative or negative forms.
They are characterised by a direct word order
and are generally pronounced with a fallen
E.g. The day was lovely.
I like sleeping
Interrogative(questions) they are formed by
means of inversion.
 There are 4 types of question:
-General - require the answers YES or NO
-Special - begin with an interrogative word
- Alternative – imply choice complex intonation
-Disjunctive - require the answer YES or NO. Structurally they
are complex sentences, the principle clause being a
statement and subordinate clause
They serve to induce a person to do something
E.g. Bring me a glass of water.
Don't ever touch my phone.
Never forget the person who loves you.
Take a step and don't move.
They serve to express various emotions
E.g. Happy birthday, Amy!
Thank you, Sheldon!
I hate you!
Ice cream sundaes are my favorite!
 According to their structure all the variety of English sentences can be
divided into four types:
 Simple sentence comprises a subject and a predicate (as well as
secondar y par ts of a sentence): She (subject) invited (predicate) us to
 Compound sentence unites two independent clauses brought together
by a semicolon or a comma + a coordinating conjunction: She keeps
telling me to control myself, but she never does her self.
 Complex sentence consists of the main clause and at least one
subordinate clause: Although he is tr ying to convince me (subordinate
clause), I do not believe a single word he says. (Main clause).
 Compound-complex sentence has two main clauses and one or more
subordinate clauses introduced by subordinating conjunctions and
joined by a coordinating conjunction:
 I opened the parcel, but the boy disappeared before I could utter a
The sentence is a unit of speech which
expresses a complete thought, and has a
correct grammatical form and intonation.
Every sentence has modality, which shows the
speaker’s attitude towards reality.
A sentence which has some secondary parts is
called extended.( Last night we went for a
walk in the centre of Moscow)
A sentence which consists only of a subject
and a predicate is called unextended. (Life is
 The subject and the predicate constitute the backbone of the
sentence: without them the sentence would not exist at all,
whereas all other parts may or may not be there, and if they
are there, they serve to define or modify either the subject or
the predicate, or each other.
 The subject is one of the 2 main parts of the sentence:
 It denotes the thing whose action or characteristic is
expressed by the predicate.
 It is not dependent on any other part of the sentence.
 It may be expressed by different parts of speech , the most
frequent ones being: a noun in the common case, a personal
pronoun in the nominative case, a demonstrative pronoun
occasionally, a substantivized adjective, a numeral, an
infinitive, and a gerund. It may also be expressed by a phrase.
 The predicate is one of the 2 main parts of the sentence :
 It denotes the action or property of the thing expressed by the
 It is not dependent on any other part of the sentence.
 Ways of expressing the predicate are varied and their
structure will better be considered under the heading of types
of predicate.
 It is sometimes claimed that the predicate agrees in number
with the subject: when the subject is in the singular, the
predicate is bound to be in the singular, and vice versa.
However this statement is very doubtful.
 E.g. My family are early risers . + The question of concord
refers to the level of phrases, not sentences.
 The Object is a secondary part of the sentence expressed by a
verb, a noun, a substantival pronoun, an adjective, a numeral,
or an adverb, and denoting a thing to which the action passes
on, which is a result of the action, in reference to which an
action is committed or a property is manifested, or denoting
an action as object of another action.
Objects differ form one another
 by their morphological composition, by the parts of speech or
phrases which perform the function of object
 by the type of their relation to the action expressed by the
verb (direct/indirect)
 Classification of object:
 Prepositional and non-prepositional objects
 Morphological types (noun, pronoun, substantivized adjective,
infinitive, gerund)
 Direct/indirect, is applied only to objects expressed by nouns or
pronouns. There are sentences in which the predicate is
expressed by the verbs send, show, lend, give. These verbs
usually take 2 different kinds of objects simultaneously: (1) an
object expressing the thing which is sent, shown, lent, given, etc.
(2) the person or persons to whom the thing is sent, shown, lent,
given, etc. The difference between the 2 relations is clear
enough: the direct object denotes the thing immediately affected
by the action denoted by the predicate verb, whereas the indirect
object expresses the person towards whom the thing is moved,
e.g. We sent them a present. The indirect object stands 1st, the
direct object comes after it.
 T he Adverbial Modifier.
 T he term ‘adverbial m odifier’ cannot be said to be a ver y lucky one, as
it is apt to convey erroneous (wrong, incorrect) ideas about the essence
of this secondar y par t. They have nothing to do with adverbs and they
modify not only verbs.
 T here are several ways of classifying adverbial modifier s:
 According to t heir m eaning – not a grammatical classification. However
it may acquire some grammatical significance.
 According to t heir m orphological peculiarities – according to the par ts
of speech and to the phrase patterns. It has also something to do with
word order, and stands in a cer tain relation to the classification
according to meaning.adverb,preposition + noun,a noun without a
preposition,infinitive or an infinitive phrase
 According to t he t ype of t heir head -word – is the syntactic
classification proper. The meaning of the word (phrase) acting as
modifier should be compatible with the meaning of the head -word.
Adverbial modifier of:
Time and frequency,
Place and direction,
Manner and attendant
 The attribute
 The problem of the attribute.The attribute is a secondary part
of the sentence modifying a part of the sentence expressed by
a noun, a substantivized pronoun, a cardinal numeral, and any
substantivized word, and characterizing the thing named by
these words as to its quality or property.
 The attribute can either precede or follow the noun it
modifies. Accordingly we use terms prepositive and
postpositive attribute. The position of an attribute with
respect to its head-word depends partly on the morphological
peculiarities of the attribute itself, and partly on stylistic
 The size of the prepositive attributive phrase can be large in
ME. Whatever is included between the article and the noun, is
apprehended as an attribute.
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