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Sentences

Words are combined to form phrases. Phrases combine to form sentences. There are various
kinds of sentences such as statements, questions and commands. There are simple
sentences and combinations of sentences, and negative sentences and positive sentences.
Unit 15 The functions of sentences
Sentences that make a statement are called declaratives; sentences that ask a question are
called interrogatives; sentences that give a command are called imperatives; sentences that
express strong emotion are called exclamations.
Examples:
Edwards parents live on a farm. (declarative)
Have you accepted the fact that shell never move? (interrogative)
Dont believe a word she says! (imperative)
Thats silly! (exclamation)
Questions
yes/no question: one that can be answered by yes or no.
Did you enjoy the music?
Is the television working?
Are you interested in applying for that job?
wh- question: begins with one of the following wh- words (question words): when, where,
what, why, which, who, whom, how. Notice that how is a wh-word, even though it doesnt
begin with wh-. Example:
Where is the meeting?
Why did they buy that house?
When should we meet?
How does that work?
tag question: contains a statement followed by a tag, such as could you? arent they? hasnt
he? Example:
She is leaving soon, isnt she?
Unit 16 Combining sentences
A clause is a free-standing sentence or a sentence within a sentence; a clause or sentence
contains at least a subject and a main verb.
Each of the sentences that make up a larger sentence is called a clause. Just as words
combine to form phrases, phrases combine to form clauses, and clauses can combine to form
sentences. A sentence can contain one or more clauses.
Simple sentences
A sentence that contains only one clause, that is, one subject and one verb phrase, is called a
simple sentence.
Compound sentences
A sentence that is made up of two or more sentences (clauses) joined by a coordinating
conjunction (most commonly and, or, and but) is called a compound sentence. Example:
Jane put the glass vase on the table and her mother picked it up.

This is a compound sentence. It actually contains two sentences. Since a sentence within a
sentence is called a clause, we can also say that the sentence contains two clauses. Just as
a simple sentence must contain at least a subject and a verb phrase, each of the sentences
(clauses) within a compound sentence must contain its own subject and verb phrase.
Complex sentences
A complex sentence consists of at least two sentences (clauses). However, one of these
sentences is more important than the other. The more important sentence is called the main
clause, or independent clause; the less important sentence, the one that is a subpart of the
main clause, is called the dependent clause or subordinate clause. The dependent clause is a
subpart of the main clause and adds information to it. Each clause, whether its a main clause
or subordinate clause, has its own subject and verb phrase. Sentences that contain a main
clause and at least one dependent clause are called complex sentences. In a complex
sentence, the dependent clause is joined to the rest of the sentence by a subordinating
conjunction.
Examples: The main clause of each of the following sentences is in bold; the dependent
clause is underlined:
Sally visited her before she moved.
Harry was only fifteen when his mother sent him away to school.
Mr. Edwards looked her straight in the eye although he wasnt really sincere.
I wont tell you the answer unless you agree to help.
The easiest way to identify a dependent clause is to look for a subordinating conjunction and
see if its followed by a sentence. If it is, then the subordinating conjunction plus the sentence
directly following it is a dependent clause. Sometimes the dependent clause comes before the
main clause. A complex sentence contains only one main clause, but it can contain more than
one dependent clause.
In a noun clause, the subordinating conjunction that can be deleted following a main clause.
Example: I think (that) its going to rain.
So when you dont see a subordinating conjunction in a sentence, but the sentence has more
than one subject and verb phrase, ask yourself if you can insert that somewhere. If so, then
youll know you have a dependent clause.
Sentences with relative clauses
A relative clause (adjective clause) is a kind of dependent clause; it provides additional
information about a noun phrase in the main clause. Example (relative clause underlined):
I brought the cookies that are on the plate.
Relative clauses begin with one of the relative pronouns: that, which, who, whom, whose. A
relative pronoun connects the relative clause to the rest of the sentence. All of the relative
pronouns (except whose) also replace a noun phrase in the relative clause. (Whose replaces
a determiner.)
For example, in the sentence:
This is the house that Jack built, the main clause is: This is the house, and the dependent,
relative clause is: that Jack built. The relative clause acts as an adjective; it modifies the noun
phrase the house, telling us more about it. This is why relative clauses are also referred to as
adjective clauses.
The main clause can stand on its own as a sentence without the relative clause; the relative
clause just provides additional information about the noun phrase its modifying and cannot
stand alone. Like other clauses, a relative clause has its own subject and verb phrase.

