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Simple Sentence

  • A simple sentence is one which contains just one finite verb.
  • It expresses a single thought or statement.
  • For example:
    • John went home.
    • The girl wept bitterly.
    • The gardener, with a native hoe in one hand and a large stick in the other, swiftly killed the poor little goat about to enter grandfather’s cabin.
  • The third example, which contains 25 words is still a simple sentence because it contains just one finite verb (killed), and it expresses one thought (the gardener killed the goat)
Parts of a Simple Sentence
  • There are five main parts of a simple sentence:
    • Subject,
    • Verb,
    • Object,
    • Complement, and
    • Adverb/Adjunct
  • For example:
    • Mary (subject) cooks (verb)
    • We (subject) ate (verb) pawpaw (object) yesterday (adverb)
    • Her parents (subject) love (verb) her (object)
    • Mary (subject) sings (verb) melodiously (adverb)
    • She (subject) is (verb) their teacher (complement)
    • That she is beautiful (subject) is (verb) a fact (complement)

Subject

  • A subject is usually the first part of the sentence.
  • The subject is the actor or performer of an action. For example:
    • Mary (noun)
    • We (pronoun)
    • Her parents (noun phrase)
    • That she is beautiful (noun clause)
  • The subject is a noun, pronoun, a phrase, or a noun clause.
  • Subjects appear in simple, compound or complete forms
  • Simple Subject:
    • This consists of a single noun
    • For example:
      • John is to pay N 20
      • The customer is to pay N 20
      • They are to pay N 20
  • Compound Subject:
    • A compound subject consists of two or more subjects usually joined by ‘and’, or ‘nor’.
    • For example:
      • James and Chike are here.
      • Neither Nkechi nor Chinyere is here
      • The carpenters and masons will report on Monday
  • Complete Subject:
    • A compound subject contains a simple or compound subject and its modifiers and related words.
    • For example:
      • Any student absenting himself from class on Monday will be punished.
      • Buyers and sellers of goods all over the country today are in trouble.
  • Predicate:
    • The predicate is anything that is said about the subject in a sentence.
    • It usually comes after the subject as such, it shows action performed in a sentence.
    • Predicates may be simple or complex.
    • For example:
      • I love banana (simple)
      • am not a donkey (complex)
      • Chioma must have been running (complex)
      • Sura is a diligent student (simple)

Modifiers, Qualifiers, and Complements

  • Modifiers:
    • A modifier is a word, sometimes a group of words, which modify, describe, or restrict the meaning of other words in a sentence.
    • It mostly precedes the headword in a group
    • For example:
      • John has a nice shirt
      • He lives in a recently painted house
      • Jane owns a brand new Mercedes
  • Qualifiers:
    • They are group of words that add to the meaning of the headword in a group.
    • This unusually follows the headword.
    • For example:
      • Jack lives in the house painted red
      • I met Jonas, the new chairman
      • The house across belongs to Joan’s family
  • A complement is a word or group of words that completes the meaning of a verb. It is usually a direct object, indirect object, objective complement, predicate noun or predicate adjective.
  • Direct Object:
    • A direct object names the receiver of the action of a verb usually showing the result of a transitive verb.
    • For example:
      • Chike killed a bird
      • We bought a new car
      • Nkem planted ten trees last year
  • Indirect Object:
    • An indirect object indicates to whom, for whom, or to what or for what the action of a transitive verb is done.
    • For example:
      • The father gave her a present
      • We did Joseph a great favor
      • The painter gave the wall a good varnish coating.
  • Objective Complement:
    • An objective complement is used to complete the meaning of a direct object.
    • For example:
      • The food made John sick
      • They made him a chief
      • The rain made the playground muddy
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