Sunday, January 19, 2014

Notes on Basic Settence Patterns

Subject + verb. The simplest of sentence patterns is composed of a subject and verb without a direct object or subject complement. It uses an intransitive verb, that is, a verb requiring no direct object:
Control rods remain inside the fuel assembly of the reactor.

The development of wind power practically ceased until the early 1970s.

Subject + linking verb + subject complement. Another simple pattern uses the linking verb, any form of the ‘’be’’ verb without an action verb:
The chain reaction is the basis of nuclear power.

The debate over nuclear power has often been bitter.

Subject + verb + direct object. Another common sentence pattern uses the direct object:
Silicon conducts electricity in an unusual way.

Subject + verb + indirect object + direct object. The sentence pattern with the indirect object and direct object is similar to the preceding pattern:
We are sending you the balance of the payment in this letter.

The supervisor mailed the applicant a description of the job.

Subject + verb + direct object + object complement. The sentence pattern using the [direct object] and object complement is not common but worth knowing):
The walls are usually painted black.

The plant shutdown left the entire area an economic disaster.

Passive voice pattern. The passive voice is not ordinarily considered a "pattern," but it is an important and often controversial construction. It reverses the subject and object and, in some cases, deletes the subject.
Passive voice                                                Active voice
Saccharin is now permitted as                 The FDA now permits saccharin
an additive in food.                                    as an additive in food.

Simple sentences. A simple sentence is one that contains subject and a verb and no other independent or dependent clause.
There are basically two types of stethoscopes.  

Compound sentences. A compound sentence is made up of two or more independent clauses joined by a coordinating conjunction (and, or, nor, but, yet, for) and a comma, an adverbial conjunction and a semicolon, or a semicolon. The independent clauses must be simple sentences.
In sphygmomanometers, too narrow a cuff can result in
erroneously high readings, and too wide a cuff can result in
erroneously low readings.

Complex sentences. A complex sentence contains at least one dependent clause (a noun, adjective, or adverb clause) and no more than one independent clause:
 That point at which you stop hearing heart sounds through the
stethoscope is the most reliable measure of diastolic
pressure, although it is usually somewhat above that found by
intra-arterial meaurements.

Compound-complex sentences. A compound-complex sentence is made of two or more independent clauses and contains at least one dependent clause — in other words, a compound sentence with at least one dependent clause.
The systolic pressure is the pressure of the blood as a result
of the contraction of the ventricles, and the diastolic
pressure is the pressure when the ventricles are at rest.

Basic Parts of the Sentence

Subject. The subject of a sentence is that noun, pronoun, or phrase or clause about which the sentence makes a statement.
Einstein's general theory of relativity has been subjected to
many tests of validity over the years.

Surrounding the secure landfill on all sides are impremeable
barrier walls. (Inverted sentence pattern)

In a secure lanfill, the soil on top and the cover block storm
water intrusion into the landfill. (Compound subject)

Verb phrase. The main verb, or verb phrase, of a sentence is a word or words that express an action, event, or a state of existence. It sets up a relationship between the subject and the rest of the sentence.
The first high-level language to be widely accepted, FORTRAN,
was implemented on an IBM 704 computer.

The operating system controls the translation of the source
program and carries out supervisory functions. (Compound verb)

Predicate. The predicate is the rest of the sentence coming after the subject. It can include the main verb, subject complement, direct object, indirect object, or object complement.
The pressure in a pressuried water reactor varies from system
to system.

Subject complement. The subject complement is that noun, pronoun, adjective, phrase, or clause that comes after a linking verb (some form of the be verb):
Continuous exposure to toxic concentrations of H2S can be

Direct object. A direct object — a noun, pronoun, phrase, or clause acting as a noun — takes the action of the main verb. A direct object can be identified by putting what?, which?, or whom? in its place.
The housing assembly of a mechanical pencil contains the
mechanical workings of the pencil.

Indirect Object. An indirect object — a noun, pronoun, phrase, or clause acting as a noun — receives the action expressed in the sentence. It can be identified by inserting to or for.
In the application letter, tell [to] the potential employer
that a resume accompanies the letter.

Object complement. An object complement — a noun or adjective coming after a direct object — adds detail to the direct object. To identify object complements, insert [to be] between the direct object and object complement.
The company considers the new computer [to be] a major

Most people think the space shuttle [to be] a major step in
space exploration.

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