Examples:
1. She transferred the plate to the tray that she just washed.
2. Blanche thought about the man who was living in Italy at the time.
3. He called the company that usually supplies the pipes.
The relative clause doesnt necessarily follow the main sentence (clause); it can also be
within the main sentence. In the following sentences, the relative clause is underlined
and the main sentence (clause) is in bold. In the first two sentences, the relative clause
follows the main clause; in the next two sentences, its inside the main clause.
Ive brought the horse which has been specially trained.
We tipped the waiter who had served us so well.
The man who was living in Italy at the time knew all the facts.
The company that usually supplies the pipes has gone out of business.
Again, if the relative clause (the underlined part) is removed, the main clause can still stand
on its own as a sentence.
Compound-complex sentences
A compound-complex sentence is a combination of a compound and a complex sentence: it
has at least two main clauses and at least one dependent clause. Example:
His friends were always there for William and he appreciated the help that they often
gave him.
Unit 17 Related sentences
Looking at related sentences
Sentences can be related, in a consistent way, to other sentences.
She looked up the answer.
She looked the answer up.
We will just drop off the files.
We will just drop the files off.
The professor pointed out the correct answer.
The professor pointed the correct answer out.
One member of each pair is related to the other in a systematic way: the verb and its particle
(both underlined) can either be next to each other or the particle can be on the other side of
the next noun phrase. The important point here is that we cant change the structure of a
sentence in any random way. For example, we cant say: She up looked the answer.
Active and passive sentences
Sentences with the subject before the verb are called active sentences. Example:
Charley repaired this computer.
The witch kidnapped Esmeralda.
Sentences which do not have the subject before the verb are called passive sentences.
Example:
This computer was repaired by Charley.
Esmeralda was kidnapped by the witch.

In order for an active sentence to have a related passive sentence, it must have a direct
object. Unlike the sentences we have looked at so far in this lesson, the following sentences
do not have a direct object; therefore they dont have related passive sentences.
The train arrived late.
We are travelling to Mexico.
Harry studied.
Active and passive sentences are related to each other in a systematic way:
The policeman saw the criminals. (active)
The criminals were seen by the policeman. (passive)
There are five ways in which passive sentences differ from active sentences:
First, the subject (doer of the action) follows the verb:
The criminals were seen by the policeman.
Second, the word by precedes the subject:
The criminals were seen by the policeman.
Third, the noun phrase that follows the verb in the active sentence occurs before the verb in
the passive sentence:
The criminals were seen by the policeman.
Fourth, passive sentences have a form of be (am, is, are, was, were, be, being) before the
verb:
The criminals were seen by the policeman.
Fifth, the main verb following the passive be is in a special form:
The criminals were seen by the policeman.
This special form of the verb is the past participle form of the verb, the same form of the verb
that follows the helping verb have. That is, just as each of the other helping verbs has an
effect on the verb following it, the passive be also has an effect on the verb following it: the
verb must be in its past participle form.
Positive and negative sentences
A sentence is made negative by inserting not after the first helping verb.
Positive sentences:
I will think about it.
Timothy has called her.
The teacher was listening.
The related negative sentences are:
I will not think about it.
Timothy has not called her.
The teacher was not listening.
When a sentence has no helping verb but we need one, for example, to make the sentence
negative, we use a form of do as the helping verb. Notice that in that case, the tense
information is not on the main verb, but on the form of do instead (do, does, did).
Now make the following sentence negative:
I went there last week.
I did not go there last week.
She writes to me often.
She does not write to me often.

Many important people attended the conference.


Many important people did not attend the conference.
There is one main verb that doesnt use do to form a negative sentence, even when the
sentence has no helping verb: that exception is be. In the next examples, there is no helping
verb, just the main verb be (underlined); you can see that no form of do is needed to forma
negative sentence.
She is awake now. (positive sentence)
She is not awake now. (negative sentence)
The judges were in their chambers. (positive sentence)
The judges were not in their chambers. (negative sentence)
The verb do has a number of different uses. Here are some examples:
I did not study. (helping verb)
I did it. (main verb)
I did think of it! (emphasis)